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Sunday, February 1, 2009

100 Essential Tips For Starting A Successful Business

Strange as it may sound, it is a good time to start a business of your own. There is plenty of office space and industrial space available at bargain prices, and vendors will be very eager for your business. Another good thing for someone starting out is that there are loads of highly-skilled, energetic, eager people looking for jobs.

So, if you have an idea, the drive, and the know-how don't delay. Start your business today.

But first -- keep these 100 very important factors in mind.

Number One: Ask For Advice. You probably know your business idea inside and out. Whether it is opening your own restaurant or launching your own e-business, you've probably imagined your picture on the cover of "Forbes" hundreds of times. However, you may not know all that you need to know about writing a business plan, or obtaining financing, or managing employees. Be smart -- find some mentors. Join your local Chamber of Commerce, or work through your college alumni network, or find a support group like Score. is an online group of volunteer business executives who can help you with a variety of start-up issues.

Number Two: Watch Your Funding. It is never easy to find funding for a new business venture, and banks today are more careful about lending money than ever before. Start by writing a strong business plan and by making a very careful assessment of the money you will need to start. Then, review the plan carefully to ensure that it is accurate and realistic. You may find that you have to begin the business on the cash that you can provide yourself -- which can be a big advantage. It will force you to be careful at the start. And, once you can show that you've achieved your initial milestones, you may find that traditional lenders will be more interested in your proposal.

Numbers Three Through One Hundred: Find a Good Lawyer. A good lawyer who has experience with start-ups is a new business' most valuable resource. You can do almost anything yourself, but it is your lawyer who will help you choose the right entity, and who will protect you from overly zealous investors (who will try to take your company away from you in exchange for a little money.) And, your attorney will help you protect your intellectual property and prevent you from running afoul of the IRS. Find an attorney who will work with you on your budget and who can structure the fees to fit your abilities. Using a good lawyer from the start can be the difference between failure and succeeding beyond all of your dreams.

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