How to bring your small business idea to life
If you’ve dreamed of being your own boss and being a small business owner, you’re not alone: More than 500,000 small businesses are started each year, each an idea brought to life by people like you.
So what would it take to turn your light bulb idea into your own business? Turns out the best advice is to plan ahead, get help, and then do it!
Plan the details before you begin
The big idea is important, but the details make it happen. Talk to your potential customers about what they need and want. Decide where you’ll do business, and talk to other owners in the area. Do you need inventory? Marketing? Employees? Or just a laptop and a coffee shop? Make lists of what you need and where you’ll get it BEFORE you start. The better planned you are, the greater your chance of success.
And plan how your business will fit your life, too
This isn’t something you balance with your life, it’s PART of your life. Everything from how much salary you make to how much time your business will consume will affect your family and friendships as well as your business ledger. Talk to people who have been there about the pros and cons and how they make it work, and if owning a business is a good fit for your life, go for it.
Make a money map for your business and a plan for detours
Whether this is a side-job or a life’s passion, every business manages money. Create a budget for your business that lists expected expenses and income for a typical month, and a bad month, too. Talk to a banker about establishing accounts for your business (separate from personal accounts) and lines of credit, especially if you need to purchase raw materials or inventory before you make your first dime.
Finally, don’t forget the paperwork
Register correctly to avoid headaches down the line. Every business needs to file with the state and federal government so you can do your taxes, claim credits and protect your assets. There are lots of decisions to make as part of this, but with the right advice you can do all the paperwork in a few hours and for minimal cost.
Remember: You’re not in this alone. Every business benefits from a team of supporters. Reach out to professionals like bankers, accountants, lawyers and consultants, or folks who have been there before. With a little help and your own initiative, small business success is within reach.