Maybe you've given it years of thought and you're finally ready to take your dream of starting your own business seriously. Maybe you've had an epiphany about a product or service that could make life better for others. No matter how the seed was planted, it's important to think carefully through the very first stages of starting a business.
If you're considering the possibility of starting your own business, follow these tips before you open your doors and you can save yourself a lot of time and heartache.
Reach out to an Attorney
If you're seriously considering starting a business, you should reach out to a lawyer or an attorney. In an informal setting, a lawyer should be able to help you think through the potential legal challenges of the business you want to start. If you're serious about starting your business, an attorney can help you create a legal structure that works for your business now, as well as the future.
In addition, attorneys have the ability to help you with registration and other paperwork to ensure you're operating legally. They can also help you apply for necessary licenses, employee identification numbers, and more. They can save you a lot of time, so you can focus on the meat and bones of your business, and they can make sure everything is done legally, so something doesn't come back to bite you in the future.
Get a Mentor
Not only should you add a lawyer or an attorney to your team, but you should also get a mentor. Having one as an entrepreneur comes with many benefits that include:
You'll gain knowledge and experience that you'll be hard-pressed to find in a book.
Your mentor can introduce you to others, enabling you to more effectively network in your industry.
They can reassure and support you during difficult times, encouraging you to continue.
They can push and encourage you to stretch outside your comfort zone.
Finding a mentor is a little easier today than it was just a few years ago. You can find a mentor in your hometown, but you also have the ability to reach out to mentors all over the world, enabling you to find someone who truly understands your industry.
Research the Market
You should never jump into a business blind. Just because you think you have a great idea doesn't mean you actually do. Your service may not be as popular as you think, and the industry may already be saturated with the product you want to sell. You don't want to open your doors and fail because you didn't research the market ahead of time.
Researching the market includes understanding the outlook of your industry, researching what similar businesses are doing, and financial projections based on similar products and services. It may require hiring professional market analysts to make sure you have a viable idea before you sink your money into your new business.
Get Real About What It's Going to Take to Be Successful
Many entrepreneurs put a lot of time into their business. Some even recommend spending 18 hours a day working on your startup for at least the first year. Before you start your business, you have to get real about how many hours you're going to have to put in to be successful, and whether it's doable for you.
For example, if you have a family at home, spending 18 hours a day may not be feasible. If instead, you're single, you may have plenty of time to dedicate to your venture.
Create a Business Plan
If you've gotten all of your ducks in a row and you still decide that starting a business is the right choice for you, it's time to sit down and create a business plan. It will include who will run your business, how it will be structured, the details of your product or service, and much more. Not only can it provide you with peace of mind by outlining every detail of your business venture, but it also provides you with the tools you need to approach investors and procure a loan from the bank.
In the excitement of considering owning your own business, you may make a rash decision and open your doors before you know your chances of success. Don't spend all that time and energy to open your doors just to close them! Put in the work before you commit and you'll boost your chances of success if you move forward with your idea.