Many people assume that large corporations and multinational conglomerates mostly support the economy, and it’s easy to see why. We’re reminded of their presence and influence in advertising campaigns and business news channels. However, large companies only make up 0.3 percent of all businesses in the United States. The real bedrock of our economy is small businesses. According to the Small Business Administration, nearly half of all Americans are employed by small businesses.
If you have a unique idea or you’re thinking of how to start a franchise business, you can join the ranks of self-made entrepreneurs working towards success and independence. However, opening your own business isn’t as easy as it seems. Only about half of all companies survive past their fifth year, so you’ll need to understand the risks involved carefully.
To determine whether becoming an entrepreneur is in the cards for you, here are a few things you’ll need to succeed and last in business. Let’s start.
1. Start with a plan
Every business starts with a plan or a proposal, and I’m not talking about the one in your head. You need to create a proper business plan that details what your business is about, what you want to achieve, and how you’re going to do it. This document is especially important if you want to get investors on board or if you’re applying for a bank loan.
It’s also a way for you to gauge your level of interest. If you can’t even be bothered to write a simple document, it could be a sign that running a business might not be for you.
2. Enough money
Whether you’re starting a new business or buying an existing one, you’re going to need money to turn your ideas into reality. And not just your starting sum: you need to have enough cash from the get-go to pay for rent, payroll, utilities, merchandise, among other things. However, some people start a business to support themselves and incur lots of debt doing so.
You need money to make more money. There’s no going around the fact. While throwing huge sums of money at your business isn’t a guarantee of success, one sure way to cripple your business is to not have enough cash on hand. You need to build a solid financial footing and understand where your money goes if you want to make it past your first year.
3. Time management
One reason why businesses fail is poor time management. If you have to maintain a day job while running a side business, you need to learn how to manage your time properly. Prioritize your duties according to urgency and need. If your phone is ringing off the hook, it doesn’t make much sense for you to focus on cleaning or checking the inventory. Consider hiring an employee to help you in day-to-day business operations.
You also need to set aside time for yourself. Just because your business is your focus doesn’t mean your entire life has to revolve around it. Burnout can jeopardize your ability to function, so don’t forget to rest.
Becoming an entrepreneur brings with it the promise of independence and fulfillment, but it’s not for the faint of heart. You’ll have to devote most of your time and money to your business, and it requires serious sacrifice on your part. But with planning and preparation, you can still find success and joy.