Entrepreneur? We're Voting for You
America needs help. It needs people like you, willing to take a chance on themselves and start a new business. The backbone of the American economy is, and always has been, small business.
There are millions of small businesses across the United States traveling the same road as you each and every day. Although your business operates in its own unique fashion, the cumulative impact of the small business sector is enormous.
Small Business is BIG
- 28 million small businesses in America account for 54 percent of all U.S. sales
- Small businesses provide 55 percent of all jobs, and 66 percent of all new jobs since the 1970s
- The 600,000+ franchised small businesses in the U.S. account for 40 percent of all retail sales and provide jobs for some eight million people.
- The small business sector of America occupies 30-50 percent of all commercial space, an estimated 20-34 billion square feet.
Furthermore, the small business sector is growing rapidly. While corporate America has been downsizing, the rate of small business startups has grown, and the rate for small business failures has declined.
- The number of small businesses in the U.S. has increased 49 percent since 1982.
- Since 1990, as big businesses eliminated four million jobs, small businesses added eight million new jobs.
Election Year Effect
Even in 2016 (an election year, in case you've been living under a rock) new business startups are at an all-time high, and success rates are getting better all the time. In my opinion, it does not matter who is elected President to the small business entrepreneur. People like you are better prepared to be successful, and that's important since you either help yourself or you get no help. So strap on your boots and let's dive into starting your business.
Find a Good Business Idea
A good business idea isn't just one that turns a profit. It's one that is a good fit for your personally, for your target market and for your location. Hopefully, you're going to be in business for a long time, so pick something you love.
Choose a Type of Business
A traditional business isn't right for everyone. If you want to hit the ground running with a tried-and-tested business model, a franchise may be a better fit for you, or if you like the idea of doing good at the same time, why not a nonprofit or social enterprise?
Do Your Market Research
One of the best ways to figure out whether or not you've hit upon a good idea is to get out and start talking to real people — do they really want a fancy restaurant in their neighborhood, or is another doughnut shop going to be more their taste?
Test Your Business Idea
How do you really know you've hit upon a good idea? Use the lean planning methodology to figure this out. Of course, you may also want to get out and talk to real people about what they want and whether or not your product or service solves that need.
Before you start investing money and a lot of your time, you need to see if your great business idea can make any money. Pro-forma earnings describe a financial statement that has hypothetical amounts, or estimates, built into the data to give a picture of a company's profits if certain nonrecurring items were excluded. One-time cash expenses are often excluded from pro-forma because they are not a regular part of operations and are therefore considered an irrelevant factor in the performance of a company's core activities. If your pro-forma does not show a reasonable return, you may want to rethink the project, as this will be your best case results.
Write Your Business Plan
While you don't need a 40-page business plan in order to get your business up and running, if you're seeking funding, banks and investors will ask for one. I'll dive into all the details on how to write one in my next post.
SWOT Analysis of a New Business Opportunity
The Entrepreneur and Leadership
Mastering the Myth of Multitasking