Have a great idea for a business? Do you need a little extra income? Do you have a job that you can’t leave right now, but really want to be your own boss? These are just a few of the questions that present themselves to millions of Americans. People, just like you, aren’t satisfied with their 9-to-5 slog and want to do something different, something for themselves.
It’s not enough to simply have a great idea, or want a change. The list of “To Dos” to get a small business off the ground can seem daunting, and this is where most people stop. But you don’t have to be one of those people. How does a little beaver build a dam so big that it changes the direction of a river? By moving one log at a time.
1. Business Plan – You’ve got one right? If you don’t, you have to have one. Don’t think you need one? You’re wrong. Not sure how to make one? No problem! A business plan needs to be as detailed as possible. Exactly how much time does it take for you to make one product? Where will you store your finished goods? How much can you realistically sell those for? The more detailed you are, the better you can plan, the more successful you can be.
2. Honesty is Key – True, you don’t want to deceive your customers, but that isn’t where honesty is most important. You have to be honest with yourself. Can you really produce that many widgets in a weekend? How much exactly will it cost you to sell your wares? It will only hurt you later if you’re not honest with yourself now.
3. Think Big, Act Small – You’ve got a dream, a fantastic idea, and you want to make it happen yesterday. It’s okay to want to be a national distributor or be a big-time consultant, but you can’t get there from here…yet. You can’t – or shouldn’t – quit your job and throw yourself into your new endeavor. No, you should start carving out time, money, and resources in small increments. Build up your little business until it starts making more money than your “day job.” THEN you can go full-time on your dream. Keep your end-goals in mind, even as you go about doing the menial tasks that are going to get you there.
4. Have Passion – Starting a small business is draining on almost every part of your life. It will suck up your free cash, your time, and sometimes your loved one’s patience. To weather these tough beginnings, you must love what you are doing. This is you working for you. There’s no one else. If you can’t be motivated by your fledgling business, aren’t driven to give up so much for it, then your idea will fail. If you have a passion for what you are doing, motivation isn’t a problem. Keep it up, and one day you’ll find yourself thinking, “I can’t believe people pay me for doing what I love.”
This is by no means a comprehensive list for starting a business, but these tips are some of the more crucial ones. Love what you’re doing, map out your path, be honest with yourself, and do the little things that make your grand idea a possibility. Do all that and you will be well on your way to living the dream!