Opening a business is one of the exciting things you can do. It’s a wonderful way to take a life rich with experience and create a way to make money from that. We go into business for a variety of reasons, from being the best at something, to inventing a product, filling a gap, being downsized, or wanting to be our own boss (there’s a little bit of that 3-year-old in all of us- right?).
Over the years I’ve helped a lot of start-ups, and I can put the winners and the losers into two categories. The winners are those who engage fully with the start-up process, educating themselves about the ‘business’ side of the business. The losers, well, they pretty much wing it. They figure they’ll ‘handle all that stuff later’ and then never do. So you can have a brilliant person who hits a home run with a product or really cool service, but will still lose at business because they ignore the accounting or don’t put in processes.
1. Research your business idea. Check feasibility, your market, and whether you can make a living at it. Look at websites, marketing, see what the average income for businesses in that industry is. Do you need a special license? Google = your BFF. Being fully armed with information can keep you from making a costly mistake.
2. Talk to people. Talk to people running businesses in your field as well as to your future customer base. They’re a source of information and inspiration. Most people love
to help so don’t be afraid to ask!
3. Write these things out:
• What your company will do
• Who its customers will be
• How you will sell your service or product
• Calculate the cost to produce your service or product & what you will charge
• Business location, staff projections
• Sales strategy and promotional ideas
• Realistic budget
• Realistic sales and net earnings projections
If you write all that out – you’ll have a legit business plan.
4. Decide how you’ll fund your business. Options are business loans, investors, friends & family, crowdfunding or self-funded (bootstrapping). Many businesses start out as a side-gig until it’s proven that a living can be made at it.
I recommend you look into getting your business certified as a woman-owned business by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. It can help you qualify for money that’s only for certified businesses. There are also grants and contracts available for women-owned businesses that can help ensure success.
5. Build a solid foundation from the start. Set in writing your standards and the systems you’ll use to ensure the standards are met. Set up a basic accounting system from Day One. Bring in help if you can’t do it on your own.
For a more in-depth list, click here for your Start Up Check List
My own boss was created for women entrepreneurs by women entrepreneurs with decades of business experience. We’ll show you that you don’t need a business degree to be successful, and we’ll guide you through those hardest parts of owning a business, by teaching and empowering you to truly own all the pieces of it. And you know what? When you do that, you’ll be able to focus on what you love and do best.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. I love hearing from you!
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