The Do's and Don'ts of Starting a Business

Woman hanging Open sign on business door


As an aspiring entrepreneur, you may be in the midst of figuring out the transition between working a 9-to-5 job and starting your own business. The economy, albeit a large factor, isn’t the only challenge you’ll face when making the leap from worker bee to being your own boss. With so many factors to consider, how can you motivate yourself to get started?
Let’s take a look at the current landscape for starting a business, some tips for getting established, and figuring out if now is the right time for you to proceed.

Current Landscape

With the Coronavirus pandemic still prevalent, the current landscape is a strange one to say the least. COVID-19 has redefined how businesses operate and interact with their customers, which at times has bred ingenuity. All of the reconfiguration has provided an opportunity for individuals and businesses to think beyond the traditional ways to generate income and prompted better ways of running business operations. In fact, times of disruption like an economic downturn can present a moment for innovation and creativity when it comes to starting or restructuring a business.

Remote Work

Many businesses have successfully transitioned to working remotely, with some companies planning to make that a permanent change. While this working environment can pose many challenges, it also provides some benefits such as lower overhead costs and greater flexibility with work/life balance. If you’re looking to start your own business in this day and age, then remote work is something you should definitely take into consideration. Can your business operate primarily online? Just something to ask yourself before jumping into a business development plan.

Industries on the Rise

As life continues to change and the outlook evolves, there are clearly industries that are thriving and finding success in today’s market. According to The Drum, five industries have seen their sales boom since the pandemic started, including:
  • Gifts & occasions
  • Home & garden
  • Health & fitness
  • Food & drink
  • Beauty
With more of us spending time at home, focused on self-care and our families, it’s no wonder these industries have found their niche market. Can you fill a gap in the market? As you develop plans for your business, consider your competitors and determine whether there is a real need for your product or service.

What’s Next?

DO: Consider a Side Hustle
A good majority of successful entrepreneurs found their calling while working a side hustle. A hobby or passion could hold the key to your financial freedom. These hustles may start small, but they have the potential to turn into something massive over time. Steve Jobs did start Apple out of a garage, after all.
DON’T: Be Scared of Failure
When starting a business, understand that mistakes and mishaps are a part of the process. Realize that the bumps in the road are normal, and things won’t always go according to plan. Have faith in yourself, and your customers will too.
DO: Make a Detailed Business Plan
In order for your business to thrive, you need a comprehensive business plan. It’s important that you are thoughtful about all of the factors surrounding your decision, and you need to be sure that this is an investment of time and money that you are willing to make.
A Few Planning Questions to Get You Started:
  • What is the business, how does it work, and what makes you different?
  • What does your team look like and what type of training will they need?
  • Who are your customers and who are your competitors?
  • How will you get the word out about your product or service?
  • What equipment, materials, resources, and support do you need to be successful?
  • What is the minimum amount of capital needed to get started?
  • How much money do you need to pull from your business monthly to satisfy all of your personal living expenses?
  • What type of insurance policies do you need and what should the limits be?
DON’T: Do Everything Yourself
There’s no need to do it alone. In fact, it’s nearly impossible. Your passion and drive will help recruit people that are willing to help you with your business venture. You’ll need assistance with financials, hiring, inventory, or other areas where you lack experience, especially if this is your first time as a business owner. Consider starting a partnership with someone who brings something unique to the business model you’re exploring.

Some Last Minute Advice from Hudson Valley Business Owners

“Entrepreneurship—it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s a lot of work and there’s a lot of decisions, there’s just so many things that come into play and there may be someone out there that has a better reach or farther reach in a market that would really benefit your business and your product. Learn about what territory are you walking into and who are the players and shakers that can really provide the insight that you may need.” – Madeline Henriquez, CEO/Co-founder Earth, Wind, & Fuego LLC, 2020 Women in Business Speaker
“Find the balance of planning for what you want to do with that fire inside that is telling you that now is time to do this. Because if you get stuck in all the planning and the details, and you try to think out every avenue, you can get paralyzed and never actually make that leap. You need to do both. Be thoughtful and strategic about what you’re going to do, and DO IT.” – Jen Herman, COO/Co-founder Earth, Wind & Fuego LLC, 2020 Women in Business Speaker
“I’m going to pass on the best advice I got, which is to not let my business depend on anybody else’s for success. I was very cautious to make sure that as I was establishing my plan for what I wanted, it was very much only dependent on what I thought was actually attainable and not lying to myself in what could possibly be real and happen. I don’t say no to myself, but I also don’t lie to myself, and I think those are critical. And knowing the difference I think is really important too.” – Barb Fisher, Barb’s Butchery, 2020 Women in Business Speaker
By following the tips listed above, you can put your best foot forward as you try to grow the business of your dreams.

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