Business 101

by Terry Watson | March 9th, 2012
Perfections Refining Image Beauty Lounge

Clyde Brown (Photo By Howard Gaither)

Starting a business is easy. Keeping a business running is the hard part! Over the past several years (2008-2012), during the recession, there has been a spike in small business start-ups. Now I am on the fence questioning if operating a business is a good or bad thing simply because there are nearly more businesses failing than are starting!

Most people have been laid off their jobs for whatever reason and, during this time, they have decided to embark on some small-business venture that seemed so far away previously. In doing so, I think we have gone about it somewhat ill equipped for the challenge. Starting a business ranks high as an American dream. In reality, it must become more than a dream.

It takes planning, know-how and good old-fashion hard work. I have listed some key items you should unquestionably consider in your plan. Business plan that is. This list should help jump-start your business and keep it going in the right direction.

  • Complete your business plan. This includes your management team, market details, sustainable competitive advantages, strategies for growth, and your financial model.
  • Determine the legal structure of your business.
  • Acquire the proper business license.
  • Obtain your Tax Identification Number (TIN).
  • Partner with a qualified accountant and attorney. Become informed concerning taxes and protecting your business.
  • Find a mentor. This will be your support and guide along the way.

After you have checked off the items above, ensure that you have a mitigation plan in place and steer clear of any pit falls. I have listed some of those below, which account for reasons that most businesses fail.

  • Limited operating capital. You must retain sufficient funds to successfully operate your business
  • Not properly planning and setting realistic goals.
  • Lack of business management skills.
  • Unaware of city/government ordinances and regulations. You must comply or risk being closed.
  • Delay in collecting accounts receivables. Money going out and nothing coming in!
  • Cash Flow, Cash Flow and more Cash Flow. You must keep an ongoing accounting of this very important asset.
  • Hiring the wrong people. Lazy and dishonest people can put you out of business!
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