If you’ve resolved that this year will be THE year that you’re going to be your own boss, we offer the following seven items of advice.
- Understand and accept that it’s going to be hard. The start-up will hard and keeping the business going for the initial one to three years is going to be harder. It will be hard on you, your family and your lifestyle. You will doubt yourself, but don’t give up. Even companies like Google took longer than five years to become profitable.
- It’s scary. Doing something new and being the person responsible for all decisions is outside the comfort zone of most everyone. You have to come to terms with this and actively remind yourself to be brave. Oftentimes you can find hundreds of excuses to convince yourself that it’s not a good time to go on your own. But remember that you just need one good reason to push you into realizing your entrepreneurial dreams.
- Take advantage of strategic drawbacks in order to accomplish your start-up goals. Some of the most accomplished leaders and successful entrepreneurs in history have strategically scaled back their lifestyle in order to achieve their larger goals. If you need to move back in with your parents to put the money into your business, do so with strategic purpose.
- Do something you care about. If you’re going to be your own boss and be scared and stressed everyday, you might as well invest all that energy into something you love to do, or something you care deeply about. This doesn’t have to be a type of profession or cause, but something like working with a group of people with whom you’d like to spend time.
- You don’t have to quit your day job immediately. If you’re being paid well for your time, you should make a strategic decision to spend as long as possible at your day job, while working on your start-up on the side. Again, this will be hard and stressful, but a good decision if done correctly and strategically.
- You need a written plan, but don’t waste time with a 100 page business plan with a ton of corporate speak and business jargon. That’s a waste of time and often serves as a deterrent to startup. Your first business plan should be aimed at yourself and in outline format. Make sure to include a checklist of all the things you need to do for your start-up, an honest cost evaluation, an honest revenue model and a marketing task plan.
- Make sure you consult with an expert who has gone through the start-up process before. We know it’s self serving to put this into our advice to start-up entrepreneurs, but we do quite a bit of work to correct small mistakes that our clients made during their start-up process. It may have small costs initially, but the time that you would save in learning how to start a business, dealing with all the paperwork, writing a business plan, filing all the paperwork with the local/state governments and the IRS, setting up your bookkeeping, accounts payable and receivable process would be well worth it. Wasting all that time with the start-up process would keep you from concentrating on the part of the business that actually generates revenue. Startup experts know how to do things quickly and also have experience in finding capital through commercial and government programs.
If you’d like to learn more about Son of Media’s start-up services, click here