I’ve recently began working with a young woman who is starting a practice. During our conversation she told me that her school taught her a few things about marketing but nothing about how to start a business.
I find that fascinating.
I had been thinking that a student attaining a degree in her profession would at least be be given a general course to help understand the processes needed to have a successful start to what will hopefully be the thing that will enrich and support her.
I’m not an expert so I am not going to list what you should do and how you should do it. I am going to share my recommendations based on what I have seen through the years. They are in no particular order.
Earn while you learn – If the opportunity presents itself and you are lucky enough to work for someone who will let you “pick their brains” go for it. It isn’t postponing you starting your business; it ‘s helping you train to run it better.
Write down your vision and reach for the sky – There is nothing wrong with making a big long-term plan. Why not set up a goal? Just don’t set yourself up for failure by making unattainable goals in your first 5 years. That will just bring you down and take your joy.
Make a business plan and ask for advice – Look for a mentor. Take advantage of classes and the assistance offered by the Small Business Association.
Plan on making adjustments to your plan – Things may happen that you have no control over. There will be pain. There will be errors. Try to “plan” them in. Be ready to be flexible.
Find a “Business Buddy” – If you have someone to talk to about your successes, trials & tribulations, it will help keep you sane.
Pay yourself – Even if it is a tiny bit each week. This will help remind you that you have made the decision to make this your job.
Set at least 20% aside for your tax payments – You will need to pay estimated quarterly taxes based on your earnings. If you start with your 1st receivable it will hurt a lot less on the 15th of April, June, September and January,
Outsource the parts you don’t enjoy as soon as you can – This will keep you focused and happy on the the tasks that empower you and that will be good for you and your company.
This process can be frustrating, unnerving and scary.
It can be exciting, exhilarating and fulfilling.
Through it all – Don’t lose your Joy.