8 things to do before starting your own business

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – If you’ve always dreamed about starting your own business and you think you’re ready to take the plunge, here are a few things you should do.

1) Ask yourself if entrepreneurship is for you.  The Small Business Administration suggests you consider whether you have these characteristics and skills commonly associated with successful entrepreneurs: comfortable taking risks, independent, persuasive, able to negotiate, creative, and supported by others.

2) Know your competition. You need to do some research so you know what you’ll be up against. Entrepreneur recommends that you shop your competition, talk to the competition’s customers, if applicable, purchase $100 credit and background reports for your competition at Dun and Bradstreet, and check your competitor’s websites.

3) Make sure you own your company’s name. Forbes recommends that you choose a company name with an available trademark and internet domain name.   You can check trademarks here.  You can search for an available domain name here.

4)  Create a budget and know that you will need money. Entrepreneur reports that the median range for small business loans is $130,000 to $140,000. You should be prepared to spend money.

5) You will need to create a business plan. This will help guide your direction and decision-making. Forbes suggests that you think of your business plan as your blueprint. You wouldn’t just start building a house without a plan would you?

6) You will need to figure out which type of business entity you will have, a corporation or a limited liability company. You can find more information about the legalities of starting a business in Florida by visiting the state’s website. 

7) Know that your business has a great likelihood of failing. According to Entrepreneur, the majority of small businesses fail.  Entrepreneur cited the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, BED in a recent article, “About half of all new establishments survive five years or more and about one-third survive ten years or more. As one would expect, the probability of survival increases with a firm’s age. Survival rates have changed little over time.”

8) Business News Daily recommends that you consider is getting a coach or mentor.  A mentor’s knowledge and experience can help you make educated decisions.

Check out the Small Business Administration’s website for more information about starting your own business

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