Sometimes dreams become a reality! What you put your attention on does come true – the dream of starting a business is no exception; it subtly grows within until it finds a way to sprout into fruition. It can be very exciting for the entrepreneur starting his own business; you will be your own boss, you will be the decision maker, you will manage the purse strings, actually you will be in control of everything. However, you need to be in control of the situation. The budding entrepreneur will need advice on many aspects of this new venture therefore he must be able to listen and adhere to advice and remember there is more to running a business than the dream of being a small business owner.
Are You Ready to be a Small Business Owner?
Millions of people answer with starry eyes “Yes” to that question, but the reality is that answer costs many of them money, time, confidence, and heartbreak.
Two of the key factors that lead to survival and the ability to thrive are the owner’s education level and the owner’s reason for starting a business in the first place.
As an entrepreneur planning a new start-up how can you ensure that you are a winner and not one of the failure statistics? The answer is inside of you. The following four questions can help to determine if it will result in ending on a high note.
Are You Ready?
You must mentally prepare yourself for the switch from employee to boss. There are endless lists of decisions that needed to be dealt with and more issues will arise daily. Can you handle switching from task to task and role to role?
Many new start-ups fail because they fail to focus on a target audience. Determining, your specific niche market means you find yourself in a better position to find, target, and nurture your customers as well as offer the best suited services or products to that customer base.
Precisely What Is Your Action Plan?
What type of business model are you going to embrace? Are you going to work full-time or part-time at your newly created business? Will you hire help or not? Have you prepared a business plan?
Whom Are You Planning To Call?
You will need support, professional advice, resources, or information. Certainly one of the most amazing and daunting aspects of growth is that it actually can lead you to places you certainly never dreamed of. Failure is not to seek help; failure is when your business shuts down simply because you didn’t enlisted help when you needed it.
There are a lot of factors to consider as an aspirant small business owner. Primary among these are the three “P”s – Plan, Prepare and Persist.
An action plan will follow from your brainstorming session where you chose some ideas to build your business around. Don’t just jump into it. Planning is the most important part when it comes to starting a new venture. A detailed list on what you need is essential. The following will give you a good indication of things that need your consideration: rent, legal fees, permits, licensing, inventory, staff, mailing lists, software, design, marketing, and advertising. The more you pen down with timelines the easier it will be to evaluate your progress further down the road.
Once you have a plan you need to take the next step. The preparation is a lot of work. In this step you need to prepare everything you listed in your action plan. Now is the time to do. Timelines are again vital; make sure you allocate enough time to get the business up and running. A bit of advice here; your setup time can rather too long than too short, because you don’t want to run out of funds. The process rules the business, not the product.
Equally important is this stage of the process. Without persistence and perseverance, your Business Plan won’t even see the light. When the going gets tough, you must get tougher. Think ahead by having worst and best case scenario plans ready. Build a brand that stays in the customer’s mind. Rather than working IN business, work ON it. This will ensure that you as small business owner radiates success.
There certainly are many benefits to start your own business, including:
The Satisfaction Benefit:
- You have created something and make a valuable contribution to your society.
- Your years of hard work will result in wealth and not possibly in unemployment.
- You will eventually have the ability, cash, and scope to help others.
- You will eventually have more family-time.
- You will eventually have more self-esteem.
The Control Benefit:
- You get to choose the name of the company, Location, employees, equipment, and furnishing.
- For the self-employed, just about everything is a tax write off.
- Freedom, you are not restricted by others’ regulations.
- You are the boss – your destiny lies in your own hands.
- You have the power to adapt new ideas and marketing strategies without worrying about the boss.
A new start-up can be a real big gamble, if not handle correctly. However, if you do not do your research well, you will wind up like most Small Businesses, and that is out of business in less than 6 months.
The following guidelines will ensure smooth sailings in your new adventure.
Personal Goals – This information will help you to develop a blueprint for your venture.
Assistance and Training – Take advantage of free training and the various counseling services.
Start small – Starting small will help your Small Business grow into a successful enterprise.
Business Plan – Find out how to write a Business Plan and what you should include. It allows you to experiment with the strategy for your business on paper, before you start playing for keeps.
Products & Services – Market research is essential in determining whether your intended products are desirable.
Profit – Determine how you’ll make a profit.
Business Name – Register your business name with your state-government.
Location – When doing your research for your new company you want to make sure you are the only business of your type in the area. Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws.
Supplier – Do not have just one place to get supplies from, you should have several. By having more than one you can assure yourself that you are getting the lowest prices from them.
Advertising – By spending some funds on advertising you will increase your sales from your opening day. It is best to have a professional help you with your advertising rather than doing it yourself.
Stock – A wider selection is better than quantity per item.
Start-Up Capital – Start with as much of your own capital as possible. Find government backed loans, venture capital and research grants to help you get started.
Protect yourself – it is worth considering forming a corporation or limited liability corporation (LLC) to protect you from personal liability.
Contract – there’s no substitute for a well-written contract.
Tax Identification Number – Learn which tax identification number you’ll need to obtain from the IRS and your state-revenue agency.
State and Local Taxes – Register with your state to obtain a tax identification number, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.
Business Licenses and Permits – Get a list of federal, state, and local licenses and permits required for your business.
Employer Responsibilities – Learn the legal steps you need to take to hire employees.
Keep your edge – Ensure you have the best product, the best customer service and market trends.
The new start-up entrepreneur needs to stay focused, develop a schedule, and stay on track to experience the satisfaction of bright future!