“I’m tired of working for ‘the man’ and want to start my own business”. How many times has this exact thought crossed your mind? Maybe it’s time you act on the thought and make it a reality. Let’s take a look at the top five action verbs for starting your business.
- What drives you get out of bed and conquer the day? What tugs at your heartstrings and sparks emotion? What fulfills your desire to be/do more? What excites you? It’s important to spend time in your thoughts and really evaluate what creates value in your life. Write down every idea that comes to mind, big, small, silly or serious.
- Make a list of pros and cons for each idea. Don’t erase or strike through any idea! Don’t hesitate, just write.
- Narrow your list to your top three contenders. Utilize online, print and a trusted sphere of influence resources. Drive your local market and make note of competitors. Take copious notes and organize your findings.
- Visit local businesses and professional organizations to gain market insight. Take advantage of free services like collegiate small business assistance programs, entrepreneur workshops and community involvement opportunities. Ask questions. Observe. Listen. Take notes.
- Select your top business opportunity. Develop a business and marketing plan, long-term business goals, start-up budget, long-term budget and plan of action.
Most new business owners want to start at the “end” and work their way backwards; finding your new business location is not the first step. Think of the business ownership process like buying a home. When you begin the [home buying] process, you start with a list of “must haves”- location, size, neighborhood, layout, price, etc. Your next step is to visit your lender for pre-qualification. Finally, you begin searching the market for perspective homes in your desired scope of criteria and price range. Treat your new business process like buying a home. Start with steps one through five above before beginning your search for the perfect location. You don’t want to fall in love with a location before knowing it’s within your budget. When you’ve done your homework on the front end, it’ll make your business home hunt much easier.