Starting your own business can be the best decision of your life. It can end up paying huge dividends both financially and in terms of satisfaction. But the sad fact is half of new businesses fail within the first three years, and it's often down to basic mistakes. So here are a few things you should keep in mind at all times when starting on your new business venture. Many people successfully make a living from selling other people's products, and if this is the path you want to take then finding a good supplier will be central to your success. It pays to thoroughly research different suppliers to make sure that you have got the best deal. It goes without saying that the more the supplier wants to charge you, the less profitable your own business will be. But you also need to take into account the reputation and reliability of the supplier. A cheap supplier is no good if they go into liquidation and leave you unable to fulfil your customer's orders. Employing the right calibre of staff is also paramount. You can have a watertight business plan and the greatest supplier, but with poor staff your business may not survive long enough to turn a profit. Not only can the operational side of your new business suffer from incompetent staff, it can put off potential customers if service is poor. Think about your marketing strategy before you start. Your new shop, for example, may stock great products and have friendly, helpful staff but if noone is aware it's there you might struggle to get people through the door. Come up with a realistic deadline for opening the business. If you miss your advertised opening date it creates a bad first impression and will give you a poor reputation before you even start trading. Research, preparation and hard work are essential to giving your business the best chance of being successful and profitable.