Entrepreneurship appeals to everyone who wants to be their own boss and manage their own destiny. We live in a country known for entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity. However, half of all new businesses fail within the first five years. Be prepared and you’ll reduce your chances of being one of them.
Planning and Research
Planning is the most important part of starting and operating a business. Consider all your options. Determine if you want to start a new business, purchase an existing business, or buy a franchise. Decide if you want to provide a service or a product. Do market research. There is an abundance of great online sources available to assist you, for free. If you know your product or service, make sure there is a market. You might be surprised how some ideas get outdated quickly.
Find out who your competition is and research the location you’re thinking about. Just because no similar business exists in that location doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Others may have tried and failed.
Figure out what motivates you and what your skill sets are. Reflect on what others have commented on in your past, and interview friends, co-workers and/or former bosses. Think about what makes you unique and what advantage you offer.
Put all your research into a business plan. The plan should include a description of your business, the management structure, market analysis and potential competition, financial statements and an overall executive summary.
Taxes, Legal and Financial Considerations
You stand a better chance of being successful if you form a group of trusted people you can go to for advice. They don’t have to be friends, but they also don’t have to be people you pay, they just have to be subject matter experts and willing to help you. You might consider a mentor who can help you navigate the world of business you might not have thought about at first.
Meet with a tax accountant, a Carter West corporate lawyer, successful entrepreneurs, web designers, and marketing specialists. Anyone who can help you formulate a solid plan. Use the advice you get to revise your business plan as needed. The plan should not only help you get a loan but also serve to keep you focused on your next steps. You should start with enough cash to keep you afloat for 6 to 12 months. Determine what your backup plan is, in case your customers don’t pay fast enough for you to pay your bills. Financing can be tricky, but when you know what to expect, you can plan ahead.
Starting your own business is risky. It can lead to failure, but if you go into it with eyes open and a solid plan, you will come out on top.