What to Do Before Starting Your Own Business

 As the economy has hit the skids and more people have lost their jobs during the last year, many have started something they never thought they would have the courage to do—launching their own businesses. Tired of sending out hundreds of online resumes and cover letters without getting a nibble, many unemployed workers are asking: “What can I do on my own?”

 

And, the answer this year for many is to start that business they’ve always dreamed about but never had the courage to make the leap. If you are contemplating starting your own business, there may not be a better time to do it—even if the economy is shaky.

 

While that sounds like it might be contradictory, it isn’t. Despite the big government bailouts to big business, the economy will get back on its feet on the backs of new small businesses and new entrepreneurs. So, if you are considering being a new entrepreneur, here are five tips to consider before going out on your own:

 

·        Plan: Think about your financial situation. How can you best use your severance pay, buyout money, paid vacation, and your savings to get you through the initial period of establishing your business? Be realistic about your expenses, and don’t forget to plan to continue your health insurance without a break in coverage.

·        Discover: Now it’s time to find out about the type of business that might interest you. Get on Facebook, LinkedIn and other networking Web sites to make new connections and find out about how other people are running a business in your area of interest.

·        Develop: Once you’ve completed these first two steps, you can now link up with a career coach, a professional mentor, or take a couple of business development classes to sketch out a business plan for your new venture. Keying in on the advice of an experienced career counselor will help you get your business off in the right direction.

·        Research: Next, you should spend time researching the official steps you’ll need to take to get your business up and running. Registering your business name, obtaining the proper licenses and insurance, setting up a business accounting system and checking account all fall into this category. You can get this information from the Small Business Administration, and through classes and Web sites.

·        Market: Now, you need to learn how to best market yourself and your business. You can use networking, volunteering, your coach/mentor, and business classes and seminars to get this information. Writing up a marketing plan, with professional advice, aimed at the right target audience will include everything from a logo and slogan to a Web site.

 

Takes these steps seriously, and really plan what you want to do and how you will do it is essential. With the proper preparation, you, too, can begin that business that you always dreamed about.