The statistics on small business failures can be sobering if you’re considering starting your own business.
The question to ponder is this: “Is the percentage of small business failures a reflection of a bigger picture?” In other words, failure in any endeavor is a natural outcome of poor or faulty planning, a lack of persistence, counterproductive habits, and negative attitudes. Perhaps the number one reason many small businesses fizzle out before they have a chance to build up a head of steam is that their owners don’t possess an entrepreneurial mindset.
To put it another way: Most people are more comfortable working for someone else, rather than being responsible for making sure a business is set up properly, marketing it proactively, addressing customer service issues, solving problems, managing people, complying with government regulations, and always working to stay one step of the competition.
Steps to Starting a Business
In my opinion, the first step to starting a business is doing an honest self assessment. Do you honestly have the temperament, the organizational skills, the long-term commitment, and the energy to start and run your own business? Although the idea of it may appeal to you, not everyone has the resilience, the foresight, the self belief, and the determination to stay the course and persist until they succeed.
One of the few guarantees of starting your own business is that there will be difficulties, challenges, and setbacks on the road to profitability. If you don’t approach it in a methodical, focused, and steadfast way, your probability of success in a small business startup will be low.
On the other hand, if you’re passionate about a particular business idea and are prepared to navigate around or through the difficulties and setbacks that are sure to come your way, then self employment and the entrepreneurial life style may be a good fit for you!
Once you’ve resolved that big question, you’ll be ready to proceed to the next steps, such as developing a business plan, a marketing plan, business startup costs, deciding on a business structure, coming up with a distinctive business name and logo, and obtaining the necessary permits, working space, supplies, and equipment needed to get your business underway. Every business had different requirements and steps to getting started, so it pays to ask questions, talk with certified business advisors, and, if possible, find a mentor to point you in the right direction. Check with your local SCORE organization to inquire about the availability of small business mentoring programs.
If you’re looking for a list of steps for starting a business, the U.S. Small Business Administration is one of the best websites to turn to for guidance and information. A checklist for starting a business is available from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). When starting a new business, it’s also wise to consult with a CPA, a business insurance specialist, and a business attorney to help you anticipate and plan for all your business, financial, and legal needs.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments, especially if they relate to small business marketing.
I also invite you to visit my website, Marketing Survival Kit, to get access to step-by-step manuals* for a variety of business startups, service business ideas, and self-employment options.
Business blogger, journalist, marketing strategist
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Update: I’ve recently begun devoting more attention to the topics of personal development, human potential, and spirituality in a new blog (about life) called Mastering Life Takes Time!