Q. I really want to start a business but I don't even know where to begin. I already have my BA in Liberal studies and really don't want to go back to school for another degree. Where do I begin?
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1 answer | Asked on 05/23/12 by:
Los Angeles, CA, United States
I have helped start small ventures, and I can definitely say from my experience that there is quite a bit of leg work that must be done in order to ensure success.
I found very valuable, basic videos on the SBA website that may help you in getting a start on funding and what not. http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/counseling-training contains a list of training videos that I would definitely view.
I would also start writing. One of the best habits I tell everybody is to write EVERYTHING down. Carry a note pad with you, start looking at bars, restaurants, stores, etc as an opportunity to take ideas from.
Start writing a business plan. I would highly suggest you write your operational business plan as well as your handbook as you are going to operate your company. It's easy to do, and all you need is a laptop, wifi and cup of coffee. Right now is the time to do solid market research, establish your culture, and a solid 5-year plan.
Ask cashiers, managers, everything "WHY" they do evertyhing they do. There are often reasons for everything that is done at well established companies.
I would say that the one thing that makes a company successful - and what is often lacking in small companies - is a solid system. If you have a strong, easy to understand, easy to learn system, you will be successful. If you obey your system with a maximum amount of discipline, you will establish your culture more solidly as you grow. For instance, whatever forms you need, create, fill out, sign - don't just go by "well it's just me, I'll just remember this or that." -- actually create a solid business plan, an operational handbook, and follow them. Keep them as works-in-progress, as they will have to change and improve as you go.
I know this is a bit vague, but it's difficult to really go too in depth on this. Feel free to contact me further if you have questions!
Posted on 05/23/12