Are you bored with your ho hum career and dreaming of becoming an entrepreneur? Starting a small business means being your own boss and following your dreams, but along with opportunity comes a lot of challenges. Do you have what it takes? Here’s what to know about starting a business before you make the leap.
What does it take to start a business?
Running a business requires more than technical prowess. These are just a few of the responsibilities on a small business owner’s plate:
Applying for business licenses and permits.
Paying income, sales, and payroll taxes.
Invoicing and bookkeeping.
Ordering and managing supplies.
Responding to customers.
Marketing your business.
Many of these jobs can be outsourced. In fact, many of them should. Whether it’s hiring a web developer to build a custom website, an illustrator like Wittner Design to create print and digital designs, or a Certified Public Accountant to manage your taxes, some jobs are best left to the professionals. Not only will you get better results, you’ll avoid spending all your time on tasks that don’t generate revenue.
How to brush up on business skills
Delegating makes a business owner’s workload more manageable, but it doesn’t eliminate it. As the head of a company, you’re still in charge of making strategic decisions for your business.
With so much at stake, you want to be confident the decisions you make are smart ones. But how? If you’re uncomfortable with learning through trial and error — and losing money in the process — invest in education before starting your first business.
As Business Insider notes, informal learning through podcasts is a great place for prospective entrepreneurs to test the waters. Here, you can get introduced to a variety of business concepts without investing a lot of money or time. However, when you’re serious about starting a business, consider a formal degree program.
Going back to school for a master’s in business administration takes time, but your efforts pay off with the knowledge you need to build a thriving business. You could even complete your MBA online while working a full-time job as you prepare to become an entrepreneur.
How to reduce financial risk when starting a business
Learning before you leap is one way to prepare yourself for the rigors of starting a business, but lack of knowledge isn’t the only reason small businesses fail. Many small businesses succumb to financial problems when they can’t access capital, fail to manage cash flow, or encounter unforeseen expenses.
The best thing any entrepreneur can do to minimize financial risk is develop a business plan. A business plan is more than a rough framework; it’s a step-by-step guide that lays out what your business will do and how it will do it. In addition to writing a solid business plan, first-time entrepreneurs should improve their personal finances before taking the plunge. By saving up to start your business, you limit the loans you need to take on so you can focus on building profits instead of paying debts.
Grow notes some entrepreneurs opt to start their business on the side of a full-time job. While building a side business means slower growth, it offers the benefit of cash flow and financial security in a small business’s early years. This is an especially good choice for entrepreneurs building a service-based business, where all it takes is a website and marketing to start building a customer base.
Starting your own business can be incredibly fulfilling. However, don’t let your passion for entrepreneurship cause you to rush in unprepared. By spending time learning, saving, and planning before putting your entrepreneurial skills to the test, you can start a business that’s built to last.
Written by Derek Goodman | September 2020 Inbizability.com
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