To be successful in life, you essentially have two choices. You can work for someone else, toiling away daily at a position and venture created by someone else, or you can go into business for yourself. It is the latter that is by far the most rewarding. Starting a business is not easy and it would be disingenuous at best to say that anyone can do it; but with the right idea, a higher-than-average ambitious drive and the proper know-how passed down from countless entrepreneurs before you, you could be well on your way to becoming the business owner you’ve always dreamed about. The following rundown will give you some idea as to the steps required when it comes to starting your own business. First, a reality check.
Drive Vs. Reality
You have a really good idea for starting a business and you are absolutely confident that it will be a success. Don’t start burning hundred dollar bills to light your cigars just yet. Before you can hope to start a successful business, you need to do a little bit of recon work. You need to do lots of research to see if your idea is viable and if there’s a market for the types of businesses that you have in mind. Yet even with the best idea and even with an identifiable market, most small to medium sized businesses fail within the first five years. Even if you make it five years, there is no guarantee that your business will be profitable, or at least as profitable as you would like.
This isn’t meant to dissuade you from starting a business. It’s meant to reel you in a little bit before you get into trouble by mere blind ambition. Now that you have had your reality check, let’s get started with that future successful business idea.
Types Of Businesses And Market Research
The good news is that you were fortunate enough to wait until right now to get started on your new venture. That is because the Internet is everywhere and nothing is more useful for conducting business and market research. No longer do you have to hire focus groups and stand outside in the sun all day asking for survey volunteers. Now you can sit in your home or office and see in real time if there is in fact a market for what you want to do.
Out of all the types of businesses in this world, they all have one thing in common: They offer goods or services to people who have no problem paying for those commodities. Whether you are starting a business to be a butcher, a carpet cleaner, a dentist or a toy store owner, you must come up with something of value and then you need to find people with money who won’t mind trading it for the products and services you plan to offer.
Then, go online to see if you can find competitors and future customers. Look for people who have a problem you can solve with your new venture. If you want to open a skydiving instruction clinic, you will want to find people asking about reputable skydivers in your area.
When you have pinpointed the type of business you want to start and you are confident that you can succeed among all the other types of business out there, that’s when the hard work comes in.
You need to formulate a business plan, which will be your road map to success, more or less; and only then will you get into funding, your business location, the legal status of your business, along with a tax ID number and your business name filed with the state. You can get help starting a business from your local Small Business Administration (SBA). You can typically talk to a retired former business owner, who can guide you through all the steps required to get your business started and off the ground; and they work with all types of businesses from tanning salons to car dealerships to car washes to baby carriage makers. If you are thinking about starting a business, they will help you do it.
Right now you have a business idea, and that’s important. The next step in starting a business is to make your idea a reality. Start researching online, visit forums and start threads asking for opinions on your or other types of businesses, without giving too much away. Once you have identified your market, put your plan into motion and keep your motivation revved into the danger zone. Once you have hit that five year hurdle, then you can relax; but don’t get too comfortable. With enough hard work and the proper plan, you may soon be lighting your cigars with a handful of charred Benjamins.