With high unemployment and job scarcity in our economy today, the prospect of entrepreneurship may entice those who feel that they have an idea worth pursuing. Though it may not seem like the right time to go into business. Small businesses and ingenuity help to sustain this economy. With any endeavor it takes careful consideration, time, money, and planning before one can start. One of the most important questions a person has to ask is whether or not they see their present interest as a hobby or something they can do professionally. If a person is willing to support their passion with the necessary sacrifice it takes to succeed, then that interest should be pursued.
Starting up a business can be overwhelming; it helps tremendously to create and establish a step by step guide – an action plan that will help guide you on your way to success. Initially it is important to think about what you are good at; knowing where your strengths are. One of the first things an entrepreneur should do is have a clear vision of their business. Think about your areas of interest, your goals and objectives and plan/envision how you are going to accomplish those goals. This should be done in the preliminary stages so you will know in which area to specialize. Some of the initial steps in establishing a business start-up include but are not limited to: knowing what your intentions are and the vision you have for your business; establishing a name and trademark for your business-this will make it more tangible in the initial start-up phase; knowing the market and competition you will face and doing adequate research to get a head up on them; being able to complete the general tasks necessary before launching a business such as bookkeeping and marketing; learning and understanding the legal barriers to starting a business such as acquiring the proper licenses, insurance, and checking your municipality for zoning laws; estimating start-up costs and establishing an inventory; figuring out how you will acquire funding and support for your business.
A vital step would be to seek out a mentor and carefully write up a business plan. Initial plans may not be that extensive and it would be ok to have a business plan that is only one page long. All business must have a plan before they begin, in order for them to succeed. A business plan should include name, location of the company, products and services, objective of business or company, start up costs, future projections, and so on. Business plans will grow and become more extensive as the company grows.
It is best to utilize print and online resources for assistance with business startup. Excellent resource websites include SBA.gov, Entrepreneur.com, and others. There, you can find most of the essential information necessary to get started. Information regarding business ideas, franchising opportunities, online and home based businesses, loans and grants, registering a business, and necessary permits etc. can be found using these online resources. Probably the best practical advice for someone who is genuinely interested in starting a business is to shadow others who are in the position you want to be in. This is important because this will serve as a guide for how to begin your own business venture.
With all of this in mind it is important to know the right steps to take in order to become successful doing what you love. With a good business sense, belief in oneself, perseverance, and determination attaining a successful small business becomes more plausible.
Cierra Saunders is a fourth year student majoring in professional studies. She can be reached at CS659995@wcupa.edu