Plenty of young people are eager to start a small business. After all, who would not want to be their own boss? Although small businesses comprise the majority of the country’s economy, statistics from the U.S. Small Business Association showed that about a half of small business opening closes down within five years.
Businesses fail for many reasons, but most often, it is due to the simple lack of preparation. It can be overwhelming being an entrepreneur juggling various tasks and responsibilities. But with the right mindset and willingness to take necessary steps, business success is never far away from the horizon.
Your Network Matters
Any entrepreneur knows that one’s network is essential for the success of any small business venture. You can easily build this network with your friends and acquaintances. Though it takes some effort to keep in touch with all these people, it will pay off in the long run.
Who knows you might need them in case your business plans to branch out. You might also need their advice on some matters. Furthermore, it is always fun staying friends with interesting people. Networking tools such as LinkedIn are one avenue to help you stay in touch with past colleagues, classmates, and friends.
Look for the Right Mentor
Having the right mentor when you are starting up your small business is extremely helpful. With your mentor’s guidance, you can easily avoid common mistakes that young entrepreneurs usually commit. Your mentor can also help you expand your network.
Take your time in looking for the right mentor, even consider going outside of your company to create this great partnership. If you have no idea where to begin, graduate school and fraternal alumni organizations are the best places to start looking.
Create a Business Plan
A business plan is not only crucial to have your loan approved or to attract investors but also to help you realize if your business is viable at all. It also helps you stay on track with your projected results and goals. And, presenting it to your family, friends, and mentor is a great way to get helpful feedback.
So, as early as possible, spend some time figuring out what type of business you will have. A sole proprietorship is the easiest to create, but it puts your personal assets at risk. The safest option to separate yourself from your business is opting for a limited liability corporation (LLC).
Get Your Finances in Order
Having financial freedom is crucial to start a business. With all the risk that comes with opening a business, it is best to unload yourself of the burden of student loans, credit card debts, and car loans. By paying up all of your debts as early as possible, you help yourself avoid the pressure of instantly making money.
In line with that, it is necessary to figure out how to fund your small business during its start-up phase. It is good if you have savings since you do not have to worry about loan interests. But if borrowing is your only option, make sure you have a plan on how to pay off that loan.
Know Your Strengths and Skills
When running a business, it is understandable that you would want to put your hands on every detail of your enterprise. However, doing so will ultimately leave you distracted and burned out. Seasoned entrepreneurs all agree that you have to play on your strength.
Accept the fact that you cannot man all aspects of your business and you would need experts to do the job for you. Do not be afraid to hire an accountant, a marketing specialist, a lawyer, and all other professionals who could help you. They are more knowledgeable and skilled in their field than you.
Mind Your Appearance
Lastly, being an entrepreneur also means you have to take care of your physical appearance. When talking to prospective investors, you would want to appear your best to further entice them to help finance your business venture. Even in business, looks do matter.
Consider going to a hair salon for men, dressing up in a comfortable and presentable style, and practically, putting your best foot forward when meeting up with people to discuss your business. First impressions count a lot, and you do not want to make a bad one.
Bottom line: Stay Focused on Your Goal
It can be overwhelming at times when starting up your small business. However, it is important to keep in mind that you have to stick to the core of your business venture. Do not immediately diversify or expand just because it seems like a good opportunity.
Take some time to develop the core of your business. Help build strong brand awareness before going on to the next level. Doing so not only is cost-efficient, but it also would not leave your current customer base confused about what you are offering.