A lot of people dream about starting their own business.
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But only a few take the plunge and act on their entrepreneurial aspirations. Why? Because a small business/home business startup is more difficult than it seems. Faced with overwhelming first year failure rates and volatile economic conditions, many folks simply move on to a safer career path.
On the upside, hundreds of successful small business ventures are launched everyday. Although the challenges of starting a small- or home-based business are substantial, it's possible to launch a profitable business with a minimal upfront investment – regardless of the economic climate.
The keys to a successful small business home business startup are planning and execution. Thriving startups leave nothing to chance. Instead, they follow a carefully devised strategy that pays careful attention to several best practices.
- Get a plan. Great startups begin with exceptional planning. A well-written business plan is standard operating procedure for startups, even if your company is only a one-person, in-home enterprise. The benefit is that the business plan creation process will force you to address issues that you otherwise wouldn't have considered.
- Treat it like a business. If you're serious about your startup, you'll treat your business like a business – not like an extended vacation. In fact, successful startup owners discover that they have to work longer and harder than they ever did working for someone else.
- Avoid undercapitalization. One of the most dangerous mistakes startup entrepreneurs make is to plunge into business ownership with inadequate capital resources. Undercapitalization virtually guarantees the demise your small business/home business startup, so make sure your investment fund is large enough to get your business off the ground.
- Set realistic goals. Setting a one-year goal of $1 million in gross revenues looks great on paper. But it's not realistic for most small, home-based startups. Focus on setting ambitious, yet realistic goals for your critical first year.
- Solicit assistance. No matter how much experience you have, you aren't capable of launching your business alone. Be prepared to solicit assistance from professionals and possibly even a small business mentor.
- Develop an exit strategy. Although you're just getting started, it's important to develop an exit strategy from the outset, especially if your business is situated in a high risk industry.