4 Things to Do Before Starting Your Own Business

Starting a business of any kind comes with its challenges, but if you’re passionate about what you’re offering, meeting your initial challenges will be easier. Even better, these actions will help give you a better understanding of your product or service, thus giving you more confidence as you head into this new adventure. Here are four things to do before starting your business.

Understand the Law

There are some general laws that apply to any new business, but your particular industry may have a set of its own as well. Determine what kind of insurance or licenses you will need, the tax information you’ll need to file and grasp the necessary details of human resources if you’ll be hiring staff. Be sure you understand the practical, legal and  strategic aspects now rather than later.

Write a Business Plan

Putting your overall business idea, marketing intentions and future goals on paper is a great place to start. Are you filling a void in the market, allowing customers a shopping experience or product they wouldn’t get otherwise? What will make your business different than others that may offer the same product or service? Answering these questions and organizing them into a business plan will provide an “operating plan” that will be a solid foundation on which to build a strong and profitable business.

Get Help

Entering this new world alone is tempting, but it may not be the best idea. There are many things to factor in to creating a business and it might be best to seek the help of an expert, someone who’s been there before and has helped others build successful businesses. Think of the time and money you’ll be saving by having things in place from the beginning.  There will be lots of questions. Having someone who has been there to help you identify what’s important and how to make the right decision will keep you from making costly mistakes.

Choose a Location

Luckily, technology today makes it easier for businesses to operate without a physical location. But that all depends on what type of product or service you offer. Consider the financial aspects of overhead; rent, utilities, taxes. If you don’t need it, look into how you might be able to set up shop online and ship your products. Maybe for your business, a healthy combination of both is needed. Don’t skimp on the research, make sure you’ve examined all of your needs and options before making a choice.

Addressing these starter challenges will put you in prime position to get your business off the ground on a good foundation. Remember that many have come before you and it’s a good thing to seek the advice of someone who can help you tackle problems before they start. Good luck!


If you’re just starting a business and would like a reality check as to whether you’ve covered all bases, send a Contact request and I’ll be in touch.

Challenges of Transitioning from Executive to Entrepreneur

We love a good small business success story here at Prime Strategies, and open forum’s telling of Charles Henagan’s is a great example of someone moving from executive status to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Embarking upon what appeared to be his dream job, Henagan was tasked with bringing new life to a legendary brand of vodka. Nearly 50, he was given new life with his exciting schedule of travel, meetings and strategy sessions while staying connected to his younger colleagues over post-work drinks.

Only 6 months into his new role, spirit sales began to sink internationally in response to the recession. As a result, Henagan was let go, leading him from the work force to becoming an unemployment statistic.

Henagan decided against looking for another corporate job in such delicate economic times, so he established Market Edge International, a New York City-based consulting firm that helps clients create sales teams and marketing strategies.

Henagan laments “The U.S. economy is changing so dramatically that in most industries, even when things pick up, the management structure will be fairly flat.” He felt exiting that scene and starting his own company was the most logical and dependable solution.

Not all victims of the down-turned economy have landed on their feet. Flexibility and long-term experience saved Henagan from the unemployment line but for some, starting their own business with a corporate executive mindset is slightly trickier. Most at the executive level are used to collaborating on big decisions and spending corporate money. Having sole responsibility for all decisions and tasks, can be a difficult mindset to accept. Plus it’s tough to deal with the loss of status. Some even experience anger, denial, depression, and so entrepreneurship is not for every transitioning executive.

Henagan, however, considers himself lucky to have made a smooth transition into entrepreneurship as opposed to pursuing another corporate job. He’s busy at work applying his acquired skills and new knowledge to his growing business. It works for him.

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If you’re an entrepreneur seeking help with planning for 2014, Prime Strategies offers One-Day Fast-Track Planning  to guide you in creating a solid Action Plan that will lay the foundation for a successful and profitable year.

Six Questions to Ask Before Starting a Business After Retirement

So you’ve retired from your life-long career and realized that a life of going fishing and watching daytime television isn’t exactly your cup of tea. You’re not alone. Many retirees are considering creating small businesses as a way to fill their time, continue making money and even fulfill some lifelong dreams.

But starting a business isn’t the simplest of tasks. While you may be up for the challenge, here are some things to ask yourself before you make a commitment to opening that shop or selling your services.

Is there a market for what you have to offer?

Do the market research, check market trends. Who is buying what you are offering? What is the size of the market? Can you make a profit? How long will it take to break even? You don’t have the luxury of a long ramp up time, so focus on something with a short sales cycle.

