posted on: 7/5/2011 10:27:17 AM EST
Ten Key Tips to Business Ownership
Indira Wilburn, FDIDebtFreeDiva, Melinda Emerson, FDI, business ownership, Entrepreneurship, busines

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1. What's Your Life Plan: Knowing what YOU want from life is the key to happiness. So put together a list of key things you want from life and build your business model around that. Understanding how much money it takes for you to get there is essential.

2. Straighten Out Your Money: In order to become a successful entrepreneur, it's important to create a monthly budget to assess your personal finances. If you have challenged credit, your first order of business should be to get it under control. Also, make sure you will have enough money to maintain your household monetary responsibilities in the early stages of business ownership.

3. Difference Between Wants and Needs: Make sure that you have a product or service that people are actually willing to pay for.

4. Intern/Volunteer: Spend a few hours per week interning at a business similar to the one you want to create. “The best way to learn what to do and what not to do is to work for somebody already doing it.”

5. Create an Advisory Board: Align yourself with 4-5 people who have a vested interest in your success. These individuals should include successful entrepreneurs and loyal customers or people who could potentially be customers. There should also be someone who is retired that will have time, resources and connections. The fourth and fifth person should be a lawyer and accountant whom you know.

6. Build Up Your Network: Connect with your existing network. Start networking with trade organizations locally and around the country within the industry you want to pursue. Don't forget to brand yourself using the various social networks.

7. Craft Your Marketing Plan: Figure out your potential customer base. Decide what's your “secret sauce”. Be mindful of how you will stand out amongst the competition. You also need to create a marketing budget.

8. Business Plan Essentials: Get a business plan software that you can be comfortable with and then take a business plan course to finish it up.

9. Personal Theme Song: Find a theme song you enjoy that can be a DAILY reminder of who you are and why you do what you do. This song should make you feel good whenever you hear it.

10. Maintaining Your Full Time Job and Side Hustle: Do your business as a side hustle for as long as possible in order for you to prepare yourself for not having a regular paycheck. If you start 12 months in advance, it won’t hurt as badly.

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