You’re not feeling fulfilled at your 9-to-5 job, and you’re wondering if you should take a risk and start working for yourself instead. But even if you know your industry inside and out, and you’ve always wanted more independence in your professional life, you might be nervous about all of the challenges that come with entrepreneurship. These tips can help you dodge problems that new entrepreneurs commonly face.
Work Out a Business Plan
You might feel apprehensive about committing to entrepreneurship before you have a clear vision for your business. That’s why drawing up a business plan is key! To get started, Brandon C. White recommends describing how your products and services will solve your customers’ problems, your target customer and industry competition, a financial summary, your financing plans, and your hiring plans.
Choose a Business Structure
As an aspiring entrepreneur, you might have lots of questions about the legal aspects of running a business. Choosing the right business structure and registering your company early can help clarify your rights and legal responsibilities.
If you’re researching possible structures, you might be confused about the difference between C corp and S corp entities. For instance, if you plan to open a small business, you may want to register as a Maryland S corp, which offers self-employment tax breaks and pass-through taxation. You’ll also be able to claim losses as tax deductions. On the other hand, if you’re launching a larger company, consider registering as a C corp - you’ll have minimal growth restrictions, and you’ll be able to hold multiple stocks and bring foreign shareholders on board. To avoid paying substantial lawyer fees, you can file on your own or submit your documents to an online formation service.
Promote Your Company
Maybe you’re worried that you don’t have the marketing savvy to effectively promote your company and that hiring a specialist to do it would be too expensive. Thankfully, effective marketing isn’t necessarily complex or pricey - in fact, you can probably tackle lots of basic advertising tasks on your own at a very low cost! With an online logo maker tool, you can design a sharp logo that exemplifies your company’s unique brand without spending a dime. After choosing your preferred icon and style, adding the text you need, and picking out your favorite fonts and colors, you’ll have a logo for your marketing materials.
Understand Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Appreciating your own strengths as an entrepreneur while staying conscious of your weaknesses can help you grow your business successfully. If you’re not aware of your personal weaknesses, you might make avoidable mistakes - but if you identify your shortcomings early on and make a proactive effort to improve in these areas, you can become a better business leader. You may even want to work with a therapist or business coach for expert advice.
Perhaps you’re most worried about the financial aspect of business ownership. It can take some time for your business to produce a sustainable income that allows you to cover your living expenses. Therefore, you may need to launch your business as a side hustle initially. It’s also a good idea to save up a hefty emergency fund. To put away extra money, Fulton Bank recommends putting any gifts of tax refunds directly into your savings and cutting back on frivolous expenses, like daily lattes.
Choosing to open your own business definitely takes courage. But when you commit to entrepreneurship, you might be surprised to find out just how much you’re capable of. With these tips, you’ll be prepared to choose a business structure, market your company, and improve upon your entrepreneurial weaknesses.
Membership in the Harford County Chamber of Commerce offers numerous benefits to entrepreneurs and their small businesses. Join them today! Not quite ready for Chamber membership? Check out Venture Access, an entrepreneurial and small business support nonprofit helping entrepreneurs and small business owners formulate, launch, and grow for free!Photo via Pexels