Elements of Starting a Business


Starting your own business can be exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. Many people dream of being their own boss and not having to answer to others. When it comes to starting your own business, there are many things to consider…

  1. What are you passionate about?
    • When starting a business, you must have the drive. How badly do you want it? Are you ready and willing to dedicate a lot of long hours, hard work and determination?
  2. Have you found a niche market? What will set you apart from the competition?
    • A niche market does not mean it has to be a new product, it means will you offer a service or product that is not currently in your community? If you do offer a product/service that already exists, what will set you apart from the competition?
  3. Start small.
    • Do you have the time to build a business on the side while you are employed full time? This will allow you the cash flow to collect an income while you are building your business. Also, if you are working with other people to start your business, communication is key. Make sure you are all on the same page, which will be helped if you do start small. Colleges like the University of Southern California regularly disucss the importance of communication with any business, so make sure your communication is effective and positive.
  4. Startup Funds.
    • Do you have the cash or investors?
  5. You will need a great Business Plan
    • A business plan is your road map. Have a good business plan is essential.
    • 64% of entrepreneurs that have a business plan will see growth.
    • Elements of the Business plan include:
      1. Executive Summary
      2. Business Description
      3. Market Analysis
      4. Organizational Management
      5. Sales Strategies
      6. Funding Requirements
      7. Financial Projections.
  1. Plan on not seeing real profits for the first 3 – 5 years.
    • When you start a business, you need to plan and project to see a loss in the beginning. It is rare to see immediate profits. The profits that you do receive are often poured back into the business to cover the operating costs until the company becomes more stable.
  2. Utilize local resources.
    • Small Business Development Centers, Small Business Administration, Local Economic Development, Local Chamber of Commerce. All of these entities can provide you with resources to assist and guide you through the overwhelming details needed.
    • You will need a state or city business license depending on where you live.

8. Licensing

    • You will need a state or city business license depending on where you live.

9. Master the basics of Accounting.

      • It will be beneficial to you if you take a QuickBooks course so that you understand the basics of a budget and profit and loss. Often your local Small Business Development Center offers low cost or free courses.

10. Flexible Marketing.

    • You will need many different approaches to marketing. Marketing your business takes thought and planning.
    • Marketing costs and be sure to include this line item in your budget.
    • Utilize a variety of channels, not just social media.

11. Get Mentors.

    • Find and use mentors. Ask questions and learn from their experiences.

There is no question that owning a business is risky. But the risk comes with rewards. One of the rewards entrepreneurs’ report is that because they are doing something they love; the long hours do not feel like work. The more prepared you are before you officially open for business the better. Be sure to use the steps mentioned, and utilize the resources in your community to help guide you down the road to success.

By: Cheryl Viola , Executive Director