Start-Up Tips: What to do First

You’ve had the entrepreneurial bug for a while now, but for one reason or another, you keep putting your plans on hold. Well, the truth is that if you want to start a business that badly, there must be something in your life that you’re eager to change. Maybe it is your financial situation, your work schedule, your freedom, or perhaps your personal satisfaction. Owning your own business can affect all of these things and so much more. Don’t you owe it to yourself to at least give it a shot?

We think so. The first step is to take a look at the big picture. Here are some issues you’ll need to address right off the bat.

Time Commitment
Your business doesn’t have to be a full-time project or take over your life completely. Figure out how much time you could devote to a new venture, keeping in mind that entrepreneurs rarely abide by the traditional 40-hour work week.

Start-Up Tips: What to do First

What resources do you have at your disposal? Raw materials, skilled labor, another business in the family, money, access to office space? Sometimes your opportunities can even be defined by the things you have available to you. When you start a new business, you need all the help you can get, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Your Goals
What do you want to achieve for yourself, for your family? What inspired you to want to own your own business in the first place? Keep these goals at the forefront of your mind. These are what will keep you motivated and active in your pursuits.

Define and Refine Your Concept You probably have something in mind, but odds are that you haven’t done a lot of research on the concept just yet. Start to actively investigate your ideas. Do some research and really start to think through how feasible your concept really is. Can you make money at it? Is there really a need for it? Is your target market well-defined? Do you have a good grasp of what will be involved?

A Business Plan
Think about working on a business plan. Even if it is just a few pages, putting your concept down on paper is a crucial step. This will help you think it through on a more sophisticated level, and furnish you with something to show people who can help you get up and running. It will also act as a kind of insurance policy to help you understand what you’re getting into and safeguard you against a slew of needless errors.

Action Plan
The most important thing you can do now is come up with a plan of attack. If you’re really going to do this now, or at least investigate it further, give yourself some timelines and benchmarks to keep you moving. If you don’t, you may be sitting around the same time next year, wondering when you’re ever going to start this new business of yours.

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