from Company.com 7/13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz 4/14
Starting a new business is fun & exciting, but it can be full of obstacles & mistakes, if you are not careful. That’s why we put together our top 10 steps you should take when starting your new business.
Step 1: Am I an Entrepreneur? There’s a big difference between wanting to start your own business and being ready to start your own business. The Small Business Association (SBAamerica.com) offers a free 40-point Questionnaire for potential entrepreneurs. In a nutshell, you should know the business you’re looking to enter, be prepared to risk some money and a lot of time, plus have some idea of how to manage your financial resources & basic business challenges. The Questionnaire also asks a few questions about your emotional state, which may be just as important for you to understand before you begin.
What are the Traits of an Entrepreneur? A study conducted at Southern Methodist University’s Business School (Cox.SMU.edu) identified a dozen personal and emotional characteristics associated with successful entrepreneurs. Some are obvious – self confidence, an attraction to challenges, and a need to control & direct. Some traits are less obvious – good health helps, because entrepreneurship can benefit from energy. Also, entrepreneurs often have a low need for status, at least as measured by stuff you own. The challenge matters more than the wealth for many successful entrepreneurs. And, while entrepreneurs can be “work hard-play hard” folks, they tend to be very serious about business with a realistic, disciplined & objective outlook about how their company does and how their people perform.
Buy-in. You probably need to have friends & family on board with your entrepreneurial vision as well. You will be working hard – maybe harder than you’ve ever worked before – and you’re probably going to have to make some personal sacrifices in time & money to be successful. You need to be ready for the reactions of the people close to you.
What’s your Vision? You need to know what you really want out of your business. Some people start their own business to find freedom from corporate life. Some want a chance at taking their idea and making $$ out of it. Some people they have something that will really benefit the world. Whatever your motivation, you need to know why you’re doing this, so you can align your company’s goals with your own.
Step 2: Now let’s start Planning.
The best way to know what you’re facing, is writing a Business Plan. Then you can get your ideas on paper & show it to others. This will help you clarify it. A Business Plan makes you sit down and think deeply about what you’re going to need to do to make your business work. Banks & Investors and even some potential employees will generally want to see one before you can get their attention. Both the SBA.gov & SCORE – a Business Mentoring group of retired executives – have tools & guides to help you write a business plan.
[ Business Plan continued, Step 3: Learn your Legal responsibilities, Step 4: Incorporate & get your Licenses in Premium Content ]