Have I saved enough money to fund the business during the start-up period? Also ask yourself how much funding your business is eligible to receive from banks and government agencies in the form of contracts and grants.
Do I have a detailed business plan? Information generally included in detailed business plans are line item budgets, marketing plans, mission state, products and services, market research studies, business experience of senior management, licenses and permits. As a tip, the Small Business Association (SBA) offers free business plan templates.
Is there a mentor or coach I can refer to should I need additional guidance? The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is an organization that offers free advice to new business owners. You can also get support from organizations like the Black Business Association, National Black Chamber of Commerce and your local Urban League.
Do I have the buy-in of my family? Although this isn’t required to launch and operate a business, it helps to discuss your business vision with your immediate family members and get their support. After all, if you end up working long hours during your business’ start-up phase your family will know what to expect and may support you through transitions you experience as a business owner.
Engender Word of Mouth Marketing for Your Business
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) nearly half of the employees in the private sector work for small businesses. Should you hire employees or independent contractors to handle segments of your business such as marketing, public relations, content generation, contract proposals, accounting, insurance or risk management, in addition to providing customers with products and services that improve their lives, you’ll be aiding the economy.
Who knows, your business could become a modern day Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company. If it does, like Madam C. J. Walker, you’ll have to be prepared to travel to meet with clients and prospective customers, make tough business decisions and engender word-of-mouth marketing until your business is so widely known and respected it could pull in a million customers a year while the great showman, P. T. Barnum’s circus made all the noise it would right across the street.