Kudos to you for chasing your dreams. Now what? At the office here, we’ve had our fair share of entrepreneurial ups and downs. Let me share some of our lessons learned:
Always Start with a Business Plan
Why are you in business? What’s your goal? What’s your strategy? Who are your potential customers? No matter how well you know the marketplace, a written plan keep you on track and accountable to yourself and shareholders. As Benjamin Franklin puts it - if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Making your Business Legit
Entrepreneurs tend to be doers. They work on their ideas for years without registration the business. Big mistake! You should register your business as soon as possible; that includes permits and licenses and tax registration. Someone here missed out on years of government grants because she wasn’t aware of the different programs. While you are at it, this is also a good time to find a good accountant.
Manage Cash Wisely
Now that you have the capital, spend it wisely. According to Dunn & Bradstreet, 90% of small business failures are cash flow related. Easy way to get started – do an annual budget, review monthly budget variance and actively manage your cash flow projection.
Get the Word Out
You might not be ready to rent that billboard on the side of the highway just yet but you should have a 1-minute sales pitch to start educating those around you about your business. Be ready for feedback. Your business plan will go through much iteration until it’s ready for prime time. Embrace the feedback. Be agile.
Detours are Inevitable
Don’t get afraid of making mistakes. Embrace those that provide criticism. The key is the ability to self reflect and the timeliness of course correction.
Starting your own business is no simple task; it requires a shift in almost every aspect of your life. Stay focus on the task on hand will help keep your eyes on the prize.
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