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Think Like an Entrepreneur: What You Need to Consider Before You Write a Business Plan

Think Like an Entrepreneur: What You Need to Consider Before You Write a Business Plan

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Think Like an Entrepreneur: What You Need to Consider Before You Write a Business Plan

Lunghezza:
152 pagine
2 ore
Pubblicato:
Feb 20, 2012
ISBN:
9780984292622
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Thinking of leaving your job and starting a business? Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Find out what you must know about starting a business before you make the leap! This book is a practical, "real world" guide to making the transition from employee to entrepreneur. It will show you how to: make a successful transition from employee to entrepreneur even if you don't know where to start, gain control over how you think about money so that you can create a profitable business, decide what type of business is right for you, become an entrepreneur at any age or stage of your life.
Includes interviews with several established women entrepreneurs who share their business start-up secrets!

Pubblicato:
Feb 20, 2012
ISBN:
9780984292622
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Deborah A Bailey's Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance novels include suspense, a bit of mystery and a lot of romantic heat. Her published works include the Hathor Legacy science fiction romance series, Electric Dreams: Seven Futuristic Tales, three non-fiction books, and articles for various online publications.  Her short stories have won awards from the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference and have been published in US1 Magazine and the Sun. Visit her site http://www.BrightStreetBooks.com/ and subscribe to the newsletter so you'll be the first to find out about giveaways and upcoming book launches.


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Think Like an Entrepreneur - Deborah A. Bailey

Author

How to Use this Book

In this book you’ll find an overview of things you should think about before you get serious about planning and starting your business. This book is written with the corporate employee (or ex-employee) in mind, but anyone can benefit from this information.

First you’ll learn about the types of businesses you can start, things to look out for and what entrepreneurial characteristics you’ll need in order to survive and thrive.

In addition you'll benefit from reading the interviews with entrepreneur mentors who have graciously offered to share their experiences.

I’ve also included a bonus section that includes motivational tips for you to refer to as you go along. Starting a business is a big step and getting support and inspiration will go a long way!

In the For More Information section I’ve included resources for you. Use them to find out more about starting a business including, researching financing options, taxes, registration and other start-up concerns.

I’m excited to share this information with you, and wish you success in your entrepreneurial journey!

Introduction

"Until you know your power, you’re not going to be able to do the critical work for yourself, for your family and for your community." – Susan L. Taylor

So, you’re thinking about starting a business?

As of 2008 there were 29.6 million businesses in the U.S. according to SBA Office of Advocacy. Small firms with fewer than 500 employees represent 99.9 percent of the 29.6 million businesses.

According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, 10.1 million firms are owned by women (50% or more), employing more than 13 million people, and generating $1.9 trillion in sales as of 2008.

If you've spent most of your life working for someone else, you probably have no idea what it really takes to run a business. I certainly didn't! For many years I thought about starting a business, but when I looked at a business plan it was totally confusing to me. I couldn’t relate my experience as a corporate employee to anything I was reading. Marketing analysis, mission statements, financials – I had no idea where to start.

Do you think that you must have a business plan in order to start a business? Well, it’s not required (though having a plan certainly helps) but before you create your plan, there are some things you should be thinking about.

For instance, what type of business do you want to start? Are you prepared to make a major life change in order to transition from employee to entrepreneur? Most importantly, why do you want to start a business?

The why is extremely important and if you identify that first, the rest of your decisions will fall into place much easier.

What’s Your Why?

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. -Harriet Tubman

Your desire to create and build a business must be about more than getting paid. The truth is that in the beginning you probably won't even turn a profit, and for a while the money going out will be greater than the money coming in.

Having a why will propel you forward even when things aren't going well. Minor setbacks will throw you off. Disappointing results will discourage you. Failure will frustrate you.

Your desire has to be stronger or you will quit before you see success. Let that sink in for a bit. Your reason for starting and growing a business, your why, has to be stronger than any obstacle that you will encounter.

What is motivating you to go out on your own? What do you want to create? Who do you want to serve?

