In 2007 I started my first business, a mixed martial arts promotion company. As a professional fighter I felt like I had a pretty good idea of how to put on my own show. I had been to lots of them myself and had all of the contacts I needed to put one on.

However, by the time the show was over it seemed like everything that could go wrong did and before I knew it we lost nearly $10,000.

Since then I’ve opened four more businesses including my most recent Elevated Lifestyle. After opening East Coast Fight Productions (the MMA company) I went on to open Collision Sports, a health supplement and nutrition store, The Nutrition Blueprint, a nutrition coaching service and Elevated Wellness Center.

I’ve managed to open each of these businesses for a collective total of less than $200. I can’t say I did it all myself because that would be a lie, however I can say that the following five steps were used in each of these businesses to ensure their success.

  1. Create an idea. This might sound like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised at how many people think they have an idea but haven’t actually thought of some of the important aspects like a name or where it’s going to be located. Opening a business is very exciting so if you’re excited take some time to write down some notes and ideas for your business. Ask yourself questions like what you’re going to name it, where it will be located, will it be run by you or someone else, why will people use your business and so on. Be detailed and creative, there are no wrong answers.
  2. Write a business plan. I can hear all of the cringes now and I’ll be honest, I don’t like writing business plans either but they have been an integral part of proper planning. Writing a business plan can help you get detailed and specific about how your business is going to make money and can help you become very clear about how you’re going to get it off the ground. I’ve written a detailed business plan for every business except… you guessed it, ECFP.
  3. Register your business name. This is a step that many people skip only to find out that the name they created their vision around is not available. In Nova Scotia we have to do a name search through the Registry of Joint Stocks then if/when the name is available we register it. If you’re planning on having your business incorporated your lawyer will do all of this for you but it’s a good idea to put some research in it as soon as possible.
  4. Create a logo. You don’t have to do it personally, but you should get it done. Having your logo created in the early stages helps you visualize the business and create clarity around what your intentions are. By having a logo created you are sending your intention out into the universe and allowing it to actualize. I created the logo for Elevated Wellness over a year before I even conceived the idea to open a wellness center.
  5. Choose the right partners. Most of the time when starting a new business, especially if it’s our first we think choosing friends as business partners is a good idea. I’m not going to say it’s not, because I’ve had bad business partners who were friends and good ones, but I will say that it’s very important to set clear ground rules and make sure you communicate your ideas clearly. If you do so you can avoid any mishaps or complications in working with friends.

Opening a business should be exciting and motivating. It will be scary, and few people will tell you it’s easy but it is definitely worth it. “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”

Ricky Goodall is a Professional Lifestyle Coach and founder of Elevated Lifestyle and Elevated Academy. Ricky works with high performers to help them achieve their biggest dreams and find their hidden opportunities.