By Tonya Seay, Contributing Writer
The first step in planning your business is determining what to do. Defining your vision can be as easy as discussing your hopes and dreams with a trusted yet objective friend or adviser. Then come the tough parts: following through with strategic thought and planning and paying for it all.
What is your vision? Take the time to determine what you are really passionate about and consider ways you can package and sell it. You may find that passion in a job you’ve loved, a struggle you’ve overcome, or a product or service that once made you feel special. Some people can simply be passionate about entrepreneurship itself and enjoy any business venture. The point is to enjoy what you do because when you believe in yourself, your product and your service, then others can, too.
How do you accomplish it? Business schools and groups like SCORE and the SBA can provide checklists and other resources for start-ups and growing businesses. But sometimes all those rules and checklists make people feel overwhelmed. It has been said that “if I had known how much work it would be, I never would have started.” So if simple is what you need, then start simple. A simple way for college students to interact became Facebook. A simple way for people to connect with job listings became LinkedIn. Think big, but start simple!\
How will you pay for it? Many business owners get started with personal savings or loans from family, friends and banking institutions. Grants and loans also are available through government programs, and the Small Business Administration is a valuable resource to consider. If those possibilities aren’t an option and you still have the drive to start now, find other means of support. Many of my start-up clients have the support of someone who will take care of food, shelter and other routine stuff while a new business is developed. Start low-cost and reinvest. All businesses should make a plan that includes a budget for your business, a budget for your personal needs while your business can’t support you and a budget for your time. Think it through and then add a nice cushion for unplanned expenses and circumstances.
Tonya Seay, owner of Strategic Success Builders in Tampa,is a business and tax accountant for entrepreneurs. She can be reached at Tonya@StrategicSuccessBuilders.com
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