A successful entrepreneur can tell you that a good business owner plans every step in the creation of a business to avoid mistakes. According to a report entitled “The Small Business Economy: 2010” published on the Small Business Administration website, approximately 15.3 million Americans were self-employed in 2009. In order to join the millions of self-employed people in the United States, you need to understand how to start a personal business.
Idea A good personal business starts with an idea. Get a pen and a piece of paper and write down every kind of business you think that you would like to start. You can begin eliminating businesses that you do not feel confident about, or that you know you will not be able to apply the proper time and resources to. What you have left is a short list of businesses that you feel you could dedicate time and money into to get started.
Research You need to narrow your short list down to just one business idea, and you do that through research. Start reading books on the businesses you are considering starting. Find out how the businesses work, the kind of experience you need to be successful and the materials you will need to get started. Get out and visit companies that already exist so you can see first hand how it works. If you are able to, you should work for a couple of these companies just to get an intimate idea of whether or not you want to start that kind of business.
Experience and Education
When you were deciding on a businesses, part of your research dealt with determining the experience and educational needs of the industry you have chosen. If you are lacking in the necessary educational background, then take the time to fill in what you are missing. Take classes at the local community college, or go back to school full-time to get the degree you will need. When you’ve completed the research, you need to get experience in your field. You can start working for an existing company through a full-time job, or spend a summer as an intern learning the business.
Mentor Once you have decided on the kind of business you want to start, you need to find a mentor to help you get started. You may find a mentor working full-time for an existing company, or you may know someone already in the industry you want to work in. You are unlikely to find a mentor working in your industry of choice in your own geographic area. You will be seen as competition by those business people. But reach out to people that you would not be in direct competition over the phone or the Internet, and see if you can find someone that will help you to understand what is needed to start your business.
“Starting and Managing a Business,” SBA.gov
“How to Start Your Own Business and Keep Your Sanity,” USNews.com
“7 Tips for Part-Time Business Owners,” Entrepreneur.com