6. Planning is essential. The old adage about those who fail to plan, plan to fail is more true in business than anywhere else. Your business plan keeps you focused on your goals while providing you with the foresight to weather challenges. There are many resources out there to help you plan, including business plan classes and technical assistance.
7. You can’t do it all. It’s your business, but why make it harder than it has to be? Put your own board of advisors together to work with you. Make sure that you include an accountant and an attorney. Their advice will be invaluable to you as your business grows. Depending on your own strengths, you may also want to include a marketing expert or business consultant. Having a group of trusted allies helps you keep your courage up and builds your confidence. It’s good to have someone in your corner.
8. You may not make any money the first year. Even though you may sell your product and do well, sales may fall short of expectations and costs may be higher. Financial forecasting is an essential part of your plan. Make sure that you develop your cash flow projections, your income statement and your budget. Then, make sure you understand what these statements are telling you. If you are prepared financially for the first few years when money is tighter, your business won’t succumb to cash flow or other financial problems.
9. You should prepare for the end. It’s hard to think about the finish line when you are just starting the race. But thinking about the long-term goals will help you correctly set up your business now. Will you want to sell your business as part of your retirement plan? Will it be passed on to the next generation? Knowing where you want to end up is a key part of getting started, so keep the future in mind.
10. It will be the best thing you ever do. Entrepreneurs start their business because they have a passion, a dream. If you ask them, entrepreneurs can’t imagine doing anything else. Whether someone is just starting out or they have been in business for 30 years, the satisfaction of putting it all together never goes away. The resources and help to get started are out there.