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Just one? When you start researching how to start a business or even what business to start, the laundry list of everything you need seems to be a mile long.

 Are you selling a product? Well then, you need a brochure, maybe a catalog, a price sheet, packaging, shipping boxes, a return policy and a maybe an online store.

Selling a service like life coaching or pet sitting? You’ll need business cards, an hourly fee, networking connections, maybe a website or a magnetic sticker for your car.

And don’t even consider starting a web based company without all the accoutrements. There is a website, of course, plus a blog, electronic signature, maybe a Flash intro and all the online gadgets like a Skype phone line, Aweber list manager and a Paypal account. 

The list is so overwhelming you might decide starting your own business isn’t worth the hassle.

But in truth, you don’t need all of those things to get started. To be a success in business you only require one thing.

Just ONE Thing

The only thing you need to succeed is often overlooked. But without it every business is guaranteed to fail.

The big, earth shattering secret? The only thing you need to succeed in business is…customers. 

Seems rather simplistic, doesn’t it? Of course, you need customers! But keeping your end goal in mind, how have you set up your business to make sure you get and keep customers?

Many new businesses are created because it sounded like a good idea, other companies have had success, it is a product or service YOU enjoy, it fits nicely into your skill sets or because it is one of the things you know how to make or do. But the litmus test for a good business venture is to ask this question:

Are there people who will buy this product or service?

If so, where are they and how to do you find them?

Everything else is just gravy. I have met successful business people who do not have a website…or business plan …or business card …or even a single dollar in investment. But they have customers which is the key to their success.

So don’t get bogged down in deciding what the next step you should take in your business. Put off downloading the next gadget. Take a deep breath instead of stressing out over your endless To-Do list.

Instead concentrate on who your customer is. Create a picture of her in your mind. Give her a name. Follow her around in her day to day life. What makes her happy? Where does she shop? What problems can your product or service solve for her?

It’s only after you’ve answered these questions that you can effective marketing to these key customers. All the bells and whistles can be effectively applied. But it all starts with the basic building block of your business—customers.

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