Have you faced a recent career setback? Maybe you didn’t get the promotion you hoped for or worse, were laid off. Regardless, if your career isn’t shaping up as you’d planned, you may be thinking it’s time to reassess. And of course, one option could be by starting your own business and become the boss.
A guest post by Larry Mager
If the thought of being your own boss sounds appealing, you aren’t alone. But do you have what it takes? If you are organized, professional, and ready for hard work, you just might. Follow these six steps to get started.
Step One: Start With Strong Ideas
Starting a business will be fruitless if you don’t have a strong idea, to begin with. However, since the majority of business owners don’t wait for a good idea to start being an entrepreneur, you may have to start at the drawing board. Hold a brainstorming session with your friends, co-workers, or loved ones to develop ideas that might turn into a solid business model. Once you have an idea that seems credible, successful, and realistic, move forward.
Image: StartupStockPhotos (Pixabay)
Step Two: Develop Your Idea
You have a solid idea. Now, you’ll need to conduct a significant amount of research to determine whether or not your idea has the potential to grow into a company. Talk to executives with experience in the field. You should also get in touch with financial aids, entrepreneurs, and business owners to see firsthand what builds success. Once you have completely developed your idea, ask yourself whether or not you think a business model is possible.
If the answer is yes, the time has come to think about finances.
Image: StartupStockPhotos (Pixabay)
Step Three: Establish Financial Guidelines
It is nearly impossible to start a business without first establishing a set of financial guidelines. How much funding, if any, do you need to get started? What will equipment cost? Do you need to lease space for your business or can you run it out of your home? Write down all possible expenses and incurred costs.
From there, think about profit and revenue. How much will you charge for your product or services? What factors should you take into consideration when setting your price? For example, if you’re starting a housecleaning business should you charge by the size of the property being cleaned or by the hour? If you’re opening a clothing boutique, how much should you mark up the items you’re selling?
What is your target revenue – and what will your business look like should it meet that goal? These are all essential things to think about before moving toward the next step.
Step Four: Obtain Start-Up Funding
Now that you have an idea of what your company’s finances will look like, start the process of obtaining the start-up funds you need to get going. You can go through a preferred bank, large-scale investors, or shareholders. You can also sink your own money into the business. This is, however, discouraged. It can be difficult to make responsible decisions about finances when your family funds are tied to the business.
If you don’t have access to the funds you need, you may need to consider ways to start your business on a smaller scale. For example, if you want to open your own bakery, you may need to start by baking items at your home that you, then, sell through local stores. If that smaller venture is successful, you may be able to scale up to having your own brick and mortar space.
Funding will likely be one of the first big hurdles you face as a potential business owner. There are almost always solutions. Don’t let it discourage you. Learn more about funding options through Inc.
Step Five: Organize Your Company
Once you have the start-up funds you need to build your business, start organizing. There are a thousand ways to accomplish this feat and each one requires a different set of skills. You may want to hire an accountant, a lawyer, and a secretary to help you keep track of everything.
If you own a small business, you’ll need to be impeccably organized on your own time. This means keeping folders and files, maintaining your schedule, and meeting important deadlines. You can learn more about the importance of organization through Small Business.
Step Six: Always Continue Building
Even after your company is up and running, never assume you’ve finished building. There will always be an innovation, idea, or method to try. The strongest factor involved in creating a successful business is adapting to change. Before you get started, ask yourself, “Am I able to constantly continue improving?”
If you need a more expansive step-by-step guide, Entrepreneur recently published a useful checklist that may help. Follow these steps, and you’ll have a strong chance at building a business that is successful for years to come.
Mr. Mager believes exercising the brain is just as important as exercising the body. He enjoys writing about mental fitness games, puzzles, and other resources. He created ReadyBrain.net to help give people the mental workout they need to have a healthy brain.