The Most Comprehensive Guide for Your Start-Up Business

 

The great thing about entrepreneurs is that anybody can be one. It isn’t hard to find stories about someone with a million-dollar idea who turned their dreams of success into reality. However, dreams and ideas aren’t enough; no matter how great they are. 

Being an entrepreneur means working hard in a way most people aren’t willing to deal with. Not that hard work is enough by itself either. The list of what makes a business venture successful is a lengthy one, and achieving that success is harder than most people content punching a timeclock will ever realize. 

Even if a business does all those things right, success is never guaranteed. However, there are steps an aspiring entrepreneur can take to make the odds a little more in their favor.

Start with a Plan

There is a great deal of undeserved romanticism when it comes to winging it at business. We do hear the occasional anecdote of how someone stumbled into multi-million-dollar success when their eBay store or blog took off out of nowhere. 

Success stories like this are rare, and these budding entrepreneurs soon take things more seriously and create a plan once business grows beyond a side hustle.

A business plan provides a perceived roadmap for the first few years of operation. While success is never guaranteed, a well-done business plan can give insights about potential growth opportunities and pitfalls to avoid. 

It also gives you something to show the bank if you need a business loan. Lenders want as little risk as possible, and having something to show that you did your homework goes a long way. Entrepreneurs with a good business plan are twice as likely to secure a loan than those without one. 

Funding Your Enterprise

Different businesses require different amounts of money to get started. Some ideas take off with a shoestring budget of a few hundred dollars, while others may require a quarter million or more to get started. As a business owner, you need to find out what you’ll need. Once you have a dollar amount, you’ll need to figure out how to raise it.

While there is nothing wrong with getting starting capital from a bank, there are other potential resources to draw from. Sam Walton started Walmart in part with a $20,000 loan from his father in law. Others used their own equity or even sold their personal belongings. Kevin Smith sold his comic book collection to help bankroll his first film, Clerks.

Avoid risky sources of money, no matter how tempting it may be. Maxing out credit cards can create years or even decades of debilitating debt if your business fails. The same goes for using certain personal assets as collateral. Never take out a business loan against your home.

Safety First

Easily avoidable injuries to workers or customers can happen to any business. When most people think of workplace safety, their minds go to construction sites with hardhat zones or factories filled with machines ready to take the fingers of careless workers. 

The truth is most workplace injuries involve falls or job-related health issues like carpal tunnel syndrome. Workers compensation isn’t only for blue-collar laborers. Make sure all work areas are safe, have ergonomic office furniture, and secure all rugs and runners. 

Small seeming safety concerns like this may not feel like a priority to an entrepreneur during the chaos and excitement of starting a new venture, but stopping a workplace accident before it happens can do as much to keep the doors open as doubling sales. 

Change and Adapt

No business or industry is static. Trends will come and go, and technology can change the playing field so much that some companies fail before they have the chance to adapt. There may be no better example of this than the rise and fall of Blockbuster Video

Be active instead of reactive when it comes to new technology. Look for new tools and technology-fueled industry trends and research them thoroughly. Find out which ones will help, and which ones won’t, before the competition chooses for you. Your business must remain flexible. Plan for the changes you see coming but never become so rigid that you can’t adapt to the changes you don’t see coming.

Get Ready for a New World

Your life will change as a business owner. It’s rewarding, but it has challenges many aren’t prepared for. Regular hours are gone, and so is the steady paycheck. Sick days, days off, and vacations will become much rarer and often will still require you to work. Sit around a hotel pool for a couple of hours, and you will eventually hear a business owner “on vacation” answering calls from customers or employees needing guidance. 

 

Comments

What Next?

Recent Articles