If you were to ask 10 different entrepreneurs why they took the leap into business ownership, you’d get 10 completely different reasons. Whatever your reason may be, you are considering taking the plunge into entrepreneurship — and you are reasonably wary. Entrepreneurship is a brand-new world, but with these tips, it’s nothing to fear.
Consider These Two Business Structures
You can’t simply start a business; you have to have a business structure. S corporations (S corp) and limited liability corporations (LLC) are the two most common business structures for entrepreneurs. Both are advantageous in that they protect your assets and help you avoid paying personal and corporate taxes. Each comes with their own pros and cons, so read up on the differences between the two before you make a decision.
Think About a Business Co-Founder
One of the major benefits of entrepreneurship is being your own boss, but when you think about the benefits that abound from having a business partner, sharing your title with a co-founder doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Having a co-founder means you can approach problems and decisions with opposing viewpoints that help you choose the best path. Plus, a partner is like having two of you, giving you extra hands so you don’t overextend yourself and allowing you to focus on your strengths rather than drowning in everything. To find a partner, type up a description of your ideal partner to serve as a checklist. Visit conferences in your desired industry, network, or use a matchmaking site such as FoundersNation or CoFoundersLab.
Don’t Skimp on Your Website
As simple as it sounds, a good business website gives you a huge leg up. According to statistics cited by Entrepreneur, almost half of small businesses don’t have a website for reasons such as lack of technical know-how or the cost of setting up/maintenance. However, 70 to 80 percent of people use the internet to research a company before purchasing an item or service, so having a website establishes credibility and a solid online presence.
Get Comfortable with Outsourcing
Four out of five small businesses aren’t using the digital tools sitting right at their fingertips. This is a crazy statistic when you consider there are tools for every business-related task, including project management, website performance monitoring, customer relations, social media management, file storage, HR management, and accounting. A successful entrepreneur knows how to outsource, whether this means contracting the services of a warm body or using a host of different digital tools. You’ll find that you experience greater job flexibility, improved service, better resources, lower overhead costs, and way less stress.
Choose Your Office Space Wisely
As an entrepreneur, you might think your office space is limited to a home office, but this isn’t the case. Many entrepreneurs participate in a co-working arrangement in which you rent a desk or office in one shared space and work alongside other business people, freelancers, and telecommuters. This not only adds some social interaction to your day, but you are in a professional setting with networking opportunities and minimal distractions. Of course, this isn’t to say you can’t have a home office. Some people find working from home to be the best option, but in order for it to work, your home office must be set up to be productive with a desk, comfy chair, high-speed internet, surge protectors, computer/printer/scanner, storage space, adequate lighting, and décor. Resist the urge to work from your bed or couch so that you can clearly define the boundaries between work and home.
Becoming your own boss is one of life’s many exciting endeavors. Don’t let the fear of taking the jump crush your dreams — as well as your success! The tips above only scratch the surface, but all it takes is one step to get the ball rolling.