Every day, millions of Americans express the same desire: “I wish I were my own boss.” Few actually run with the idea; fewer still succeed. Just what is it that enables these daring entrepreneurs to overcome the real challenges of going into business for themselves?
Vague cliches like ‘hard work’ and ‘determination’ only go so far–often leaving the foolhardy to launch themselves from the cliff and only belatedly realize that no flapping of arms, no matter how dedicated, will enable them to fly. There is more to business success than a plain desire to succeed.
Namely, an astute assessment of the challenge that awaits you. Below are three bits of advice that will help you to arrive at a plan of action for future success.
Guage the time commitment
In business, an excess of either caution or daring can prove fatal, particularly when you are just getting off the starting line. Some choose to maintain their day job, at least at first, pulling in the steady income that will enable them to finance their aspirations. Others cut off all other commitments to dedicate the effort required to establish themselves in the market as soon as possible, harnessing the knowledge that they have no other option but to succeed.
Both risk failure: one in never quite achieving the spark required to build their business into a full-time, profitable venture, the other in flaring out before all their efforts have time to materialize. There is no hard and fast rule–the time required to attain success varies from business to business, much as does the time every person has to commit.
Take the time to plot out the path ahead and experiment with different strategies that can see you through the whole distance.
Build a warchest and spend wisely
With a timeline drawn out, you should be able to estimate just how much money you need in your coffers to see you and your loved ones through the lean period at the outset. Scope out all your options, everything from cutting back at home to pursuing potential investors. You need to know you have enough for you and your family to get by at a level you are comfortable with.
A meticulous budget is essential, both at home and in setting up your business, and modern technology offers a variety of low or no-cost options for boosting your efficiency and raising awareness. Just be sure not to skimp where it matters–if your customers walk away with an unpleasant experience or a cut-corner brings a governmental regulatory agency down on you, your business might not be long for this world.
With that in mind, be absolutely sure you are covered if things don’t work out. Thoroughly-implemented asset protection strategies will ensure that your personal assets are safe no matter what happens to your business. The softer the landing, the sooner you’ll be able to give it another shot.
To thine own self be true
Know your limits, then push them. If you haven’t already, run a personal inventory of your strengths and weaknesses, along with just how much of yourself you are willing and capable of giving to this monumental challenge. A little introspection beforehand helps you as your business moves forward and you face your first obstacles. Stretch your capacity, but be conscious of taking on more than you can bear.
Part of that means setting aside a time for yourself to ease the burden off of your shoulders. Good time spent with family and friends, regular physical exercise, and plenty of sleep will keep you in tip-top shape and ready to face the worst.Being an entrepreneur is incredibly demanding and no part of your business is more irreplaceable than you.
How I can help
I would be remiss if I were not to include a little self-promotion. The truth is that your business, no matter how small, operates in a complex legal and regulatory system that is equal parts essential shield and terrifying danger. Ignorance is no excuse for an oversight, so every successful business relies on a tried and tested business attorney to guide them through the processes of business formation, crafting legal agreements, intellectual property issues, and more.
I help entrepreneurs succeed through proactive business planning, including crafting agreements and procedures to ensure you comply with state and federal laws. To learn more about my personal approach to business planning, call my office today at 612-206-3701 or reach out via our online contact form to schedule your comprehensive LIFT™ Foundation Audit.