10 Insightful Tips to Starting Your First Business from PowerWallet’s Bob Sullivan

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tips for starting your business

By: Bob Sullivan – Tech Entrepreneur and PowerWallet.com President

1. Secure funding – Finding the capitol to turn your dream business into reality is one of the hardest parts of becoming a successful business owner. Check out resources like BizSpark to nurture you in becoming a smart and savvy business owner. Also, by networking and joining certain organizations, you can meet and pitch to angel investors, venture capitalists and private investors. Many programs dedicated to helping new entrepreneurs are free — all you have to do is look for them.

2. Create a business plan – Many successful businessman and woman have gone on to receive their Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) where they learned all the steps to creating a business plan and managing the accounting that comes along with running any business. You can still learn how to create a business plan on your own. Whether you go to business school or not, do your research and start your venture with creating a physical plan of your business. There are many software programs available that can assist you in making your business plan which features many sample plans that have been used successfully to raise money.

3. Get an accountant and lawyer – Before you even get the ball rolling for a new business venture, you need to find a trustworthy accountant and a reputable lawyer. First look at your personal social network. Friends you went to college with or have known for years who are honorable and have a good track record.

4. Be prepared for roadblocks – Failure, problems and various forms of roadblocks are a part of every entrepreneur’s journey in creating a successful business. You have to be prepared for failure and learn from it. The difference between winners and losers is that winners continued to keep trying until they got it right. And of course, with proper planning and knowledge, you can avoid a lot of failure but you must accept it is part of the process and is inevitable.

5. Do you research – Imagine coming up with this great idea, creating a business plan and spending all your time, energy and resources to get it started just to find out that the same exact business already exists. You must do your research and become very familiar with the industry you are looking to enter before you actually enter it. Weigh your risk and reward and be calculated about your business ventures – risk is without a doubt apart of any business person’s journey. Taking calculated risk is the key to being successful in your journey.

6. Plan ahead – Making several plans for various situations will be your friend in the long-run. Every idea you have about your business may not come to fruition as you hoped but if you make yourself multiple back-up plans that will still lead to you to be successful, you will thank yourself for it. Always remember, be strategic because your failure to plan is a plan to fail.

7. Don’t disclose everything – Your business will hopefully have the upper hand compared to your competitors because your insight and knowledge weighs as a huge advantage. Your secret strategies and tactics to how you run your business is priceless and something most competitors won’t have. It is important to NOT disclose every detail to people outside of your business, but also remember to not disclose all details to all team members.

8. Be realistic – Learn about other successful businesses, both in your market and outside and become familiar with a realistic profit margin, how long it will take for the company to generate revenue and so forth. Many businesses don’t start to generate revenue for the first three years. The more informed you are, the more realistic you can be with yourself and team and the better chances you have to reach attainable success.

9. Work hard – If you want to own and operate a business successfully, you have to be willing to put in long hours, hard work and dedicate your life to that venture. Also, remember to be smart about the way you work. Being an entrepreneur and business owner is a full-time 24 hours a day, seven days a week position. When you leave the office or shut off your computer, still continue to think of new ways to achieve the level of success that you desire.

10. Be a team player – You are the one who is in charge of creating and fostering a productive and efficient business team. Be enthusiastic, positive and support your staff and team because without them, you could not be able to reach your ultimate business goals.

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