Whether you are 22 or 102, if you have a business idea there is no reason to hold back. However, unless you are well trained in the ways of the specific industry and business in general, you are not going to want to do it alone. You will need help, and you will need guidance. These five tips can help ensure that young entrepreneurs get the right start and the support they need throughout the lifetime of the business to clinch success early and hold tightly for a long time to come.
Unless you are professionally trained in a specific skill, such as accounting or marketing, there are many aspects of the business you will want to hire someone else to oversee. Find a bookkeeper or accounting firm to handle day to day finances. Be certain that your CPA regularly updates you on the financial status of the company and provides input and suggestions when problems arise. If you have employees, find a company, such as Paychex, to handle payroll as well. Marketing/public relations is another service that you can to outsource. There are many smart firms such as Over The Moon PR, which specializes in helping small businesses grow. By staying in the know but allowing someone else to handle the day to day finances and marketing, you free yourself up to focus on your customers.
Debt gets a bad reputation. It is not bad in and of itself, but it is important to be certain you take out the right kind of debt and that you use it wisely. Debt that is taken out and used to increase profits can be described as nothing short of profitable. Big banks are not always the best bet for start-ups in search of capital. Local banks, credit unions, micro lenders, and other alternative lending sources often offer better products and terms for entrepreneurs. Securing small business loans and even lines of credit can be tricky, so you may want to seek the advice of people who are more knowledgeable. Biz2Credit has case managers who can guide you through the small business lending process from start to finish.
Find a Mentor
Find someone who knows what they are doing and learn all you can from them. Ideally, this is someone who started out the same way you are and now has a solid, successful business. SCORE, which stands for Service Corps of Retired Executives, can put you into touch with an experienced mentor. Ask to meet regularly to discuss and learn all you can. Do not make any decisions, especially financial decisions, without running it by them to see what they have to offer.
Lack of college education does not necessarily mean lack of any education or training. There are numerous seminars, online courses, and other forms of training available. Check your local SBA office, which frequently hosts seminars for entrepreneurs. Often these are free or very low cost, and even those that are not are well worth it in most cases. First on the list should be a course on budgeting and a course on reading financial statements. This way, you can have an idea of what is going on and you do not have to take your accountant’s word for everything. You can see for yourself.
Trust Your Gut
It is important to have people around you that can offer solid advice that draws on real knowledge.
However, you did not get where you are without a little something of your own. If something does not “feel” right, do not ignore it. Take the time to look into it further. If you are not sure about a person, a vendor, or a decision, do not brush off that feeling. Investigate it until you are comfortable, or until you can make the decision to move on.
Starting your own business can be scary and overwhelming, but these simple tips can help ensure success from the start.
This article was submitted by Faith Stewart. Faith Stewart has a BBA with a major in accounting and spent 10 years working in the various aspects of accounting and finance before pursuing her passion for writing.