They say starting a business is as easy as 1, 2, 3. But what are those steps exactly? We asked Lauren Carter, the Executive Director of Lincoln University’s Small Business Development Center that question, and here is what she had to say.
I have a few tips of advice for anyone who wants to start their own business.
1) Know why you are starting a business.
Understanding the “why” behind your business helps you get through the hard times. Entrepreneurs must devote a lot of time, energy, and money into growing their business. They must love what they do and have a deep passion for why they are doing it.
2) Have a plan.
Business plans are roadmaps entrepreneurs use to make their business idea a success and also to achieve their short- and long-term goals. Next, educate yourself on different funding options. A lot of traditional lenders may not loan to new businesses with no history or businesses breaking into a new industry. The reality is, many entrepreneurs may be turned down for traditional bank loans due to the riskiness of their business or industry, lack of creditworthiness, or lack of personal investment.
When this happens, entrepreneurs need to have a financial fall back plan and the dedication to keep trying to obtain funding.
3) Seek help.
Entrepreneurs do not need to be an expert in every area of business. There is a lot of no to low-cost help for business owners. Utilize these organizations because they are filled with knowledge and resources that could make the journey of starting your own business much easier. Build a team of people that can assist in the areas you need help in. If you are not a bookkeeper, then hire one. If you are not an attorney, then hire one. Having a good team of people is key to having a successful business.
RESOURCES FOR ENTREPRENEURS
- Business incubation and counseling at the Small Business Development Center at Lincoln University
- SourceLink consulting services
- Missouri Women’s Business Center consulting services and professional development seminars
- 1 Million Cups entrepreneur peer group
- Mid-MO Business Improvement Group
- Free advice from the Existing Business Manager at the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce
- Pitch your idea for a chance to win startup capital at the Pitch It & Win It contest held by the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce
Steady Paws, a dog training service, grew from operating out of their home to leasing a brand-new facility. The owner, Jonathan Eghball, was passionate about his business and motivated to grow his business in Jefferson City. He worked hard and sought out local resources to help aid him throughout his project.
Campus Coworking Space, a dedicated coworking office space, was lifted off the ground after they pitched their business idea at the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce’s Pitch It & Win It Competition where they won $5,000 of start-up capital. Shortly after the business opened its doors, it was struck by a devastating tornado. They didn’t let that hold them down and recently re-opened Campus Coworking Space at a new location.