The topic of starting a small business is ALWAYS a popular one. If you are a small business owner and you meet someone who is toying with the idea of starting a small business, you’ll probably hear the question asked, “How did you get started?”
Too many times, this question leads to a very dry discussion of accounting methodologies and business structure issues.
Here it is from someone who has “been there, done that” I’ve not only bought the T-shirt but I’ve worked with HUNDREDS of people in helping them to achieve the dream of marketing and promoting their own small business.
- The first step to starting a small business is NOT deciding upon a legal structure for your business.
- The first step to starting a small business is NOT performing a SWOT analysis, a competitor analysis or any other kind of “analysis”.
- The first step to starting a small business is NOT creating a logo, ordering business cards or creating a website.
Are you ready – [drumroll - finger on desk]
The first step to starting a small business is the birth of the idea!
“Money never starts an idea. It is always the idea that starts the money.”– Owen Laughlin
Starting a small business with the idea that you’re going to make a LOT of money is a piss poor reason to launch a business. As a matter of fact, if there’s a BETTER way to achieve failure, I can’t think of it. Some Of The Best Business Ideas begin not with a passion for money, but a passion for something other than money.
There are certain inalienable truths which you should know as you begin the exciting journey of starting a small business.
- You’re going to need more money that you thought to launch this business.
- You’re going to need more money than you can beg, steal or borrow to launch this business.*
- You’re going to have to work harder than you ever have in your life to launch this business.
- You’re going to have to turn a deaf ear to the people who think you’re crazy for pursuing this business.
* There is an exception to the “you’ll never have enough money” truth. You may gain access to venture capital, in which case you’ll have too much money – which surprisingly can be WORSE than not having enough. Read Monitor110: A Post Mortem, which digs deep into the reasons (hindsight is always 20:20) why Monitor 110 didn’t rise to the ranks of legendary success – one reason was the access to too much money!
By the way, I’m not saying that you WILL NOT make money with your small business, I’m just saying if that is your primary motivation, you probably won’t make it.
So if money isn’t a good reason to start new business, what is?
In a nutshell – it’s an idea. An idea that keeps you up at night. An idea that permeates your every waking moment. An idea that has hold of your brain and won’t let go.
“Ideas are a dime a dozen. People who implement them are priceless” – Mary Kay Ash
If you want to start a small business in order to improve the balance of your checking account – for heavens sake, go get a JOB and don’t even think about starting a small business!
What’s your passion? What’s keeping you up at night?
Once you’ve found your passion – then begins the process of bringing your business to life.