Whether it’s because you have a passion that you want to share, you’re sick of working for someone else, or you’re looking for an adventure, starting a small business is definitely a full-blown life journey. Life is full of risks and riddled with financial pot holes, but being an entrepreneur and a small business owner means that you are willing to chance the odds and gamble a bit in this game of life in the hopes that you benefit from all the perks of a successful business.
However, if you’re like me, the idea of increasing the risks and learning what exactly they entail is nearly enough to scare me off into that office chair at a regular 9-5. Don’t give in. There are ways to increase your odds of success and to “pad” your finances as you take the leap into the (more or less) unknown.
Do Your Research
Without this first step, do not even bother calling your grandma about it, much less register your business. Look into your competition, your legal requirements, the needs of the market, and anything else that is relevant to your business and the industry. Now you’ll know if there is even a chance for your business idea to be feasible and you can continue to progress to the next step.
Look for Free Money
Depending where you are located, you might find some hefty grants for those looking to start their own small business. Look online at your municipal and provincial/state websites to see what the eligibility requirements are in order to be awarded a grant or an interest-free loan.
Ask for Advice
You might feel apprehensive or cautious about asking people, especially strangers, for advice regarding your business idea. And you are not wrong to feel that way. However, you will need help at one point or another so it’s important to find a trust-worthy and reliable mentor or advisor to help bring your idea to fruition. Start at your local small business enterprise center. They will not only be able to provide you with free, unbiased advice, they will have a network of professionals that they can connect you with for more direct mentoring.
Even if your business doesn’t turn out as you thought it would and you close up shop, your exposure to legal issues can haunt you for a long time. Educate yourself about the intricacy of small business bookkeeping, taxation, and other liabilities. Though you might be tempted to “bend the law” to save a few cents at the time, those savings might just come back to kick you in the backside later.
Know When to Hire Professionals
We totally get it. You’re finding it hard to invest in services when the “hard stuff” like computers, property, machines and equipment are already tearing up your budget. However, did you know that they can often pay off with the savings they provide? I don’t know if you realized, but it’s a good idea to hire an experienced real estate lawyer to help you negotiate your commercial lease. Not only will you have peace of mind when it comes to the terms and conditions, but they will be able to help you get the best price for the place. There’s a similar story to be told about tax accountants who keep you from audit and know how to get you the best return possible, and web designers who will add legitimacy to your website. Sometimes it’s just worth it.
We agree that you should follow your dreams of entrepreneurship and business ownership. However, before you do- make sure you have your bases covered and a safety net to catch you if it’s ever needed.