So you want to start a business? All right – no sweat! You’ll just need to know a few things before you get started. Stay with me and I believe that we can work out a map that will pretty much take you to journey’s end. First of all – what is it you want to do? It’s important that you have certain things worked out in your mind, or better still, on paper.
You’ll need to ask yourself – what do I really want to do? Find something that you really like or something that you know well and are good at doing it. Starting a business comes with its own set of challenges so you want to start off winning. Knowing something about your area of interest, having the needed skill in that area, or aligning yourself with someone who has the knowledge in that area, will definitely help you.
Next, ask yourself – Is there a need for my area of interest? You need to establish whether or not there is a market for your product or service. After all, you’re not doing it just to find busy work; chances are, you want to make some money! You do not want to start a business unless there is the potential for clients/customers. Now, if you have observed that there is a niche that is untapped, go ahead and get started before someone else does. Or, if it is a product/service that is already on the market, find something to make your product or service so unique that you will have eager customers who will come to you, instead of going to John Smith two blocks down. When there is a demand, you supply the service or the goods, and Voila! You have met the need.
All right! So you have identified your area of interest and have decided that there is a market. Now, you need to do some research. Where will you place your business? That will depend on what type of business it is going to be. For example, if it is a business like a restaurant, a store, a dry cleaning company, a daycare center, a mechanic shop, a car rental or car dealership, a beauty supply store, a beauty parlor or a barbershop, then location must be added to the equation. Where you place it, how accessible it is, how close to the population you want to target, will help dictate whether or not you are successful.
Here are other factors you must add to the equation: A). how many people will I need to work in the start up? B). how much money will I need to start and to carry me until the business begins to give me an income? C). where will I find the money or other resources that I need? D). what type of license will I need, and where will I need to go to get it?
E). what is the best thing to do – a corporation or a limited liability company, and if a corporation, should it be a “C” or an “S” corporation? F). How do I put together a simple business plan? G). which will help me more at this time – a “for profit” or a “not for profit” business? Remember, that a “not for profit” business provides more opportunity for grants and gifts but it might not be suitable for your particular business. Be willing to do the legwork. Research – research – research! Ask questions and don’t be afraid to seek out people who you know are successful in business. Also, ask people you know who might have failed. If possible, ask them why they closed. You are trying to avoid pitfalls. Remember, any failure can be a lesson. If you stumble, don’t stop. Get up and keep on going. Be positive! Work hard! Go forth and prosper!