If you are wondering how do I start a business on my own, you will not only want to know these suggestions on setting the ground work you need, but, more importantly, you will want to make note of these 5 mistakes to avoid. When you start up your own business you will end up making mistakes. However, you don’t want to make the same mistakes everyone else has made that ruined their businesses. Thus, based on experience, I present these ideas to you. Many will have stories of how they did exactly what I advised against and succeeded, but I feel those are not the norm. Also, keep in mind, the true test of a successful endeavor is whether it has been in business for at least five years and has been making a profit. Let’s get started with the fundamentals.
The first thing that you need to be cautious of is going in to debt. Many companies feel that they need to borrow money to start a business. This is a very risky proposition. In fact, some people will get out loans to pay for their startup by using their car or home for collateral. That means if the business fails, you lose your home or vehicle potentially. That is very risky. Some will say that it is the impetus needed to ensure one doesn’t fail, but I feel it is too risky. You can’t always control the marketplace. Sometimes unexpected events like natural disasters can wipe you out before you even had a shot. Thus, when asking how can I start up a business on my own, begin by saving money. I also recommend you start networking at the same time to see what resources are available to you. For example, I would encourage you to visit the www.SBA.gov site to procure information that might be helpful in your quest.
With the first mistake to avoid articulated, the second one is another challenge. Simply put, don’t go all in on a brick and mortar location if you don’t have to. For example, don’t just start looking to buy a building for your business. You don’t know if that location will be the best and you surely don’t want to be locked into for years if it is not. More importantly, when you start your own business, you are going to have enough to worry about. What I mean by that is that you don’t want to play landlord to your building. If you have a heating issue or a plumbing issue, you don’t want to spend your time and money repairing it when you could be servicing customers and making money for yourself. Instead, look for a modest place to rent. Don’t start big. You can always grow into more impressive digs if you are truly successful. Instead, I recommend that you set a budget and then try to rent a space that is less than that. Even smarter, try not to rent a space at all if possible. For example, if you are offering a service such as tutoring, maybe you could go to the person’s house instead. Another option if you are selling products is to make your business entirely online. That way you don’t have to worry about pay for costly overhead.
When confronted with the question of how do I start my business, research your ideas. It’s not just good enough to know you want to go into the doughnut industry. You want to know everything there is to know about it. In other words, what is the profit margin on them. How does that profit margin compare to other bakery items. What are the costs of a start up on your own versus a franchise? How many employees would you need? What are your fixed versus your variable costs? You need to know as much as you can. I would even encourage you to scout the competition. I sometimes find a friendly conversation with the counter help is beneficial. For example, I was just in an ice cream store the other day and asked them if they had been busy as I placed my order. The response was shocking. The lady clearly told me they hadn’t been. I was in disbelief because it was summer. She saw that I looked perplexed and said that everyone wanted frozen yogurt now and were going to the competition. Little insights like that could save you a lot of money potentially and from failure conceivably.
Another thing one needs to avoid is not having a business plan. Sure it will take work, but you need to know the answers to the questions above and, more importantly, you need to know how you are going to make money. Come up with a working model and see if it is realistic. For example, if you say you are going to sell 365,000 wickets a year, then do the math. That means you are going to sell a thousand of those a day. Then ask yourself is that realistic. If it is, also look at how much you will make on that. Calculate your costs and overhead. You might be surprised to learn that selling that many still leaves you in the red.
Finally, when contemplating how do I start a business you need to acknowledge when something isn’t working and fix it or move on. Many people get stuck in the mindset that if they just hold on long enough, things will turn around. If your product or service isn’t selling, there might be something wrong with it or there is no market for it. Thus, don’t be afraid to acknowledge that and try to correct it or move on entirely. Sometimes, a smart business person is one who knows when to cut their losses. A valuable resource for the young entrepreneur is the sba.gov page in my opinion. I hope you have a better understanding of what mistakes to avoid when you tackle the how do I get my business started dilemma. There will be highs and lows and hopefully success. But remember that working for yourself will be difficult, as all the responsibility rests with you. Your hard work will pay off though.
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