The idea of starting your own business and being your own boss is naturally appealing, especially in this current era of job uncertainty. It’s also easier than ever to get a business started — according to Forbes, 69% of new businesses begin in the home, meaning all you need is a computer and an Internet connection to make things happen.
Well, a computer, an Internet connection, and these five things:
1. A good product/service/idea
A small business is nothing without a good idea. You need something to sell — anything from physical merchandise to consulting services to information products — so you need to spend the bulk of your planning time making sure that you’re selling the best idea you’ve got.
Too many new businesses fail because they aren’t selling anything original. Think of all the people offering web design services or selling Angry Birds app clones. Yes, you can make a physics-based game or turn your design talents into a freelance business, but you need to find some way of standing out from the pack. Don’t copy; instead, reinvent, exceed, and transform.
2. A good team
Even if you’re the only person working for your small business, you need a good team to help you get started. Even in entrepreneurship, it is in fact all about “who you know.” The right team of supporters will help you get your product reviewed on that big website, or buy your first round of design services so you can build your portfolio. These are the people who will invest in you when you need money, and tell the world about you when you need customers. As you build your first great idea, start building your team.
3. A good computer security program
According to Marketplace.org, “many small companies get hacked so often, they go out of business.” These types of hacks include anything from siphoning money away from the company to stealing customers’ data records. Newer hacks come in through social media — think of this year’s Burger King hack, in which hackers sent out numerous offensive tweets through the fast food company’s Twitter account before getting shut down.
A good security measure is to use cutting edge cyber security software. One of the leading companies in business cyber security, Trend Micro, recommends using software that includes “custom sandboxing, adaptive blacklisting, plus C&C detection with email and web gateway, endpoint, and server security.” That’s what you need to be looking for as you seek out a good security solution for your business.
4. A good tax adviser
This cannot be understated. As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you become responsible for federal, state, city, business, and sales taxes. These types of taxes are paid throughout the year, not just on April 15. Save yourself a lot of trouble and hire a tax adviser to help you through the maze.
5. A good work ethic
When you work for someone else, you have a lot of people invested in whether you get your daily tasks done. This is why you have that annoying manager walking around, making sure you aren’t spending the entire day browsing Facebook. When you work for yourself, that manager goes away. You can check Facebook any time you want. But you also have to get your work done.
When you go into business for yourself, you need the type of work ethic that will get a new company off the ground. There are many online productivity apps to help you keep focused, but in the end, your drive to get things done has to come from you. Do you have that fire in your belly? If not, you need to figure out how to get it burning.
It’s easier than ever to start a new business, but you still have to have the basic foundation in place before your company can launch. Start with these five items, and see where becoming your own boss takes you.
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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