Setting out on your own – a guide for first time entrepreneurs

Coffee MugIt can be a scary yet exciting time when a person decides to set up a business. No more guaranteed income, no support from colleagues and the bearing of a huge responsibility. Yet there are advantages too that cannot be ignored – flexibility, having no one to answer to, and huge satisfaction when money begins to be made.

Making a start

But how to begin? The key to any successful venture is planning. For many entrepreneurs, a business plan is indispensable as it effectively provides a roadmap to success. A good business plan should set out for an entrepreneur what needs to be done and how to go about doing it. It should include an overview of the company and a breakdown of the products or services that it will sell; a breakdown of what roles will make up the workforce; where the funding is coming from and financial projections for the future, and a thorough understanding of the target market and the competition. It is also an excellent idea to begin building a network of fellow business professionals who can not only provide advice and mentoring, but also produce more avenues for selling.

Then, of course, there is capital. It is important not to squander money in the early stages, so do not spend on unnecessary items for the business. Buy only what is essential to get the business up and running, and to keep it running. However, an entrepreneur, especially a young entrepreneur (who may, incidentally, benefit from the Young Entrepreneurs’ Program in Indianapolis) may need some funding, but few lenders will loan large amounts of money to someone who has no track record. Keep ambitions small-scale in the beginning. The time to expand will be when an initial foray has proved successful, and this will be when investors may consider putting money into a venture. Whilst an entrepreneur may decide to forgo paying himself a regular salary, it is essential that money be set aside for living expenses.

Talking of money, an entrepreneur will need to pay taxes and perform a myriad of other legal and administrative tasks. However, whilst it can be tempting to try and save money by doing everything oneself, an entrepreneur or contractor should realize that it is impossible to know everything and do everything, and may therefore be better served by outsourcing some of the tasks at which he or she is not expert or adept. This may prove to be not only a more efficient way to work, but a more economical one too, as it leaves the entrepreneur or contractor free to concentrate on the business. This is especially true if an entrepreneur engages a workforce, particularly if it includes contractors who work abroad, such as in the UK, who have different systems for making payments and paying taxes through self-employed PAYE.

Finally, it is important to remember that no business can function properly without its head. An entrepreneur should realize that they are their business’s most important asset, and should endeavor to keep themselves healthy, both in mind and body, to achieve success.

 

Speak Your Mind

*