Written your 2010 Resolutions yet? Along with Lose Weight and Quit X (insert bad habit here), Start my own business is consistently a top New Year’s Resolution. And for 2010, the recent fallout of the economy will make this goal that much more urgent for many women. Making the decision to launch your own business is the first step, and there are several foundational steps potential entrepreneurs also need to take to set themselves up to succeed. Launching your own business is the best, if not the only, way to take control of your work and financial future. Start 2010 by preparing yourself for the long and worthwhile journey into entrepreneurship!
Starting a business requires a significant time commitment. Start now by managing your time effectively. Select a time management system that works well for you and make a habit of using and following the schedule you set for yourself. Take a few minutes each morning (or evening) to plan your day. Work on prioritizing your activities — do what you must, delegate what you can, and eliminate what you don’t need to waste time on.
Schedule some time each week (at least) to work on your business idea. The first steps of launching a viable business mostly involve research, and research requires focused blocks of time to be effective. Time management is critical for the successful entrepreneur, and the sooner you master the art of managing your time and tasks, the easier the road will be.
Even a purely bootstrapped startup requires some cash. No matter what kind of business you are starting, you will have to pay for the legal organization, software, supplies, marketing materials (such as the business’s website), your own time, and much more. Start earmarking savings for your venture immediately and look for ways to build that account. Use Craigslist or eBay (or the traditional garage sale) to unload unused items and build your startup reserves. Take on side jobs, clip coupons, review your monthly budget, and brainstorm any possible way to set aside a few bucks at a time for your business.
Remember: money and time are proportionally related — the more of one you have for your startup, the less you’ll need of the other. More accurately — the less cash you have on hand, the more time it will take to get your venture afloat.
Start talking about your plans now. Talk to everyone you meet about your business idea, where you are in the startup process, and the things you need to go forward. Listen closely to the input — even those who don’t seem particularly supportive often volunteer information that can help. The people you know likely have good ideas and opinions that can help you shape your startup idea into one destined for success. Keep an ear out for other people’s talents and skills — you may be able to barter for products and services your business needs with folks you already know and trust.
Don’t fall for the idea that you have to keep your business idea to yourself — the sooner you start talking about it and the more you talk about it, the quicker it will become reality. Nobody is likely to steal your idea nor will most of them think anything negative of you if you change direction or decide not to pursue it altogether. But, if you do get your business off the ground, you will be eternally grateful for the contacts you have made and the support system you have built.
About the Author-K. MacKillop, a serial entrepreneur, is founder of LaunchX and authors a small business startup blog. The LaunchX System is designed to help entrepreneurs start a business based on their own idea. It includes step-by-step business startup instructions, key software, business tools, and more — a complete business kit. Visit LaunchX.com to learn more about this revolutionary way to become an entrepreneur.