The Foundation to a Successful Business
So, you want to start a business, but you don’t know where to start. Although this may be mind-boggling, lots of entrepreneurial minds face this awful issue! Some people are so timid of asking for advice that, this alone is one of the main reasons why some quit the idea before they even start. Depending on whom you decide to ask, the advice you receive range from one end of the spectrum to the other. For now, I will provide you with a few steps of what I consider the foundation to a successful business. Even though there is no wrong or right answer, the steps should include writing a clear business plan, building a reliable team, and lastly, establishing credit!
The first step is creating a business plan. A business plan can be simply described as a blueprint for your business. In this initial phase of launching your business, this should be taken very seriously. This is the part of the business where you must really do YOUR research! You must study and learn the market, research competition, estimate projected costs, consider legal requirements, identify what makes your business stand out more than another business, and determine the marketing tactics you will use. Also, be sure to include the goals for your business over different periods of time. After you have completed your business plan, I suggest you put it away for maybe a week and then go over it. Read it like it’s your first time and make any changes that you find are necessary. I want to advise you that after you start building your business according your plan, you may have to make changes. This is perfectly normally; do not be discouraged!
The second step is building a reliable team. This step is important because you are not going to be able to complete everything on your own. You will have to locate key people that have the same passion and vision as yourself. Do not give someone a “position” based on the relationship that you have with them, recruit them based off their drive and ambition. Now, majority of people may require that you pay them for their time. Even though this is expected, there are ways to get around that! Go to your local college and recruit interns! This benefits all the parties involved. It benefits you, the business owner, because you have located someone who will do labor in exchange for experience, you have someone working on your project that is up-to-date on the news trends, and you have built rapport with the professor of the academic program who may be able to refer you more interns. This partnership benefits the college student, intern, because they can get experience while they are learning, participate in building a new business, and they increase their credibility and chances of being hired after graduation. Lastly, this benefits the school by showing their dedication to the community, and they have a business owner that is open to help train their students and prepare them for life after college.
The final step is establishing credit! Credit is a very broad topic and an even bigger business. For those who do not know, there are two types of credit: personal and business credit. Credit affects all areas of your life and should not be taken lightly. When you are in business for yourself, having good credit is a necessity. It will help you expand, purchase new equipment, obtain new merchandise, and free up your personal cash flow. Having good credit will also prevent you from borrowing from friends, family, savings accounts, retirement accounts, and refinance your home. One does not come into business having good credit, it must be built over time. If done correctly and consistently, it can be very rewarding!
As stated earlier, there is no right or wrong answer for starting a business, but there are many. Each of those many topics can be very compact with important information. Although the three steps I discussed were in a chronological order, they are not in an order based off of a level of importance. They all deserve concentrated attention. Let me also add...never take someone’s word when doing business. Always have every deal, partnership or agreement on paper. The reason is because of partners not living up to their end of the bargain and the other partner failed to obtain an ironclad contract stating the terms.