How To Start A Business
How to start a business starting with some general concepts and then getting into some specific action steps. Discover what it really takes to build a successful business and how to avoid the costly mistakes that 80% of all new business owners make that put them out of business in the first 5 years.
In this first article about how to start a business we are going to discuss some general concepts that are very important and probably different than what you’ve heard from many of the business “gurus.”
Before jumping into this you might be wondering who I am and how I am qualified to talk about building a business, so you can learn more about my qualifications here: about me
- DON’T Follow Your Passion
- Okay, so this is a big one to start off with because so many of the “experts” out there tell us to “follow our passion.” Do something you love and you’ll never work another day in your life. Sounds great. Can be great, but can also backfire…Sometimes taking your passion and trying to turn it into a business kills your passion for it and turns it into something that you no longer get joy out of. Be careful about trying to turn your passion into a business. Not that it can’t be done, just take a good hard look at whether or not you actually want to do that.
Solve a Problem
- What problem does your product or service solve? Are there other services or products out there that already solve this problem? If not, why not? Is it because nobody wants to pay for that solution or is there really an opportunity there? Which brings us to the next concept…
Find people who are willing to pay you to solve that problem for them
This is where sales and markting come in. Marketing will help you determine if there is a “market” for your product or service. One of the biggest mistakes new business owners make is building a business around something that the individual thinks is important or is passionate about, but if no one is willing to pay you for it, then it is just a hobby. That’s not a bad thing necessarily, but refer back to concept #1 above.
- Create systems and processes to solve the problem
- Great businesses are built on systems. Look at a franchise for example, a business that is so well systemitized that it can be sold to other business owners and they can get similar results because of the processes and systems in place. McDonald’s is always a great example. Everything from start to finish is systemitized to operate like a well oiled machine. You can get a virtually identical burger and fries at any McDonald’s anywhere in the world!
Hire/outsource people and/or machines to work the systems to solve the problem for the customers
Once you have your systems in place you can replace yourself by outsourcing or hiring people to run those systems for you. Sometimes you can use a machine or copmuter to operate the system, sometimes you need a person to run the copmuter to run the system, but you get the idea. Someone, other than yourself, running your business gives you the freedom to break the “trading time for money” paradigm and move closer to “Financial Freedom” and “Time Freedom.”
Disclaimer: These aren’t super specific, but more specific than the general steps. We will continue to add more articles about how to start a business so be sure to check back often.
Disclaimer #2: I am not an attorney. This is not legal advice. Seek legal advice before starting a business.
- The specific action steps will vary by location so this article will focus on some of the more specific steps that you will need to take to start your business but ultimately there will be things that are probably unique to your area that you want to understand such as…
- Your local city and state offices for licensing, zoning, permits, taxes, etc.
- Each city, county, state, country has their own set of rules and you want to make sure that you understand those rules so that you don’t get into any trouble down the road. Many areas have websites that you can find all the necessary information you need to start your business. In some areas however, you may need to actually PHYSICALLY go down to your local city department to take care of paperwork. For example, in my area, I can access the paperwork, print it, fill it out, but it must be turned in IN PERSON. Be sure to find out what your city requires.
- Consult your CPA and attorney about type of business; Sole proprietorship, S-Corp, LLC, etc.
- Legal advise sometimes costs less if you use it to avoid problems instead of using it to try to get out of problems. Consult a professional that has experience starting new businesses in your area and ideally in your industry.
- File a DBA (doing business as)
- If you are using a made up name, or a name that is not your personal name, you may be required to file a Fictitious Business Name. There is a fee associated with this process and many times you can apply for more than one at a time and save some money so if you know that you may want to change or test a different name, consider registering them all at the same time.
- Purchase domain name (website address)
- As an internet marketing consultant to new businesses I am highly biased around this subject 🙂 But that doesn’t mean it isn’t really important! Get your website address ASAP before someone else does!
How To Start A Business Video Series
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This has been the first article in the How To Start A Business Series! Thank you for reading!