As an entrepreneur, there is a lot to know before jumping into the world of self-employment/business ownership. However, this is a good thing.
Here are a few basics you need to attend to before starting a business:
1. Write a business plan
It doesn’t have to be extensive or lengthy, but going through the process of completing one will help you to think of things you had not and will get you mostly prepared for when you need to apply for financial aid (loans or grants). The things you need to know to complete a business plan are also the things you need to know to obtain financing.
2. Licensing and laws
It cannot be stressed enough that you must check all local, state, and federal licensing and tax laws which apply to you and your particular business venture. Be sure to strictly adhere to them all or be prepared to face hefty fines and penalties. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse they will look mercifully upon or will accept.
3. Know your market
Knowing your particular market will help you determine how to advertise, and what your odds of success are. A similar product or service may already be flooding the market. What will you do to make your business stand out from the rest and be more desirable to your customers or client base? Be prepared to refine your plan or come up with a new one should this be the case.
4. Resume, cover letter, credentials
Update your resume and credentials. Learn how to write a killer resume and cover letter. You will need these as part of your business plan, and for any application for financing. Also, if you are providing a service, you may need these to obtain clients.
5. ‘It takes money to make money’
Yup, it does. It may not need to take a lot of money, but there will most definitely have to be some capital investment to start a business. Advertising and licensing are just two of the costs involved.
6. Blood, sweat, and tears
It takes a lot of long hours and a great deal of work to make a success of a business. Starting your own business commonly requires a much larger commitment than a typical 9-to-5 or 40-hour work week would. Learning to find balance with work and your personal life will be crucial so you don’t burn yourself out. Also, learning how to say “no” in business and your private life will be a skill you will want to master quickly, so others do not burn you out.
One final thought
Be sure to do online searches for forums and websites specifically for your particular business or product. For example, someone offering virtual assisting services would search for virtual assistant job boards to get clients and projects; and also search out other sites providing information for that particular business.
Being prepared, and doing this planning and research helps prevent costly mistakes, and increases your chances of success. Most businesses fail within the first year of startup. If you want to avoid being another of those statistics, take some time to get all your facts and figures in order.
How to Start a Business: Basics for the Aspiring Entrepreneur