Are you cut out to be an entrepreneur?

As an entrepreneur you make all the decisions, you make the plans and execute them. You are also accountable for the results. Are you a self-starter? Can you ask for the business? Are you prepared to work long and hard to bring your business to success? Are you willing and able to forego immediate profits?

Are you financially secure enough to take a hit?

If your business requires a lot of overhead and supply purchasing, or a large sum in licensing and insurance fees, are you ready to take a financial hit before you start seeing any profits? New businesses don’t make money overnight so while it might seem like a fun idea to jump right in, make sure you’ve got the funds first.

Is this something you’ll follow through on?

Maybe it seems like a great idea now. Maybe you just really want to get out of the house and start talking to people again. But before you take your first step, make sure you’re ready for this level of commitment. It will require much of your time and energy to build a brand, market it and fulfill orders to keep customers happy so make sure it’s something you’ll love.

What is your skill set?

Think about what you already know, what you’re already good at. You’ve had a lifetime to hone your skills and be the best at something. Whether or not that directly applies to the new venture you’d love to take on, find ways to apply your strengths. Perhaps there’s opportunity for growth; something that was missing from the job you once did.  Maybe this could be the chance to apply your skills and knowledge to an endeavor that is strictly yours.

Is your network reliable?

Marketing your brand and building a customer base is a crucial step to creating your new business. Without customers, what do you have? Luckily, you’ve had years to build up your network and make friends and acquaintances that might be able to help. Maybe they can spread the word to friends who may be interested in your product or service. Perhaps they have skills you don’t have and would be willing to offer advice or lend a hand when needed. Having advocates in your corner when you make the leap into business ownership is invaluable, so take a look at your network when getting all of your ducks in a row.

The prospect of starting your own business is very exciting, especially with all of that retirement energy you have saved up. Before you take the big leap, however, make sure you understand all of the factors.

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If you’re a late-life entrepreneur seeking help with marketing strategies and management techniques, Prime Strategies can offer the necessary guidance and expertise to help you reach your goals.

 

Find Confidence in Your Work Ethic

If I asked you to make a list of your strengths and weaknesses that would support your dream of starting a business, your weaknesses list may wind up longer than your strengths list. Qualities within us that are innate and long-standing are difficult to identify and boast as something wonderful. That’s why I’m here today, to encourage one of those qualities in particular, something you know you have but you may not know how valuable it is; your work ethic.

Starting a business is no small feat. There are many things to consider and even once you have those things in place, there’s plenty more work to be done. Creating and maintaining a business that is reliable and provides quality goods or services takes dedication and passion. You need to build a rapport with potential customers, existing customers, people who may never be customers but may know someone who might be.

But good news abounds. If you’re a late-lifer seeking a second career in exchange for an idle retirement, you’re already a step ahead. Folks reaching retirement age are among a generation with one of the strongest work ethics in existence. Many of you had no choice. Even before you graduated from school, you had to work to help support your family. There was no time for lollygagging or figuring out what you wanted to do with your life, you had to get down to business. And through that, you learned the value of a hard day’s work – it’s something you thrive on. As younger generations grow to be more dependent on technology and idealism, you put to good use what you’re all about: getting the job done. You have the opportunity to figure out what you want to do with your life now.

Here are some ways to rest easy and grow confident in what your work ethic can bring to your new business.

Build Customer Relationships

Networking is a key component of success for businesses big and small. Coming from a generation not completely fluent in texting and emails, you know the importance of face-to-face human communication. As time marches on, this skill becomes more and more priceless to own. You likely already have a large network and this is a great foundation upon which to build a new business.

Ensure Customer Trust

Allow those you’re networking with to see how dedicated you are to a job well done, to customer satisfaction, to building relationships, not just selling your product or service. This work ethic will drive customer trust in you and have them returning time and time again.

Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed

For you, the extra work is no big deal. You may think you’d rather spend the day on the lake fishing, but remember how restless and bored you got the last time you went fishing? This business is your gateway to happiness; you’re in charge and you get to keep things moving. But the rigorous routines and the constant flurry of business-related thoughts can take over your mind and become overwhelming from time to time. When it starts to feel like too much to handle, take a few steps back, remember why you started it and rest easy knowing you’ve spent your entire life practicing for this.

It may feel overwhelming to start a business in a generation where technology is key and youth is reigning, but a strong work ethic is still a valuable asset and will help you succeed in this market.


If you’re a late-life entrepreneur seeking support in business planning and management techniques, Prime Strategies can offer the necessary guidance and expertise to help you reach your goals.