According to U.S Small Business Administration, about 20% of small businesses don’t make it past the first year. About two-thirds of businesses with employees
survive at least 2 years and about half survive at least 5 years.
How can you protect yourself from taking a plunge into the small business world? Simply by asking yourself these eight questions:
1. How does my idea apply in the real world?
Here’s when you need to sit back, and brainstorm a few things before moving forward with your new business idea. It may be your idea is a good one, but you must think about how it would work in the “real world”, per say. Research the industry in which your idea falls in, analyze your future competitors, and even start researching potential leads/customers. Also, do not be discourages if it turns out your new business venture doesn’t translate well. Maybe it just needs further research, improvements, or perhaps even a unique ingredient you can offer.
2. What’s my unique ingredient?
For starters, your unique ingredient, or USP (Unique Selling Proposition), is the key for your new startup. For those who aren’t familiar, USP refers to the unique benefit your product or business offers that makes you stand out from competitors. An example of this unique benefit can be free shipping (if applicable), etc. Therefore, start thinking about what will differentiate you from competitors and give you that competitive edge to set you apart.
3. Do I have a support system and start-up costing plan in place?
Every business owner needs a support system. This support system typically includes accountants, lawyers, and anyone whom you can turn to for advice. Your family and friends are definitely part of this support system to be there for you emotionally and general assistance. All in all, you want to surround yourself with individuals that you can trust, are reliable, and even mentor you as your business grows. Because let’s face it, you won’t be able to give it a go, alone. This leads into the set of individuals that will help you fund this idea and blossom it into fruition. Most start-us need help from investors or may even need loans. Do your research and make sure you don’t get the short end of the stick.
To piggy back, start-ups require careful planning, especially financially. That being said, it paramount that you have a start-up costing plan and include any unexpected costs that may pop up. This way, you’re ahead of the game, and those expensive pop-ups will already be taken care of due to your planning. An example of these pesky costs can include equipment costs, wages, marketing costs, etc.
4. Do I need to quit my current job?
In addition, many times a new business requires a significant financial investment at first. Besides having investors, most of the financial investments will come from you. If you can afford to keep your job, all the while testing out your new startup, you’ll have a security net in case things don’t work out as planned. Not only that, your job can also serve as a financial buffer. Once your business has grown and reached the point where it requires your undivided attention, you must ensure it’s stable enough to support you financially too. Ensuring this will reduce the chances of having to work without a paycheck for some time.
5. What kind of business structure will I have?
Furthermore, one of the most important decisions you’ll make when starting a new business is determining what business structure you will have. What tax implications and set up accompany each different structure and how would it apply to you and your set up. Business structure refers to what kind of company you’ll have (sole proprietor, Limited Liability Company, Corporation, Etc). Take a look at Entrepreneurs’ article and the breakdown of each different structure: Choose Your Business Structure
6. Where will I set up my new business?
Lastly, finding your new start-up home or headquarters is another difficult decision you’ll face. However, it’s actually recommended for start-ups to go with an actual office space. This way, you’ll attract top talent for your new business, impress clients, investors, and have a good work-life balance. If affordable office spaces aren’t available, day offices can definitely do the trick and even save you a buck or two. Virtual Offices can also help your start-up by providing it with a commercial office location. A physical business location speaks volumes for your new company and its operation.
As luck would have it, Empire Executive Offices provides office space, day offices, and virtual offices! Our prices are affordable without the expense of losing the luxurious and professional aspects. We have many affordable options for start-ups and small businesses looking to keep costs low while gaining all the resources of a professional corporate image. Give us a call at 954-281-5100 and ask to speak to our Regional Manager, Jennafer. Hope to hear from you soon!