Be It Resolved: Starting a New Business

January 10, 2017

With the new year comes resolutions galore—eat better, workout more, maybe work less. Whether personally or professionally, the list goes on and on. But what about entrepreneurs out there looking to start a business in 2017? What kind of insight do you need to help get your vision off the ground and make 2017 a year to remember? Your friends at Clover understand that starting a business is never easy. And, although it may seem daunting, we can help you on your path to making your dream come true.

For starters, know there are three categories of questions you must examine in your due diligence. We break it down into personal assessments, business planning and logistics, and legal matters. Let’s take a look at what each entails.

Personal Assessments

Striking out on your own is an incredibly exciting proposition. But it definitely isn’t for the faint of heart. Ask yourself these questions to gauge your readiness for the tasks at hand.

1. Are you a self starter? Motivated? Resilient? When you’re your own boss, everything that needs to get done rests on your shoulders. Make sure you’re confident in your ability to accept and act on that range of responsibility.

2. What’s your financial situation? Do you have enough money to pay your personal bills as you get your business off the ground? Starting your own business often requires deep and prolonged financial sacrifices. Knowing that the owner is often the last to get paid, it’s important to be ready for these realities before you get started.

3. What’s your appetite for work? Entrepreneurship requires long hours, often twice that of a typical 40-hour work week. It’s important you steel yourself for the physical and emotional rigors of pursuing your dream.

Business Planning and Logistics

Now that you’ve established your personal readiness, let’s take a quick look at some the questions about the business itself.

1. Are you meeting a clear business need? This probably goes without saying, but unless your product or service answers this question in the affirmative, your chances of success are very limited. Do your research to ensure what you offer will be sought after by your target audience.

2. Speaking of, have you clearly defined your competition and do you know your customer? These questions are discussed a little more in depth here, but you need to understand who you’re competing against (both locally and nationally). You also need to develop a very specific picture of who you’re targeting. It can go a long way in helping devise an effective marketing plan.

3. What are your operating costs and budget? This ties in closely with #2 above. Financial concerns are often the most worrisome aspect of starting a new business. By taking time to figure out how much your product costs to produce as well as what kind of operating capital you need for every day expenses, you’ll ease your fears and put yourself on solid ground.

Legal Matters

This is the least fun stuff to talk about, but the most important to do. Without solid legal footing, your business won’t be able to function.

1. What’s in a name? Is it unique? Does it need to be registered? And what kind of corporation does that name represent? You can find more answers to help you here.

2. How taxing is it going to be? Bear in mind that the government always gets its cut. Knowing your obligations up front helps make this as painless as possible.

3. Do you have your permits, licenses, and insurance? Being successful as an entrepreneur often involves dotting i’s and crossing t’s. But again, without these items, it would be legally impossible for you to operate your emerging enterprise.

There are a lot of comprehensive lists that tell you what you need to do to get up and running, but we hope this one gives you a quick snapshot of all the relevant things you need to consider. It’s a new year, and the possibilities are endless. Be confident in your endeavor and, as always, let Clover know if we can answer any questions. We’re rooting for your success!

[image: Don’t Eat Any Yellow Snow by @wewon31 on flickr]

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