So you have an idea and you need advice about starting a business. You’re excited about your idea, but don’t know how to get it from just an idea to a business. You’re nervous about the unknown, and probably have no clue where to start.
Don’t get ahead of yourself and start thinking about all the mistakes in starting a business you might make. Instead, take it slow and do your homework before taking the plunge into entrepreneurship. Learn from the successes and failures of those who blazed a trail before you.
First Things First
If you don’t know how to start a business, then chances are you don’t know all that’s involved. There are things you need to figure out like finances, structure, planning, product/service, and timeline.
Sit down and write out the pros and cons of starting a new business. Ask your family members for their input. It’s essential to have their support because your journey into the business world may involve long days and long nights. Starting a business requires sacrifice and time.
A great way to gain confidence in entrepreneurship is to consult a business coach or someone who has successfully started a company. Find someone who has been there before and ask for their help.
Consult other professionals such as tax advisors, lenders, CEO’s, and others who own similar businesses. Take the time to speak to someone who has tried to start a business and failed. Your goal should be to get all of the information you need to make an educated decision about starting a business.
Once you have gotten advice and have heard all of the positives about being a business owner, your next step is to consider your risks.
What are all the risks involved?
The risk of starting a business and seeing it fail is something that everyone who starts a business must plan for. Consider this–failure isn’t final. Failure is a lesson and an opportunity to grow. Is the risk of falling worth the possibility of succeeding? You will never know if you are capable if you don’t try.
Starting a business means that you are taking a risk with your idea, People may question your idea and they may question your ability to turn it into a profitable hustle. Even those that know you best may question your knowledge and ability to succeed.
One of the biggest risks is the financial risk. If you are planning to fund your new business venture personally, there is the possibility of financial loss. If you are planning to use a lender, there is the possibility of not making enough money to pay your loan. Then there is the concern about how you will make ends meet while trying to get the business up and going.
This, next to the risk of failure, is probably the biggest risk you take when starting a business. Don’t let the risks scare you out of starting your business or pursuing your dream. Instead, let the real risks slow you down to think and plan. Nothing good comes easy or fast, and with no risk comes no reward.
Learn a Little from My Story
When I started my first business many years ago, I had no direction for my business. The only thing I knew was that other people before me had succeeded and were making good money. I wanted their reality, and I had a dream. I quickly learned that they succeeded after considering some very important factors in business.
Know your reason why
Your “why” is going to be the driving force in your heart and mind regarding your business. It is your reason for getting up every day and putting in the work. Your “why” should be at the forefront of your passion and your business goals.
So, before you go any further, consider and write down the reasons that are driving you to succeed. When the days come that you question your business decisions, and they will come, pull out your written “why” and remind yourself.
No business can succeed without a good and fluid business plan
If you have a good business plan, you’re on the road to success. Once you have thought about and know your “why,” you need to figure out a plan to start and run your business.
Your written plan is a document that you will use when seeking investors, manufacturers, partners, and even affiliates. Before they invest in you, people want to know how invested you are and how you plan to succeed. If you aren’t shooting at a target you won’t reach one.
Every plan for your business should support the mission
Your mission statement guides your business practices and helps the consumer know what you are working to accomplish. What are you hoping your company brings to the community, the market, and what value does it provide to others.
Hate to Break It to You, but Money Matters
You are on a mission toward success. So you’ve got to consider your product or service. Take a look at other companies with similar products and services. Research and find out if they have been successful. Know their prices and their customer service philosophy.
Look at profit margins to help you price your product or service competitively. In your business plan, you will want to outline your sales projections for your first year, fifth year, and tenth year. Potential investors will want to know your future financial plans.
Decide if you are going to financially invest in your company or if you will borrow from an investor. Are you going to assume all of the financial risks, or are you going to play it safe? This is where talking with your family and spouse is absolutely essential.
It’s Essential that You Structure Your Business
Based on research and when considering your business plan, you will need to decide whether or not an LLC is appropriate, a partnership, or a corporation. You should contact your State Corporation Commission and weigh your options. To know which avenue is best, you must consider how you plan to run your business. For example, if you are a one-man operation, then an LLC may be your best bet.
It’s Not Easy, but It’s Worth It!
Starting a business is stressful, but it’s a blessing at the same time. Make sure you arm yourself with the knowledge necessary to make it absolutely clear which direction you should go to form your business. Nobody said it’d be easy, but everybody knows it’ll be worth it!
Robyn Flint writes for FreeAdvice.com and has an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Robyn is an entrepreneur and owner of three small businesses. She is also a freelance writer and published author.