Starting a business or buying a franchise is not for the faint of heart. There are things to be said for the security of a regular paycheck, benefits, and retirement plan. But if you’re one of those special people with the entrepreneurial spirit, passion, and ambition to take the risk of putting up your own shingle, you know you’ll face challenges.

Turning an idea into a successful enterprise isn’t an easy road and following the tips can help you get over the challenges.

  1. Know What You Are Doing

Education is a lifelong endeavor for entrepreneurs. Whether it’s a college degree and continuing ed or life experience, consider the benefits of expanding your knowledge base. You’ll build connections, acquire new skills, meet potential mentors, and more. There is a nearly unlimited supply of knowledge at your fingertips through books and the internet. Study other entrepreneurs’ successes and failures.

  1. Know Your Numbers

You may imagine owning a business is a great money maker. Maybe. Getting started, though, you’ll find the road to financial success is often full of financial barriers. You should set a strict budget and stick to it. Starting out with debt can severely impact your success, so keep your beginnings frugal with low overhead costs.

  1. Know Where You Want to Go

A business plan is critical and creating one is job #1 for an entrepreneur. Your plan should outline your product, including what makes it unique, funding sources, market analyses and paths to growth, sales strategies. It’s smart to draft how you plan to sell, market, and grow. Also, be sure you have an emergency plan if things don’t go as expected.

  1. Know Your Networks

Connecting with others can be extremely beneficial. It not only creates a support network but can also bring about new business ideas. Plan to attend formal networking events—look to your local chamber of commerce for such events. If you want a trustworthy mentor, search for an experienced businessperson who is willing to share honest advice and push you a little bit to keep you moving forward.

  1. Know How to Market

No matter how great your goods or services are, it’s hard to gain traction without effective marketing. As a crucial part of your business plan, your market analyses should identify your target consumer and include branding strategies that resonate with them. Beyond the business plan, a marketing strategy will cover your online presence—website and social media–packaging, displays, sales, and events. A SWOT analysis is must-have to identify your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

  1. Know Your Online Strategy

People spend an average of 59 hours per week online. That means that having a strong online presence is a necessity. Establish a plan for integrating a clean, well-organized website and social media. The existence of a robust online presence makes your company appear trustworthy to customers. It also allows your story, products, and services to reach a wider audience.

  1. Know Your Limits

You should be honest with yourself throughout the whole process. Identifying your strengths and weaknesses will give you an advantage. Exploit the areas you excel in and work around the others. When you need help, ask for it. You cannot expect to be skilled and efficient at everything.

If you’ve set your mind on becoming an entrepreneur, keep working for it. The advice above will get you started.