There are many reasons why you might want to start a business. Maybe you’re looking for a way to make a little extra cash in addition to your full-time paycheck. You might be unhappy with your current job or feel like you never have any time for yourself or your family. It’s also possible you’ve suddenly found yourself without a job and, with the market the way it is, you’ve faced extreme difficulty getting rehired. Or maybe you’re just tired of the rat race and ready to take control of your own career and life.
Well you’re in luck! All those people who’ve always told you starting a business was too difficult, time consuming, and ultimately doomed to failure were dead wrong.
It’s actually quite easy to start a business of your own. Trust me, I did it! And you can do it too, in just six simple steps.
Step 1: Find Your “Why”
You may be wondering why this is the first step, but I assure you it’s very important. If you don’t know why you’re doing something, you’re significantly less likely to succeed in doing it.
Before you start your business, you have to identify what’s motivating you. Personally, I didn’t like my job and was tired of workplace drama and politics. I also hated being dependent on someone else’s assessment of my value. But in order for me to leave that all behind, I had to be successful on my own.
Remembering why you started will help keep you moving forward. I work hard because I don’t want to go back to working for someone else.
Step 2: Set Goals
There is one major goal you should make right away. You need to determine when you want to begin working for yourself full-time.
Knowing this will help define every other objective you set. Income goals, for example, are completely reliant on knowing your time-frame. If you’re running your business as a side-project, your profit goals will likely be project-based (enough to pay off a loan or take a trip to Hawaii). If you’re goal is to have your business replace your day job in six months, you know you need to be profiting at least your current salary by then.
Step 3: Gather Support
I’d be lying if I said starting a business is always easy. It’s not.
I like to think the process is like hiking up a mountain; a variation of moderate to difficult upward mobility (setting yourself up for success), followed by a somewhat exhausted summit (achievement), and then easy going back down (reaping the rewards of your efforts). Except, as a business owner, you do this over and over again, gradually summiting higher and higher each time.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t find hiking (or running a business) nearly as enjoyable alone. That’s why it’s important that you surround yourself by supportive friends, family, and fellow entrepreneurs to help keep you engaged and motivated.
Step 4: Choose Your Business Type
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually have to have a product idea to start a business. The internet has completely changed the business world and, as a result, there are a ton of opportunities to make money.
All you need to do is pick one that suits the skills and resources you already have easily at hand.
Some quick and easy ideas: freelance writing, online retail, blogging, virtual assisting, offering a service, or selling courses.
Step 5: Fund Your Business
You’ve been worrying about this, I can tell. No need to fret, however, because this couldn’t be easier (or less expensive!).
The best way to fund your business is by bootstrapping. “What the heck is bootstrapping?!” Great question!
The technical meaning of the term is the process of utilizing resources that already exist to get into or out of something. My preferred definition, however, is this: refusing to spend money until you make money.
I started my online retail business by selling used clothes and extra Christmas gifts. I used free resources and refused to spend a dime until I was bringing in profits from sales. Generally speaking, no matter what kind of business you plan to start, there will be a way to bootstrap it into being.
Step 6: Get Your Business License
There are companies out there that would like you to think this is a much more difficult process than it actually is. The fact is you can get this done fast, easy, and for a minimal fee (if your state charges at all).
Start by doing a quick search online to find out your state’s regulations. Then find your state’s application form – it could be an electronic system or you might have to utilize snail-mail. There may be a fee, but it usually isn’t more than about $50.
And that’s it! You’re in business!
These days, it really couldn’t be simpler to start a business. And there’s nothing more rewarding. I love the freedom I’ve achieved, as well as the knowledge that I’m building my own future.
If you’re really serious about taking control of your career, sign up for my FREE one-week e-mail course, Starting a Business for Beginners. It goes through everything you need to know about becoming an entrepreneur and how to be successful in your venture!