A Road Map for Success
Have you ever considered opening your own business? The journey starts here.
Many people imagine what it would be like to own a business and thousands of them actually follow through. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 627,000 new businesses open each year in America, a figure that can trend up or down.
While the idea of building a business from the ground up holds great attraction, it can also have significant risk. Studies by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics tell us that only 80% of newly opened businesses survive past their first year; by year five, half of these same businesses are gone.
Statistics like these are worth noting — not to discourage you from entrepreneurship, but rather to prepare you for the ups and downs that come with being your own boss. Launching a business takes stamina and hard work. Think you’re up to the challenge? Then let’s get started by taking a closer look at your dream.
Prepare now to launch a business later.
Although no two small businesses are exactly alike, they all share one common feature: Every new business begins with somebody’s big idea. So let’s explore that concept. Pull out whatever medium you’re most comfortable with — laptop, cellphone, tablet, plain old paper — to answer the following questions as they apply to the business you want to launch:
- Why do I even want to start a business?
- What makes me think I can succeed at this?
- What kind of business will this be — retail, service, manufacturing, brick-and-mortar, online?
- Where will I site it?
- Will customers come to me or will I go to them?
- Do I have the skills/experience to run this business? If not, how will I acquire them?
- Will I hire employees or go solo?
- Where will I get the money to pay for this?
- Where can I find help?
No need to rush through these questions; you’re not being timed and you won’t be graded. This exercise is for your eyes only. Its purpose is to help you better define the business you intend to launch so that you are more likely to succeed at it.
One final word: Don’t be tempted to simply breeze through these questions and/or answer them in your head. Taking time to seriously think about each question and craft a written answer will not only give you greater clarity of purpose with regard to your business, it may open your eyes to opportunities you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.