As a small business attorney, I have helped many people start, structure and develop their businesses. From idea inception to the sale of their business, I’ve seen (and experienced) it all. Since the recession of 2009, entrepreneurship is at an all-time high, as people are realizing that “job security” is something that only you can provide for yourself. While it’s not for the faint of heart, entrepreneurship is a wonderful thing, and if done correctly, can be extremely lucrative. But before you sell your first product or provide your first service, here are 5 crucial things that you need to know:
1. Have a Business Plan
A business plan – a written one – is absolutely necessary. Point, blank, period. Conducting business without a plan is like driving from New York to California without a map or GPS. More than just a document for potential investors, it’s the blueprint to your business. The thought of creating one makes people a bit anxious, as they believe that it has to be a 20-page document full of stuff that they don’t know how to articulate. It definitely doesn’t have to be. However, it does have to be written, must detail how your business will function and what your business goals are.
2. Implement a Legal Business Structure
The most important aspect of implementing a legal business structure is the shield of liability. What this basically means is that when you incorporate – by becoming a corporation, limited liability company or partnership – you add a layer of protection to your business. If something were to happen during and in the course of conducting your business, and you were to get sued, your personal assets would be protected. You wouldn’t want to lose your house, car or other assets over an aggrieved and disgruntled customer.
3. Hire a Team of Professionals
Teamwork makes the dream work. Your starting lineup should always include: an ACCOUNTANT, a LAWYER, and a FINANCIAL ADVISOR. Early on in my career a mentor told me that you should always outsource anything that someone else can do better and faster. That way, you have the time to focus on what you do best. Additionally, you definitely want to start out on the right foot. Hiring these people can be costly, especially in the beginning when funding may be scarce. Resources, such as NYC Business Solutions offers free services to small business owners and is a great place to start.
Your network determines your net worth. No man is an island, and if you are, you probably won’t get much business. Networking is a fun and effective way of getting your name out there and letting the world know what you do. Use networking to build meaningful relationships with people that you may do business with now or in the future. Remember my golden rule of networking – the best way to achieve your dreams is to help others achieve theirs.
5. Have A Positive Mindset
Above all else, entrepreneurship starts in the mind before it starts in reality. Entrepreneurs spend several years living like most people won’t so that they can spend the rest of their lives living how most people dream. I’ve found that the most successful entrepreneurs are those people who have a burning desire to be sucessful, don’t take “no” for an answer, and are relentless at achieving their goals. Enjoy the ride, and most importantly, believe in yourself and your business.
Bridging the gap between a million dollar idea and a million dollar business requires strategy, creative thinking, planning and a burning desire to manifest your dreams. The risks may be many, but the rewards are far greater than you can ever imagine. As long as you plan, structure and align yourself and your business with the right people, the sky’s the limit.
Wishing you and your business a lifetime of success![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]