Starting A Business? Consider This Advice From Finance Experts


Many aspire to start a business and become their own boss, but not everyone has the patience, drive and skills to be a successful entrepreneur. It’s a difficult journey with a lot of challenges and risks along the way and like all great risks, the reward can be just as great if you’re thoroughly prepared.

If you’ve determined that you have the knowledge and skills to become a business owner, your next step is to ensure that you’re financially ready for the leap. We asked 13 members of Forbes Finance Council to share their best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. Here’s what they had to say.

Thirteen finance experts share their tips for starting a business.All photos courtesy of individual members.

1. Focus On Revenue-Driving Activity
Starting a business is extremely difficult. Make sure you’re focusing on the things that drive revenue. Yes, it’s important to focus on long-term sustainability of your business, but you can’t do that if you’re not generating any income. – Drew GurleyRedbird Advisors

2. Evaluate Your Value, Profit And People
First, determine if the product or service you are offering adds value to people’s lives. Then determine if you can provide the product or service at a price above what it costs to fulfill. Finally, determine if you have the right people on your team to help build the business. Having the right team around you is key at the beginning, the middle and the end of your business. – David GassAnderson Business Advisors, LLC

3. Develop A Five-Year Financial Plan For Your Business
Starting a business is one thing, but making money is another. Setting appropriate timelines and financial goals for yourself can help keep you stable and focused on investing in your success. Look at your personal finances to determine how you can live as frugally as possible. Once you decide to invest in yourself and a business, your goal should be to put all your financial energy into it. – Alexander KouryValues Quest

4. Start Small And Grow Steadily
Start small! Tiptoe before you make the big splash. You don’t need to go into life-threatening debt to chase your dreams. Build slow and steady over time. Create a solid foundation with as few fixed expenses as possible at first. Learn and keep track of what your ROIs and other pertinent data points are early on. Stay light, stay thrifty and stay true to what your data tells you. – Jared WeitzUnited Capital Source Inc.

5. Find A Mentor
As a new business owner, it is best to learn from someone who has successfully built a business from the ground up. The research, knowledge and skills specific to the business endeavor are definitely key, but so are the financial hurdles, employment issues and so on. An entrepreneurial mentor has made many of the mistakes that a new business is about to experience and learned from them. – Robin CampanaBulldog Solutions

6. Hire Someone Or Find A Partner To Do The Things You’re Not Good At
Know what you’re good at, and bring in help for those areas that you’re not. Too many new business owners have the entrepreneurial drive to sell and grow, but they are terrible at managing cash, keeping up with the numbers, planning, and budgeting. There is tremendous value and power in pulling together a team. Give up some equity for a greater chance at success. – Chris TierneyMoore Colson CPAs and Advisors

7. Practice Personal Financial Responsibility
Maintaining good credit will be beneficial if you need to apply for business financing. Not only will you have a higher chance of approval, but you’ll likely qualify for a lower-interest loan. The money saved on interest rates will be extremely valuable when you are starting a business with limited cash flow. – Ben GoldQuickBridge Funding

8. Acquire An Established Business Instead Of Starting From Scratch
If you have determined that the life of the entrepreneur is for you, you don’t have to wait for that million-dollar idea to strike. If you have the skills required to operate and scale a business, consider acquiring an existing online business with growth potential. There are many advantages to buying an established business rather than starting from scratch, especially for non-technical buyers. – Ismael WrixenFE International

9. Develop A Comprehensive Business Plan
Start with a comprehensive startup business plan to help you strategize to make your business a success. By creating a business plan, you have the opportunity to quantify your thoughts on paper, envisioning where you are going and what you need to do to get there. You can compare the strengths and weaknesses of your product or service to your competitors. – Justin GoodbreadHeritage Investors

10. If You’re Prepared, Go For It
Often, people focus so much on risks that they forget a risk is also an opportunity. If you’ve done your research and have a solid business plan, start your business. Be ready to work hard, and don’t fold under unforeseen pressure. A business is as strong as its leader. – Geanette Rodriguez-OjedaARRI Rental

11. Create A Lifestyle In Line With Your Business Budget
Your business will take time to develop, so longevity and determination are the keys. Sustainability is made possible by modest budgeting  both on the business development side and in your personal life. Planning will lessen or even prevent the accumulation of debt through the growing phases. – Perry D’AlessioD’Alessio Tocci & Pell, LLP

12. Understand What It Will Take To Get Your First Paying Client
Doing research on how long it will take to get your first paying client and what the cost of acquiring that first client will be is very important. Additionally, having a contingency fund for business continuity is important in case things don’t work out as planned. – Breana PatelBonova Advisory Inc

13. Expect To Fail, But Learn From It
Most of your beginning assumptions are likely wrong, and it will take a lot more money or time to start. Don’t be alarmed or discouraged! That is all part of the process. It will help greatly if you understand it and you are able to learn from your failures. Most entrepreneurs face many failures before they become successful. – Vlad RuszVlad Corp. USA



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