Thursday, May 31, 2012

How to Start a Business

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 22:  Fedex Chairman, Pres...WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 22: Fedex Chairman, President and CEO Frederick Smith addresses the 2012 America's Small Business Summit, hosted by U.S. Chamber of Commerce, May 22, 2012 in Washington, DC. Smith delivered remarks on 'How Small Business Can Achieve Big Business Success.' (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Starting your own business can be an enormous undertaking, but it is not impossible. While there are seemingly countless obstacles to overcome at every turn and possibly thousands of decisions that need to be made in order to begin your business, this article will serve as a motivational guide in helping you light the fire in your belly to begin the process. Millionaires are not created through minimum wage jobs, nor are they usually created by working for someone else. Wealth building is almost always dependent on having a stream of income that you control. And while being a small business owner may sound more luxurious than it really is, the reality is that building any substantial amount of wealth does take some element of calculated risk, incredible amounts of hard work and energy, and some amount of time. But you have to start.
FIND YOUR PASSION In order to really succeed at being a business owner, it makes sense to figure out what your passionate about. In the first few years of owning your business, you may be working twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred sixty five days a year! Doesn't it make sense on some level then to do what you love? Figure out what this passion is. Be creative about ideas. It is absolutely possible to build an income through owning a pet shop or by becoming a courier or selling floral arrangements. However, if you are not passionate about a subject then your business will turn into yet another failed endeavor in your life. For example, if you know you are not a "numbers person" are you really going to strike out on your own and set up a shingle as an accountant? Probably not.
GIVE IT TIME Anything worth doing in life is worth doing well. This applies to starting your on business, too. It will take some level of commitment and sacrifice. You may not see the financial rewards in the first three, six, or nine months. There needs to be some awareness around the fact that your marketing plan will take time to sink in. It will take a matter of weeks for people to be aware of your new storefront in their neighborhood.
BE SMART Most business owners fail, not because they are not smart people, but because they were not smart about their business. While it is important to start a business that is closely aligned with your passion in life, this does not mean that you should be blind to the realities of business. Develop a business plan. Create realistic objectives and goals that are attainable. Figure out what your operating costs, business expenses, and financial necessities will look like. You may have to work towards your business on a part time basis, while still holding down your full time day-to-day job. Do not jump into this with reckless abandon. Be smart about it.
THE #1 RULE Most business owners, large and small, often lose sight of the number one rule for any business: to make money! As a business owner, you are not there to be a good neighbor or to be the source of donations for local charities. As a business owner, you are not there to make sure your employees make money while you neglect to draw a paycheck. While each of these may be wonderful byproducts of being successful business owner, all too often they sink businesses before the corporation was ever really able to get off the ground. Remember, you are in business to make money! Profits are the key to any successful business, not their debt load.
DO IT Inertia is the enemy of success. Too often, people whittle away their dreams each day by delaying them. Action is the number one key to being a small business owner. By doing you will learn what works and what doesn't work. There will be successes throughout your lifetime as a business owner, but there also will be countless failures. Often times, we learn more from our mistakes than we do from our victories. So, before you get too comfortable today, take a small step towards moving forward in your dreams.
Being a business person is difficult, but it is its own reward. Overcome the inertia and figure out an action plan to starting your own business. If you have not figured out your niche, then its important to begin the brainstorming process and stick to the mantra: Do what you love and the money will follow!

1 comment:

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