Starting your own business is an incredibly exciting thing to do. If you play your cards right, your decision to become a business owner could be a very lucrative one. There’s nothing more American than seeking success as an entrepreneur, and with the right skill set and a passion for what you do, there’s every reason to believe that you’ll succeed.
But let’s face it: there is also a lot of risk to starting a new business. Most new businesses fail, and those that survive may face tough times for years before turning a profit. There are ups and downs to life as an entrepreneur.
Nothing can completely eliminate this roller-coaster ride, but there’s a lot that you can do to maximize your chances of success as an entrepreneur. One of the most important things that you can do to prepare is to educate yourself. Here are a few things that every entrepreneur should know as they start their business.
You should probably speak with a lawyer
For certain types of businesses, it is possible to get things off the ground without the help of an attorney. But for most businesses, it’s smart to get things set up properly. You want to make sure that your business is a legal entity, and that its finances and yours are separated so that you don’t lose everything during tough times for your business. You want to make sure you’re following zoning laws, industry regulations, and any other relevant legal requirements.
And to do all of this, you need a lawyer. Paying for legal advice and representation is a whole lot smarter than paying way more in fines and lawsuits later on, or losing your shirt because your business assets were kept under your own name. With legal advice, you get real protection.
You don’t have to do it all
You’re starting a business because you have a skill and passion for something. Maybe you’re starting a bakery, or maybe you’re starting a bookshop. But whatever you’re starting, there are going to be tasks you have to handle for your business that have absolutely nothing to do with your passion and skill set.
Starting a bookshop because you love books and have great recommendations? You still have to do a bunch of math to get the payroll right. Want to share your baking skill? You still have to get the taxes done right.
Skipping payroll and tax tasks entirely isn’t an option, of course, but you should know that you don’t have to do all of that stuff personally. In fact, the most efficient and effective solution may be to pay someone else to get it done.
It’s called outsourcing, and it’s one of the best things a business owner can do. Outsource your payroll. Outsource payment processing. Outsource benefits, tax work, and even huge chunks of IT and human resources work. It costs money, but it will make your business more efficient and let you focus on the stuff that will make or break your success in the long term.
You’re here to solve market needs
Entrepreneurs need to have a passion for what they do. But, experts would remind you, passion alone isn’t enough. If you’re great at knitting wool hats, that’s fantastic — but if you live in Miami, you probably don’t have a future business success on your hands.
Entrepreneurs and their business are there to fill market needs. Customers build businesses, not the other way around. You need to take a hard look at your business strategy and make sure you’re really filling a need that is going to take your business over the top. If you are, and if you follow the rest of our advice above, then you’re going to have a great chance at making it as an entrepreneur.