Are You Ready to Start a Business?
Thinking about starting your own business? Here are informational tools that can help you determine what you will need.
The first thing you need to determine is “Are you ready to start a business?”
- Do you have the determination and time to maintain a business?
- Can you meet your current responsibilities while you are working to start this business?
- Do you want to invest the time and energy a business requires?
Once you are sure about these concerns, then you can start. Next, understand that a business is not to be treated lightly. It involves a serious commitment of your time and resources, and the smallest details need to be thought out.
A successful business takes more than just a good product or a catchy name; it needs a solid base. Begin your business with a business foundation, which is figuring out who will fill key roles in the business.
Each area of a business foundation requires a different set of skills and talents, and many small business owners have to fill multiple roles.
Entrepreneurs –These are people who focus on the future with a vision of what a business could be. They strive to add value to the products and entice customers. They also predict trends in markets and plan ahead for a business.
Traits of an “entrepreneur”:
- Sees the big picture
- Is highly self-motivated
- Thinks often of ways to improve things
- Feels excited about explaining business ideas
Managers – These are people who focus on the past and some of the present. They are organizers who monitor income and expenses. They coordinate resources and make decisions to help run the day-to-day operations of a business.
Traits of a “manager”:
- Organizes information
- Has good planning and time-management skills
- Wants to know the smallest details
- Has good decision-making skills
Technicians –These people focus on the present and are the producers who create the goods or services of a business. They have skills in specific industries and work to refine their skills and improve in their area of expertise.
Skills of a “technician” might include the following:
- Cuts hair
- Repairs cars
- Bakes pastries
- Builds computers
- Speaks multiple languages
- Grows vegetables
Make three lists (one for each role) and write down people you know who fill that role in businesses similar to yours. Use these contacts as networking options to learn about each role in your industry.
In most communities there are organizations that exist to help entrepreneurs be successful. These organizations provide a variety of services. Much of the help they offer is free, but many of the organizations offer certain services for a fee. These organizations are a tremendous resource to someone who is just starting a business. Some of the services that may be offered include the following:
- Help developing your business plan
- Assistance in finding funding
- Market research
- Business management skills
Identify the small-business organizations that exist in your community and contact them to learn of the services they have to offer. Seeking help from such resources will increase the likelihood that your business will succeed. You can use ldsjobs.org to search for such resources by creating an account and searching the Small Business Organizations section.
This is the best resource for learning about the unique challenges of a specific business. Talking to people who have already started a business and dealt with the daily tasks will let you know what challenges to expect. For example, a network contact can help you understand the different laws and regulations for industries in your country. You can also learn from the mistakes and successes of others. Remember that people generally want to help, and it is only a matter of politely asking. For more ideas on networking, see Networking and the Self-Employment Workshop.
Things you can learn from networking:
- Which licenses and permits are required for a business and whom to get them from
- Local government agencies
- Good systems for managing business resources
- Your limits, for example, do you know enough about finances, or will you need to hire an accountant?
- Needed resources, for example, will you need a Web site to compete in this industry?
When working on the numerous aspects of starting a business, a business plan is a way to structure your ideas and organize the information you gather.
A business plan outlines:
- Why people will want to use your business.
- What materials it will require.
- What kind of manpower it will require.
- How you intend to get these resources.
For more information, see Developing A Business Plan.