Starting a business is not easy, but it can be very rewarding. If you are thinking of starting a business, these five tips could help you get your idea off the ground.

1. Define Your Goals

Before you start your business, think about your goal. Do you simply want to earn an income that allows you to give up your day job, or are you determined to build a high-value business that you can sell in five years for a large lump sum? Take the time to clearly define some goals for your business before you take the first steps to making it a reality.

2. Write a Business Plan

A business plan not only helps you manage your budget and cash flow during the crucial first few years, but also shows potential investors and lenders that you are serious about making your business a success. Use this business plan advice from the U.S. Small Business Administration to create a suitable business plan for your company.

3. Get to Know Your Market

Before you start your business, take the time to find out whether there is a demand for the products or services you plan to offer. Talk to the groups of people who you expect will be your main customer base to get feedback on your idea. Record the feedback you get and use it to refine your product or service as well as your marketing strategy.

4. Build a Network

Even if you do not plan to hire any employees at first, you still need support to build a business. Surround yourself with people who have the skills you need to grow your brand. Remember that you don’t have to do everything yourself. For example, if someone in your network has better web design skills than you do, consider outsourcing the design of your website rather than spending time learning how to do it yourself.

5. Don’t Forget to Take Time Off

When you are starting a business, it’s easy to end up working so many hours you burn out. Schedule time for relaxation, exercise, social activities and sleep to keep yourself healthy and happy. Remember, your business cannot succeed unless you are well enough to drive its growth.