As the chairman of one of the world’s largest business support organizations, I’ve encountered countless prospective entrepreneurs trying to put their ideas into action by launching a business. My experiences have given me a unique insight into what makes and breaks a business in today’s market.

Here are four essential tips for shaping a good idea into a great business:

1.    You can’t build a business as if it were a hobby project. Entrepreneurship should never be a casual endeavor. Building a thriving business in today’s market means devoting yourself fully to your company’s mission. Setting your business aside for any length of time can lead it down a slippery slope and you may not be able to crawl back up. Keep yourself organized, set clear goals you can accomplish and dedicate yourself to making sure your ideas come to fruition.

2.    Wrong sequence ends in business failure. One of the biggest hurdles to business growth is the lack of a detailed planning system. No matter how big your idea is, expecting overnight success can blind you to practical considerations which can quickly outpace your ability to deal with them. Move your business forward one step at a time, and more important, know where you’re going before you try to get there.

3.    Advertising is naked without PR. Flashy ads are no substitute for a well-thought-out communications strategy. In the age of information, every business needs a sensible way to communicate its ideas and brand to clients and consumers ready to buy. An idea is useless without a suitable voice to present it to the world. Build your advertizing strategy around the people best suited to get you to the next step of your objective.

4.    Never say no to growth. In today’s market, you can’t afford to miss the opportunities that can get you from one step to the next. While a defined plan for growth and future investment is necessary to guide your business decisions, nothing should ever be set in stone.

Running a business is a challenge at the best of times. Remember these rules on your way to the top.

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Berny Dohrmann is the founder of CEO Space International, one of the world’s largest support organizations for business owners. For more information, go to www.ceospaceinternational.com