I am by no means the “expert” on business. Indeed, I have been practicing law for almost seven (7) years which may seem like a very short time period for some. However, I do have a M.B.A. and I have only worked exclusively with business owners for the last four (4) years [which in my mind means I have the equivalent of about 35 years experience since this is the only type of law I practice.]
As you can imagine, I speak with many growing business owners as well as start ups as well as pre-start up entrepreneurs. Most of the in depth conversations I have with entrepreneurs are doing our Business POWER Sessions (or “business tune ups” as I call them). Our consultations go through a 10 point analysis of your business and provide you with a written report, recommendations and connections with our other business partners. It’s the BEST investment that any business owner or someone considering entrepreneurship can make in my opinion (but of course…I am a little biased clearly.)
What I tend to see is a running theme of “items” that business owners and future business owners need to consider BEFORE they open their doors for business. So there is my list of suggestions before you open your own business:
- 1. Decide is this is what you want to do. Don’t choose a business that you’re not passionate about. Running a business is hard and takes persistence. You’ll be less likely to quit, more motivated, and better at your job is you are doing something you love.
- Be prepared. Mentally (try staying up and working for 16 hours), emotionally (including letting those around you know your plans because they will be affected), physically (exercising to keep your energy levels up) and financially (having 1 years salary saved is not a bad idea).
- Research your “Dream Team”. These people don’t necessarily have to be on your payroll yet but you will need to have an idea of the lawyer, accountant, marketing person, banker, etc. that you want on your team to help you reach success. These people will make up your core team to drive you towards success.
- Make it legal. This can’t be overstated enough (even by an attorney). All your dreams can become a nightmare if you don’t have proper paperwork, compliance issues resolved or other legal matters taken care of BEFORE you open. This is especially important if you are a growing business that is opening a storefront. You have to think about premises liability insurance, permits, handicap accessibility, etc.
- Learn as much as you can. There are free resources everywhere, including ourFREE Kendrick Coffee Conversations starting in September that you can attend. Entrepreneurship is an ever learning and growing process so get in the habit or continuously learning.
Now there are so many other pieces of advice that I or others could give you BEFORE you open your doors for business or while you are thinking about expanding your business (some I am sure will appear as comments on this article). These are the most common ones that I see and have to help entrepreneurs answer. I hope that this gives you a starting point for preparing to open for business or for growing your business.