What attracted you to becoming an entrepreneur? If you’re like most of us, you wanted to have control of your time, your money, and ultimately your life by doing something that you’re passionate about and truly enjoy doing. Although entrepreneurship has many great benefits, it takes work and time to build a business that many people aren’t properly prepared for. Here are five tips to help you properly prepare yourself and your business for success.
1. Be realistic about what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Many people have the misconception that when they own their own business they will have time and money to do what they want when they want and when they find that it takes more time and effort building their own business than what they were spending at their full-time job, they quit. Owning a business comes with a trade-off. In the early stages of your business, you will put in a lot of work and many hours. If you have a viable business and you build it correctly, you can grow it to a level that allows you to have time freedom and the money you desire.
2. Make sure you have the proper licensing and permits. Even if you are a one-person show you should have a business license. Be familiar with the various business structures (Sole-Proprietorship, LLC or S-Corporation are designed for small businesses) and decide which works best for you. I recommend speaking with a trusted CPA and/or Business Attorney to help choose the best fit.
3. Study and get to know your market. Do some research to find out if the product or service you have to sell is something people will want or need to buy. Many people make the mistake of starting a business based off of what they want rather than what the market wants and then wonder why their business isn’t growing. Remember, it’s not about you it’s about your prospective customers. If you do your research before you jump into the market you will save yourself a lot of frustration and headache AND a lot of money.
4. Have a written plan. Take some time to map out your goals, estimate the costs of running your business, the strategies you will use to build it, and how you will keep yourself in the game through the difficulties that will arise. Having a plan will provide you with direction to keep you focused on your goals and help you overcome both the expected and unexpected challenges.
5. Treat your business like a business and not a hobby. When you are in business for yourself and you have no boss to be accountable to, it’s really easy to become distracted, especially if you live in a place like Seattle where it rains a lot and it’s a nice sunny day and you want to take your boat out. Keep in mind, when you aren’t working, you aren’t getting paid (at least not in the early stages of your business).
Catherine M. White
Catherine M. White, founder of Accelerated Results 365, is an author, speaker and innovator. She works with high performance clients to strategically develop effective business processes for continued high level success using her signature system, P.O.W.E.R.R., designed specifically for visionaries, and entrepreneurs. This program leads to authoritative breakthroughs by creating innovative tools that enable businesses to catapult past the competition.
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