Going Into Business

Heather Kobler

Dear Heather,

I am thinking about going into business for myself and I am wondering whether I should do this on my own or with a partner. What do you think?

Mike T.

If you can do it alone, I would suggest that you do not have a partner. No one will ever work harder than you will and if you plan things right, you should do well. Here are a few tips:

There are so many things to consider when you start up a new business. Don’t give up your day job (that may provide your family needed benefits) unless you have an unlimited supply of capital to work with and don’t borrow money. Begin by saving money while you are still in the planning stages. Don’t treat your business like a hobby, because hobbies generally don’t make you money.

Before you begin, ask people in business what the best and worst decisions they made when they first started out. Most successful entrepreneurs are happy to share their experiences, but not their trade secrets.

Develop a business plan and do research and take the time to really plan things out. Do not discuss your ideas with anyone who might rain on your parade. No matter how smart you are, you will overlook important things so forgive yourself.

Finding clients and retaining them is the order of the day! Most clients are willing to give you a chance to become a vendor if you approach them in person. Networking is an important tool in developing a client base. Saying what you mean, and meaning what you say is important. Do not give delivery dates on orders that you know you cannot deliver on time.

If you are providing a service and not open to the general public, you will still need to manage your time. Setting a schedule and keeping it is important. Now is the time to be tough on you and do your very best.

If you have a retail store remember this; location, location, location!   When looking for a rental location remember that most property owners sometime give concessions as an incentive to rent or lease their property. Call about locations that you’re not really interested in and ask what concessions they may offer just to educate yourself. Net and triple net are terms you need to understand before you even consider actually negotiating for space. Walking away to think about any offer is sometimes the best thing you can do.

I have a 24 and 72 hour rule I use before spending a significant amount of money.  If I’m spending more than $1,000.00, I have to think about it for 24 hours. Anything over $1,000.00, and I think about it for at least 72 hours. This will keep you from over spending on anything you might consider buying. That rule has saved me plenty of money throughout my life.

Should you require employees, consider hiring people who have experience in the same field because training is both expensive and time consuming.  If you have created or invented something, be sure to patent it or copy write it, whichever applies.

Tell friends and family that while you’re working, you do not want phone calls or impromptu visits.  If you take this stance from the start, people will know you’re serious and respect the parameters you have set. They are many variable’s in business, but if you set up some good ground rules you will have a much better chance to succeed and live happily ever after.

Good Luck.

Posted under: Heather

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