Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before Opening Your OWN Small Business

by Decibel Blue

Small-Business-StoreIt’s been a dream for a long time: opening your own business. You’ve had the ideas scribbled on cocktail napkins, a budget long in the works, and now you finally have the money, the resources and the support to launch what’s long been a passionate idea into your very own business.

But before you commit, take a breath and ask yourself these five questions that may save your sanity … and your time and money.

Do you own the name?

Before you bill your company with a name, make sure the one you choose is available. Check trademark and Internet URL domain. Don’t just Google your preferred business name; even if you find no one claiming it, you’re not safe. The business could have closed or the trademark has been filed but is just not in use.

Does your business benefit others?

Not to be cynical, yes, you should open a business for yourself, but ultimately it’s those who benefit from it, who will use it, who in turn make you successful. If your business can’t be used, either by a niche market or the masses, chances are it won’t be as successful as you hope.

Are you ready to do everything?

This time it’s yours. You’re the boss and the do-it-all. In the beginning, you have to be ready to tackle a clogged sink, manage printing flyers and coordinate deliveries. While it’s not all glamour and fame at first, you’ll learn every rope there is to learn and eventually be able to hand the reins off to your employees. When you know every single aspect of your business, no matter how minor, you’re set for success because you appreciate the work that goes into it and have the ability to pass it down.

Do you have a back-up plan?

If your business doesn’t turn out as planned, do you have a strategy to exit or revamp? Do you have money saved for a rainy day? Adapting a strong attitude for being ready and willing to face anything prepares you to face surprises with a strong fortitude.

Do you speak legalese?

At least get well acquainted with the regulations, licenses and taxes you will need to acquire and pay to launch your new business. Know your rights, your local community restrictions and retain a lawyer if necessary. You don’t just hang a sign and open a door. There’s more to it than that. And it’s often more complicated than you think.

Decibel Blue is an ASBA member.

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