Starting your own Business: Hard, but not Impossible.

Posted by Nikoletta Ventseslavova

Read this if: You want to face your fears and live your dream of having your own business, but you don’t know how.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work.”    Thomas Edison

Perhaps 99% of  people dream about being their own boss and working at what they really enjoy . Meanwhile, those who dare to change their lives are few and the rest of us consider  starting a business as complicated and difficult. Many people forfeit entrepreneurship, because they don’t think that they possess what it takes to start a business. Fear is their main obstacle, which drives the masses towards the security of a steady 9-5. Fear is natural. And more importantly, how to resist it. Mark Twain wrote:  “Courage is not absence of fear, but the mastery of it.” Motivational speaker Bryan Tracy says that when we resist our anxieties and move against them, our fears gradually disappear and our self-confidence grows. But if we don’t overcome them, they will  manage our entire lives.

Nobody is too Disadvantaged to be his own boss

Every new business needs its goals and strategy. But before setting them there are important things to consider. Stephen Murphy, a business marketing expert and owner of SBC Marketing group relates in his blog many interesting stories. Here are two of them, which are really easy to identify with:

A Vietnamese couple arrived in the United States a few years ago, penniless. The only person they knew was a cousin who had a small bakery in Houston. He took them in and gave them minimum wage jobs working in the bakery. But he was getting older and he told them that if they could come up with $30,000, he would sell them the bakery. That became their goal.They lived in the back of the bakery, sleeping on flour sacks and putting their two children in the local schools. They got up at 3 o’clock in the morning and worked 14 and 15 hour days. They earned $8,000 per year after taxes and they saved $6,000 per year for five years until they had the $30,000 to buy the bakery.Today, they own a chain of bakeries, they live in a beautiful home, their children are in excellent universities and they are financially independent.

“One guy from the Soviet Union arrived in the USA with one cardboard box with all his possessions. For his first year in America he was delivering pizzas in his neighborhood. Meanwhile he was studying English as well as American business and success ideas. A year later his English was good enough, so he got a job selling printing from business to business. In the third year he started his own business as a printing broker and sold one million dollars of printing, earning a 20% commission for himself. In the next two years he managed to earn more than $600,000 for himself.”

Murphy gives this example to underline that “74% of all self-made millionaires in America today got there by starting and building their own successful businesses. And here’s an important point: ” Not one of these people had ever been in or owned a business before they started and built their own businesses.” It’s not necessary to have experience in  entrepreneurship. Just to learn everything necessary and then apply it to your work as you go along. “What millions of other people have done, you can do as well.”

The First Step

Initially, be prepared to go beyond borders, and to accept the feeling that you are the first person who has ever done such a business. From your perspective, you are. You need a business plan, including the process of deciding what exactly you will do and how to accomplish your objectives.

Plan

According to Danette Richards, director of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce and author of “The 7 irrefutable Rules of Small Business Growth”, the key areas that follow in the schedule are:marketing and sales strategy, type of management, personnel, operation and financial projections.

You’ll need a good organization and documentation. Before you get a business license, you need to talk with an accountant and decide what the formal structure will be- or whether it will be a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation. Catha Evans, owner of Evans Financial Services reports: “People don’t always understand the tax and liability implications based on their organizational structure. Often business owners seek help from an accounting and financial expert after they start to have problems. While I’m happy to work with business owners at any stage of their operations, it’s much better for them if things are set up correctly at the start.

Assess Risk and Resources needed

The key to a successful a business is the risk calculation. Be prepared for the worst scenario and have a plan “B”. Calculate the basic indicators of business like profitability and cash flow. Identify the resources, needed to achieve objectives: Manpower, production,etc. Check the credibility of your plan and make it resistant to the changing market. This can be done by reviewing previous data and the statistics of  competitors.For example, if you anticipate a number of sales, it is best to try to find out the sales of a competitor to confirm your estimate. Be aware of how much money you will need to get your business started and have a plan for how to  access extra funds if needed. When it comes to finances, think of using the services of business administration offices that provide counselling and financial assistance through grant, loan, bond and equity capital partners. Furthermore, banks and other finance companies may help you to determine how much you can borrow by taking into account your credit and other factors.

Focus

Richards explains that the crucial point in the early days is not to fall into the cycle of distraction. Many new business owners tend to spend a lot of time on superficial activities like designing a logo, or selecting furniture, instead of focusing on really important factors like the business structure. “Once you start moving toward opening your own business, there are a ton of things that need to be done. Some of them are fun. Some of them are less enjoyable, but are still necessary. That’s why it’s vital to focus on the plan and structure the map for a success start.

Analyze the competition

If you want to be successful, don’t be afraid to explore and learn from your competitors. At the least, you can use their experience and ideas and use them as a basis for your business. Be open to new approaches and be creative, think how you can attract loyal customers and only how to make short term profits.

Elbow Grease

Initial preparations for starting a business is hard work, but once the door is open, your work is just beginning. In most cases, it will be necessary to put in more time than a 40 hour work week.  Moreover,new businessmen have to accept that sometimes it takes a while before revenue exceeds expenses and there may not be a pay in exchange for efforts.

You need Balls

You need courage to begin. Professor Robert Ronstadt of Babson College, who teaches there “Foundations of entrepreneurship” followed the fate of his alumni and found that 10% of them founded their own companies with success. He established the single quality they had: passionate desire to have their own business and confidence to make the concrete steps. The other graduates were waiting for things to get arranged by themselves, without any initial steps on their part, they didn’t want to embark on the unknown corridor, without a guarantee that it will be successful. Prof. Ronstadt introduced the “principle of the corridor”- Successful people move straight to their goals like walking through a long corridor with a lot of doors, that can be opened. In order to reach the doors, they need to move on, otherwise the doors remain unnoticed, unreached. The future belongs to those who accept risk. Bryan Tracy, admits that life is perverse in the following sense: the more you look for security and stability, the less you obtain them and vice versa.

A journey of a thousand leagues begins with a single step.” Confucius

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