If you’ve been bitten by the entrepreneur bug and want to start a business, but you’ve had financial difficulties in the past, you can still find success. Don’t let prior financial struggles keep you from following your dream of starting a business. Instead, use the following suggestions to get the ball rolling and get a business started.
Make a Solid Plan
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Without a solid plan, you won’t have a solid foundation on which to build. Write a detailed business plan that includes:
Products or services. Figure out what it is that you will offer for sale, and how it differs from the competition.
Customer acquisition. You’ll need to find paying clients or customers from sources such as advertising, paid leads, or word-of-mouth marketing.
Marketing plans. Plan how you will run ads and whether you’ll hire a copywriter and graphic artist or use an agency.
Funding sources. Money can come from places like loans, grants, or savings.
Financial projections. Make profit-and-loss forecasts to predict sales and revenue, margins, and net profit.
Learn From Past Mistakes
Several of the most successful entrepreneurs have failed many times over before finding something that worked for them. Aside from having traits such as perseverance and tenacity, these entrepreneurs learned from their failures and found out what worked and what didn’t work. Find out what it was that you could have done better, and plan on doing better going forward.
When starting your new business, use your wisdom from past failures to keep from making the same mistakes. This time around, you’ll know a lot more than when you did before. But you should still try to build as large a support network as you can. That way, you can learn from the past mistakes of others as well, and use the wisdom of mentors and colleagues to be successful.
Take Sensible Risks
Part of taking sensible risks is keeping your costs low. You can do that by using as many free or low-cost tools as possible. Some examples would be to use free or open-source software, such as a free image-editing program, to help make flyers or business cards, or free spreadsheet software to track expenditures.
There are also free tools that make it easy to share and sign PDF documents online, meaning all you’d need to do is upload the document, edit it, download it, and then share it — and all without ever having to print something out. By using free online tools and programs such as these, you could save on software costs and subscription fees.
Use These Tips and Get Started
Using the tips above can help you get a grasp of what you need to do. Learning from mistakes, taking only sensible risks, and making a well-written business plan are all great tips for business owners that are just starting out. But make sure not to get stuck in analysis paralysis by focussing on these things too much.
To get more help from veteran business owners who could help you build a strong support network, join your local chamber of commerce today.