Will 2012 be the year you begin your business? With a new year upon us, it’s a perfect opportunity to focus on your goals and turn those dreams into a reality. More entrepreneurs than ever before are coming into their own as business owners.
As an entrepreneur myself (and mother of Four) and someone who has worked with countless entrepreneurs, I’ve seen firsthand the unique challenges facing small business owners and entrepreneurs. Here are my top five tips for those brave and wise individuals looking to start their own business:
Live within your means and don’t be afraid to start small
One of the main causes for a startup’s failure is not having enough capital at the beginning. Be realistic about your financing, and don’t try to extend yourself beyond your means. Find creative ways to fund your business, such as working out of your home, bartering with vendors, and leveraging social media and networking for your marketing.
Don’t dwell on your least favorite tasks
As an entrepreneur, you’re going to have to wear many hats. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to enjoy or excel at every aspect of your business. Some tasks (like bookkeeping or blogging) are bound to be a major drain on your time and well-being. Recognize where you’re struggling and look for an alternative such as hiring help or asking a friend or family member to pitch in. You’ll be freeing up your time for other critical areas where you excel.
Learn to say ‘No’
Did you know that the word “No” is a complete sentence? Although saying ‘No’ is never comfortable, it’s absolutely essential. Just remember that every time you say ‘yes’ to someone, you’re saying ‘NO’ to yourself and ‘No’ to your priorities. To be a successful entrepreneur, you’ve got to learn to drop some of your time commitments and set healthy boundaries, whether it’s to friends, family members, volunteer organizations, or colleagues, but remember NEVER to your customers…always make the time for your clients!!!!
Don’t overlook the legal bureaucracy
It’s undeniably the least glamorous part of your business, but don’t overlook the legal aspects of your business. Many small business owners choose to form an LLC (Limited Liability Company) to protect their personal savings and property from any liability. Adding an LLC or Inc. (for a corporation) after your company name boosts your company’s credibility in the eyes of some customers and partners. It used to be expensive and time-consuming to file for an LLC, but this is no longer the case.
Don’t forget to celebrate each success
The road before any entrepreneur is exciting, uncharted, and a little bumpy. Along the way, don’t forget to acknowledge each success, no matter how small. These celebrations will help you stay inspired. So, please remember to pat yourself on the back now and then.
Here’s to you starting YOUR business in 2012!