So you’re ready to go out on your own. You may have a stellar idea and a solid plan, but you just can’t seem to make that final leap and go into business for yourself.

Kendra Hennessey has been there. She launched her first business at just 22 and hasn’t looked back. Today, as Founder and CEO of Mother Like a Boss, she helps people all over the country redefine and own their role as parents. But getting to this point wasn’t always a walk in the park.

If you’re looking to relaunch your career by opening your own business, Kendra has 5 secrets to avoid common pitfalls and fast track your dream:

  1. Know Your Customer

Before you get started, be sure you truly know who it is you want to serve and the need you’re trying to meet in their lives. This may sound simplistic, but truly knowing your customer can save you from wrong turns and unnecessary diversions along the way.

  1. Be Smart

Regardless of how much you believe in your idea, it’s best to be smart about what you need to get started. Be sure you have a safety net in case it takes longer than anticipated to turn a profit. This may mean keeping your day job or taking on an investor.

  1. Build Your Team

Depending on the nature of your business, it can be easy to become an employee of your own company with little time for much else. For example, if you open a bakery, you’re probably going to want to throw on an apron. However, it’s important to find the support you need to both establish and grow your business. You are the visionary, and the right team of people can allow you to do just that.

  1. Communicate

It seems like this word is the secret to most everything, and for good reason. When it comes to your business, it’s important that you are open and honest with those around you – from your customers, to your employees, to any partners or investors. Plan regular meetings with those invested in your business to discuss your financials, your goals, and your ideas. Communication can help your business stay out of trouble and continue to grow.

  1. Don’t Stop There

Once your business is established and thriving, don’t be afraid to continue dreaming. The experience you gain from going out on your own is a powerful tool for future opportunities such as expansion, an acquisition, or a new idea altogether!

It’s a great time to follow your dreams. Follow these tips and take your business from idea to success story today.