Just Starting Out: What Entrepreneurs Often Forget

Just Starting Out: What Entrepreneurs Often Forget
February 19, 2014 Brooke Chaplan

Small businesses and entrepreneurial start-ups are the lifeblood of the country’s economy, but drive and ambition aren’t enough to get past the inevitable speed bumps that impact new businesses. Don’t get caught forgetting one of the following vital projects that help ensure new business success.

Goal Setting Without a Plan

Setting goals helps maintain dedication and drive, but there’s a lot of space between the formation of an idea, and a year-end goal. Make sure there are no blank spots in the business plan that fail to describe how to get from point A to point B. Additionally, keep that plan handy. Entrepreneurs need to roll with the punches, and that usually means making a few updates.

Forgetting about Customers

An idea might sound like the “next big thing”, but will customers gravitate toward this new product? Finding buyers is a tough job when you’re a new business, but trying to give them what they don’t need, or worse, what they don’t want, might not be the best way to head out of the starting gate. Do your research and make sure there’s a market for your grand idea.

Revisiting the Budget

Entrepreneurs need to know how to deal with the setbacks and inevitable hindrances that come with starting a business. An immaculate budget will soon be covered with red marks, scratch-outs, and notes in the margins. Funding falls through, shipments are delayed, and costs seem to appear out of thin air. The budget should never be far from an entrepreneur’s mind.

Filling out Taxes

Complaining about taxes, and leaving then until the last minute is a yearly tradition for many people, but that’s a dangerous way to operate as a business. You’ll probably need to set aside about 20 percent of the business’s gross revenue during your first year of operation. It will become easier to estimate tax payments after a few years, but don’t neglect the taxman.

Networking and Getting Outside Help

Many people look at networking like a boring task, that college graduates have to complete after they’ve received a diploma; however, the right network may help a new business avoid a first year collapse. Networking not only includes sister companies and competitors, but also should also feature trips to the local Chamber of Commerce, even if you’re an online business. Don’t forget the Small Business Administration (SBA) and its wealth of knowledge, resources, and funding opportunities.

Finding Educational Opportunities

Perhaps you’re an interior decorator who has decided to branch out into her own business, or maybe you’ve just created the most incredible smart-phone app the world has ever seen. You might feel like an expert in your field, but not everyone is an expert in starting a business, particularly if you’ve never been on the ground floor of a start-up. Even just setting up a location can be a challenge. Often new business owners will forget about building fees, landscaping, or hiring an executive cleaning service LLC janitorial service to make sure the business is well taken care of. Before the business opens its doors, seek out educational opportunities, and spend some time studying business and entrepreneurial basics.

Starting a business may fill you with giddy excitement, but don’t let dreams of dollar signs, and world domination get in your way of a smartly run first year. It’s okay to get your feet wet in the pool with the big fish, but don’t drown because you forgot to learn how to swim.

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