It’s the start of the new year, and most of the nattering nabobs of negativity in the media think it’s the wrong time to start a new business, or a franchise, or buy a business. We think the timing is just fine, as long as you follow some prudent guidelines:
1. Download the free Entrepreneurial Questionaire from our website, www.theasoe.com. If you complete it honestly, it should tell you if you’re tempermentally suited to entrepreneurial life. If you’re more risk averse, open or buy a franchise, or intrapreneur within your existing company.
2. If you’re tempermentally suited, and determined to go ahead with a new company, you should do some market research. The best summary course on this topic for the money is ‘Validating Your Business Idea’ from the American School of Entrepreneurship. This single course, if your idea passes muster, will greatly increase your chances of success. You don’t have to worry if your business doesn’t generate reams of publicity and isn’t a homerun….most businessses provide a nice living for their owners in relative obscurity. The essemce of the course is do something validated as unique and figure out how to market it.
3. You must do a cash flow estimate (the guidelines for which are in the Course outlined above). Figure out how much you can beg or borrow from friends and family, or your own resources, because the banks won’t lend to you unless you’ve got collateral, such as a house.
4. If you’re going to need money in the millions, download the free business plan templates at the American School of Entrepreneurship. These templates should get your juices flowing about marketing, cash flow, unique selling propositions and the like. The venture capitalists are still out there, but are increasingly finicky about what they’ll fund.
5. If you can’t find enough money, scale back your plans, or work at your new company on times off from your present company. You’ll be sleep deprived, but you’ll have a great idea if your new business is really going to make it.
6. Assuming that you find the money, then take the Implementing a New Business course, because it’s a unique overview of the steps that you’re likely to need in getting your business up and running. This is a surprisingly difficult step for many entrepreneurs, because they usually underestimate the cost and time to secure leases, licenses, design web sites and the like.
So, if you logically go through the above steps, and get through all of them without kidding yourself, your chances of success are really pretty good, much better than average.