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Tips for Starting a Business
Perhaps you are thinking about going into business for yourself, turning your personal talents and expertise into a money-making operation. Before you take the plunge, though, there are some things you should know, according to nbcnews.com.
Trust your own expertise and knowledge. Don’t get hung up on whether you have the right degrees, for example. If you believe in your abilities, commit to them. Have faith in yourself, because in the end, your business depends on you.
Prepare financially. You can expect some startup costs, and you also should plan for the inevitable slow periods. Unlike when you were taking home a regular paycheck from someone else, getting paid in your own business depends on the amount of business you do. So make sure you have enough in savings to see you through any difficult times.
Check your social media. Go through your Facebook and similar social media presences and remove any posts or photos that show you in a less than professional light. It probably won’t help your business if potential customers see those photos from a winery tour with friends.
Find a network. Working by yourself can be lonely and isolating, so search out ways to be connected to other people who share your interests or who might need your services. You can join networking groups, for example. But don’t overlook networking through social media such as LinkedIn and Facebook.
Don’t leave your old job on bad terms. Many people actually start their own business by working on a freelance or consulting basis with the job they left. Even if you don’t do that, the people that you worked with and for at your old job can be powerful contacts for you in your new one.
Have office space. Your new business is not a hobby, so make sure you have dedicated, professional space. You can rent space off-site, or you can use a room in your home. But if you stay in your home, make sure your office space provides the privacy and quiet you need to work. You might be able to write off your office space on your taxes, as long as it is used solely for your business.
Do your taxes quarterly. In your old job, your employer took care of withholding money for your taxes and sending that money to the appropriate entity. Now that is up to you. You can hire a payroll company, of course. But if you do it yourself, it usually works best if you file and pay on a quarterly basis.
Don’t wear out. When you are your own boss, there is a temptation to work all the time. But in the long run, you will burn out. Make sure you take time off, and also make sure that you eat right, get enough sleep and exercise. Of course there will be times when you might have to burn the midnight oil, but it is not necessary – or productive – to do that all the time.
Be realistic. It takes time to build a business, so be patient. Keep working hard, making contacts and taking care of yourself, and good things will happen.