Tired of playing by your boss's rules? Tired of wondering if you have what it takes to navigate your financial freedom? Wondering if you can make your dreams a reality? Wondering how you can get out of debt and do the things you truly want to do? Well, here's your guidepost ---- Very Basic Easy to Understand Rules:
Step 1: Get Organized
Get a day planner or PDA and write your goals - where are you, where you need to be, what you need to do to get there. Figure out why you want to start your business? Are you turning your hobby into an income stream? Will it be part-time or full-time? If possible, start out part-time and keep your current employment. You can use your salary to float while you start up the business. If you're just bored and tired of working for your boss, evaluate your decision. Perhaps you can switch jobs or take a sabbatical. Don't do anything drastic until you figure your true reasons for leaving your stable employment for the unknown.
Step 2 Get Information
Do your research. Be realistic. Just because you have an idea doesn't mean you're going to be rich. What do you want to sell? What is your niche? Who are you targeting?
Step 3 Get Out There!
Go online. Go to your local library. Attend workshops. Volunteer. Study the competition. Attend the industry parties, expos and shows.
Step 4 Make A Business Plan
Put your thoughts and ideas on paper. This allows you to figure out what you need. Describe the goods or services you plan to offer. Describe the market. Determine how much you need. Figure out where the source of your investment. How much startup cash do you need? Don't forget advertising costs. You don't want the business to be a secret, do you? How are you going to get the word out?
Step 5 Get Money Smart
If you're drowning in debt, pay down your debt before plunging your life savings or retirement into a new venture. Don't put your startup costs on a credit card. You don't want to rob Peter to pay Paul. Check your credit history. You may be able to use your savings or you could be eligible for small business loans from banks or other credit institutions. Overestimate your budget. This allows you to fall back on any accumulated cash reserves.
Step 6 Pick Your Legal Team
There are several types of legal entities ranging from sole proprietorship to limited partnerships to limited liability companies. Speak to legal and tax professionals for guidance.
Step 7 Get Started
You've done your research. You've met with the legal and tax professionals. You've got your financing. You've got your permits and/or licenses. You may start with an on-line establishment or a brick and mortar store. The main advantages of online trading are the low overhead costs. Online trading allows you to get your "feet wet" and gives you a feel of the consumer response to your products or services. If you're sure that a brick and mortar is your ideal route, then go for it.
Step 8 Get realistic
You may not start off with a bang, but remember its a process!!! You'll lose some sleep. You'll second-guess your decision. You'll wonder why you gave up your 9 to 5 for what appears to be a 24 hour headache. Don't give up yet. The rewards are great. The intrinsic satisfaction is priceless. You've dreamed about this. You've worked hard for it. It's here. Enjoy the ride!
-Mimi owner and designer of Boutique Mix