Lessons for those Looking to Start a Business

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Delta Jones Walker

Statistics show that in the long run, business owners tend to make more money. The startup costs and growing pains may serve as initial hiccups, but entrepreneurs who stay the course and recruit a team that remains true to the mission typically fair well financially over time. The forecast for small businesses has been especially positive over the past few years with women and minority-owned ventures growing by leaps and bounds.

As many entrepreneurs, like myself, will tell you, there is indeed a “cost to be the boss.” After being in business for more than twenty years, I feel it is my duty to share a few tips and lessons learned along the way. Here are a few things to consider when starting your business:

  1. Budget enough money and time to start your business.

So many times when we have a great business idea, we feel the urge to make it happen overnight. The problem with this logic is the money will most likely run out before sustainable profit realizes. Whether it’s saving to start the business, taking out a loan or starting your venture part-time to raise more capital, make sure you have a plan in place to cover business expenses — both expected and unexpected. Remember, do you want it rushed or right?

  1. Secure your health and financial future by investing in health insurance.

Entrepreneurs, especially those with employees, should invest in health insurance. Not only does this protect your interest in the event of a medical emergency, it is evidence to your employees that you care about their well-being and that you are in this for the long haul. Yes, insurance plans can be costly, so you need to shop around and refer back to tip number one!

  1. Learn a few accounting basics.

I know it doesn’t sound like fun, but any business owner needs to understand his/her bottom line and where the company stands financially at all times. Solely leaving the numbers up to someone else makes you vulnerable to potential overspending, misspending or even theft. Take the time to learn what those balance sheets mean!

  1. Go Easy on the Lifestyle Change

It’s only natural that when you see your bank account start to grow, a desire may arise to upgrade your lifestyle. New clothes, a house or car are now within reach, so why not? Resist the urge to splurge! Use this new found capital to build your savings for leaner days and invest back into the business.

  1. Not all ideas are good.

As you begin to grow and define your business, others may approach you with business ideas or investment pitches. A smart entrepreneur knows that he/she must thoroughly vet every idea. Do the research. Ask the right questions. Play the devil’s advocate. Most important, don’t get caught up in who’s pitching the idea and focus on whether the idea will ultimately make sense for the business.

I could go on and on with the lessons I’ve learned as an entrepreneur, but one thing is for sure. No two journeys are the same, so own your adventure, learn from your mistakes and keep pushing!

Connect with Delta Jones-Walker and Atled Financial on Facebook, Twitter: @Atled_Financial and LinkedIn! To schedule a free consultation or a presentation to your group or organization, call 219-513-3710 or email djwalker@atledfinancial.com and mention this column. Topic ideas for this column are welcome!

*Securities and advisory services offered through Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance services offered through Atled Financial Group 717 B Main Street Schererville, IN 46375 which is not affiliated with Woodbury Financial.

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