How to Overcome Obstacles in Starting a Business

You don’t have a background in business, or maybe you don’t even have a college degree. You don’t know any venture capitalists or how people get hooked up with angel investors. You aren’t connected, and you don’t have any money. What you have is a lot of drive and a great idea. Can you still start a business? Absolutely, and the tips below will help you get started.

Educate Yourself

You don’t need a formal degree to start a business although at some point you may decide to get one. However, you do need to educate yourself about business and common terms and concepts. Even if you see yourself as a maverick, you need to understand the world before you can upend it. You can learn more in a variety of different ways. You can read books, listen to podcasts, and take classes online or at a local community college. This will give you the foundation you need to do such things as testing the viability of your business idea or forecasting your profits.

Funding

You may not need much money to get started, but if you need more than you have, there are several options for getting funding. You could apply for grants, or you could take out a personal loan from a private lender. The latter be a quick process that you can complete online. You could also look for investors, but be sure that you are comfortable with the amount of control they would have over your company.

Write a Business Plan

One of the main items on your checklist for starting a business has to be creating your business plan. This will serve several purposes. You’ll need it if you are applying for a grant or trying to get investors. However, it is also a useful document for you because it can often highlight areas you need to think through more carefully. While writing your plan, you might realize that you do not know much about the competition and how you will distinguish yourself from them, or you might see that you don’t have much of a marketing plan. Spend some time on this document, and be as thorough and concrete as possible.

Networking

It’s a good idea to start getting to know people in the field where you want to start your business. You may be able to do this locally, possibly by joining your Chamber of Commerce. You can also connect over social media and by attending seminars and talks either online or in person. In addition, simply talk to everyone that you know about your new business. Of course, you shouldn’t share proprietary information, but you may be surprised at how many connections you can make by doing this. Someone’s cousin or neighbor or friend may know someone they can connect you to.

Keeping Your Job

If the terms of your employment allow it and it does not interfere with your ability to get your business up and running, it’s not a bad idea to get your company going while still employed elsewhere. This can mean that you don’t have to worry about drawing a certain salary right away. You may be able to make better decisions for the long run when you are not under pressure to start making money immediately.

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