You’ve decided that the time has come to start your own business and get away from working for someone else. It’s a lofty goal and one that’s worthy of attempting, but it’s only the first step. You have a concept, but you need to turn that concept into a fully realized business plan. Otherwise, you’re never going to get anything off the ground. Ask yourself these three questions and carefully consider your answers before you quit your job to follow your dream.
What Industry Are You Operating In?
Do you have an idea of what industry you want to compete in? That’s a question that’s not answered as easily as you might think. You are most likely very good with the skills you currently have and you want to exploit them for your own gain. However, you also probably have more than one viable skill, and this talent is not necessarily applicable to the job you’re currently in. That skill could be put to good use instead of being left unused.
Maybe you have a fresh idea for a product and you want to get it off the ground. Have you looked around to see what industry that product would fall in? If you haven’t asked these questions, it’s time to start.
Where Is the Money Coming From?
This is an important question. You need money to fund your business, and you might have enough of your own to get it going. But don’t take what you have, spend it, then go looking for more. Hang onto that cash because you need to show a lender that you have skin in the game. It’s easier to get a business loan when the lender knows you’re also contributing to operations from your own pocket. Lenders typically prefer to avoid 100 percent funding when possible.
Approach lenders who are familiar with the type of business you’re going to open. They are sometimes more willing to lend, as they understand how the business works and how likely it is they are going to get repaid.
How Are You Going to Accept Payment?
Whether you’re opening a retail operation or not, you still need to have a billing and payment system in place. Retail and non-retail operations benefit from accepting credit cards from their customers. If you’re in an industry where chargebacks are a problem, look into a company like High Risk Pay for a merchant account.
Additionally, get your invoicing software set up as soon as possible while learning how your customers prefer to receive their billing. It’s imperative to have a steady flow of income, and you can achieve that by making sure your payment options are in place as soon as possible.
These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself if you want to turn your dream into a reality. It’s much easier to get off the ground when you’ve asked yourself questions about your own expectations of starting a business.