I’ve always been a fan of starting a business. It’s probably one of the few things that Robert Kiyosaki and I both believe in. The problem is that starting a business is typically a lot of work. That’s one of the reasons why I called my website Lazy Man, I had a lot of great ideas to start a business, but the drive to put 100% of my energy into any of them. I accidentally stumbled into the blogging being a business, it was really supposed to just be a fun way to bring some like-minded people together to talk about managing money better.
With that in mind, I wanted to give a few tips for starting a new business. So you can start the new year off on the right foot, I’m giving these a little early.
- Know the Business You are Getting Into – When I’m watching Shark Tank, I see a number of people who invented little do-hickeys such as some magnets that allow you to hang glasses on your shirt. However, very few of these people know the business of making these in bulk and getting them widely distributed. That’s where Lori Greiner comes in with her QVC connections. You have to do the market research and have a lot of other problems solved beyond just offering a great product or service.
- Set up SMART or SMARTER Goals – If you aren’t familiar with SMART goals, SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals. It’s one of the best says to ensure that you are making steady progress in your business.
- Separate Home and Work Life – This is one I have difficulties with myself. As a blogger, there’s always work to do. If I’m not writing posts or responding to email, I could be reading more to get ideas for my next post. At some point, I need to put the computer down and play with my dog (though he’s pretty good about telling me when it is time to play). As a bonus related tip, be careful about bringing friends and family in the business. You don’t want to get in a situation where you have to fire your sister or watch the business suffer. You don’t want to be playing John Madden football all day when you should be working.
- Do the Legal and Paper Work – This is one of those tips that I provide for informational purposes. I actually did zero set up for Lazy Man and Money being a business, because it wasn’t intended to be a business. However, the Small Business Administration has these 10 tips such as having a formal written business plan, financing, business licenses, and a legal structure for the business. It’s such as good list that I felt that I needed to include them.
- Get Prepared to Accept Money – It sounds like a simple thing, but being able to take money is important and it’s not quite as simple as it seems. If you go with Paypal, you have to have a little technical expertise to set it up on a website. And if you have a physical location you’ll want to skip Paypal and get merchant account to accept credit cards directly. The website Better Merchant Accounts can help you determine what questions to ask about a merchant account provider.
I’ve written it numerous times before, but one of the best books to read on starting a business is Millionaire Fast Lane by MJ DeMarco. It gets a little repetitive in spots, but it covers so much information about why and how to become an entrepreneur that the book is a solid purchase.
These tips only scratch the surface. Now I’m going to put the ball in your court, what are your best tips for starting a business? Fill up the comments below with your lovely wisdom.
consult a tax professional for guidance as to local ordnances adn how to structure your business: sch C, corporation, corp with sub-S election, partnership, LLC. there is a difference betweena LEGAL and a TAX classification. laws will vary by state and may not align perfectly with the federal requirements. make sure you file all necessary paper and taxes ina timely manner. in florida, failure to file sales and use tax is a $50 penalty every month even if tax is zero. ona fed level, if you are a sub S, late filing results ina $195/month penalty even though there is NO TX PAID by a sub S. so consult with a CPA or an EA. the $100 will be well worth it!