Not sure yet? Let’s take a look at some popular whys for starting a business:

I want to make a difference in the world.

I want to be free to manage my own time.

I can't find a job.

I have a great idea for a product/service.

I want to spend more time with my family.

Do any of these resonate with you?

In my first book, Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life, I talked about my why. Here’s an excerpt:

"I left the corporate world and entered entrepreneurship because I never wanted to be controlled by a workplace ever again. Like a lot of people I’ve had my share of obnoxious managers and negative work environments. I’ve struggled against office politics, bigoted mindsets, and Borg-like ‘resistance is futile’ company cultures. All through those experiences I kept one idea in mind: that life does not have to be this way. Life is beautiful and fun and an adventure – or at least it should be. That belief is what I carried with me when I left full-time employment behind.

What I discovered was that you can’t just step from one into the other and have a successful transition. Often the transition is not the actual change from A to B; it’s what happens after you’re doing B. More than likely you’re still operating as though you’re doing A. If A and B are the same, no problem. But if you’re going from corporate employee to entrepreneur, it’s sort of the same as going from the earth to the moon. If you’re not prepared for the new environment you will not survive.

This is what no one ever talks about when they discuss starting a business. They talk about business plans and marketing plans and everything in between. What they never mention is the plan for transitioning from a corporate job to your own business. They don’t mention the mental and emotional changes that you go through during the transition.

It’s a completely different world than the one you may have been used to in a structured corporate environment. You have to believe in yourself a whole lot because there’s no manager giving you an appraisal and telling you if you’re doing it right. You have to learn to live outside of a structure that gives you the illusion of life-long security. There is no security in being an entrepreneur and there are no guarantees.

When I became an entrepreneur I was looking for freedom. I didn’t do it necessarily to have a business, but I wanted to be responsible for generating my own income. I had no idea how to run a business, and I made many mistakes along the way, but I couldn’t bear the thought of returning to a corporate life."

Write Down Your Reasons

Write down the reasons you're thinking about starting a business. (Need inspiration? Skip ahead to the Entrepreneur Mentors section and see what some current business owners have to say about their experiences. Each of them was once where you are right now!)

Take a moment and finish this statement:

I want to start a business because …

You may have more than one why and if so, that’s fine. It’s just important that you identify what’s motivating you. Starting and running a business takes a lot of time and discipline. Contrary to popular beliefs about business ownership, it will demand more of you than a regular nine-to-five corporate job ever will.

There’s freedom in doing your own thing, but that freedom also requires that you make a major life change. That’s why people will often refer to entrepreneurship as a lifestyle. Let’s take a look at some of the ideas that you may have about business ownership and debunk the myths.

Common Entrepreneurship Myths

1. If I have a business I’ll be free to do whatever I want

This is true in some ways, not so much in others. Yes, you'll be free from punching a clock at a job. But more than likely you’ll be spending more than 40 hours a week working on your business – particularly in the start-up phase. Entrepreneurs and small business owners do not work nine-to-five hours!

If you think that business ownership means that you can work a few hours a day, then hang out the rest of the time, you aren't ready to start a business.

2. I won't have anyone telling me what to do

Depending on your business, you may have other people who are involved in your decisions, such as investors and business partners. It's up to you, as the CEO, to make the decisions, but you’ll have to take the opinions of others into consideration.

3. All I need to be in business is a website and business cards

Yes, you do need to have some sort of web presence (and business cards aren’t bad either) but you’ll need to do more than create a site and wait for customers to find you.

First of all, you’ll have to market your products/services so that people know that your business exists. If you’re selling products you’ll need a different approach than if you’re selling services. Marketing to businesses will require different strategies than you would use to reach consumers. As you can see, having a website and business cards is just the tip of the iceberg.

4. I can make money in a business without selling

Unfortunately sales gets a bad rap because so many people do it badly - the stereotypical used car salesman comes to mind. People don't feel comfortable because they think they have to force themselves on people to

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