Starting a business in the United States of America is easier than elsewhere in the world. America encourages new entrepreneurs to start their enterprises by providing them with an attractive self-employment program, small and medium business (SMB) loans and business counseling. The current government has announced incentives to all start-up businesses by waiving off the taxes and supporting them financially through small business loans until the break-even. The existing SMBs will also be rewarded if they increase the salary of the staff or induct new employees into the country. Whether you want to diversify your business or open new ventures, this country is rich with information. There are free resources available to conduct market research and you can get access to industry publications, statistics and associations. This will help you understand and identify what business to start and where should it be located.
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Once you have decided on the type of business and the location of your venture, you can get the advice of a reputed expert in your business segment. They would be more than willing to help you by charting out a business plan, how to approach banks for loan, how and when to break-even and many other things associated with small to medium businesses. However, there are many things an expert may not disclose or tell you. So it is best you follow these steps carefully when you plan to start a new business.
- Be passionate about your business – Remember that starting a business is not a child’s play. You have to invest time, energy and money to start your business and also build it into a successful venture. Therefore, it is important that you start something you are knowledgeable of and passion about. You can always convert your hobby into a business because it would be something that you truly enjoy doing. When you are venturing into something that you are passionate about you would look forward to working towards your goal each day.
- Avoid partnership ventures with your friends – It may sound like a wonderful idea to get into joint ventures with friends. However, for those who are not assertive and subtle, joint ventures with friends is often a recipe for disaster. The reason is that you would not want to say what has to be said because you are afraid of losing your friendship.
- Start your venture while you’re still employed – It does not make sense to start your enterprise after leaving your full time job. The reason is your business will take some time to make any profit. If you are planning to leave your current job to start your business, then you should have saved enough to open a business. If you are married, then your spouse should be able to support you and also take care of the monthly expenditure. Therefore, it is wise to phase out of the business at a medium pace.
- Get the support of your family – Discuss and debate about your start-up business with your close family members. You would be surprised at the number of ideas that will bounce off. If you have a mentor in your family, seek his/her advice. It is also necessary that you enroll for a business start-up program to get the gist of the whole planning process. Remember, it is always better to have a guidance of an experienced person.
- Get your customers/clients first- Businesses need customers. You should know who your target audience is before you officially start your business. Therefore you should have your clients/customers lined up before you kick start your venture. You can get clients through contacts, networking, by holding trade shows and conducting seminars.
- Start slowly – SMB owners should move slowly – this is to test the waters before you take another step ahead. This is something which an expert will never tell you. When your business moves are slow and small, you will be in control of your business and you can focus on the most essential matters. It is not a myth that businesses that try to grow too fast fail.
- Create your boundaries and timelines - It is better to know your business boundaries because it makes time management easier. You should give time to grow your business. The reason is that when you know your business is not making the desirable profit, either you have to change your business strategies or diversify your business. It does not make sense throwing good money after the bad.
These are some of the important tips I feel any entrepreneur setting up a business should follow. However, owning a small business has many advantages over a traditional job. The success of the business depends on how we handle it.
If you have some more valuable tips/suggestions, share it with us.