Starting a Business by gjjur4356


									?The day-dream is common. Starting a business that grows into a multi-million dollar
enterprise. Hiring people to do all of your work for you while you play golf and lunch
with friends. The reality is more common. Pouring more and more of your own
personal money into the business while getting a pittance in return. Working until
midnight every night. Watching your health and friendships deteriorate while your
waistline expands.

Yet, as an entrepreneur, I have found that despite these realities, starting a business
can still be rewarding and even fun. There are just several things I wish I had known
and done before I began my own business. Here are some of them:

1) Figure out why what you're offering is different and wanted by your customers.
Many people start businesses because they are interested in the product they are
selling. Yet, they may not be filling a need of the consumer. For example, selling
tennis balls is not necessarily a good idea just because you like tennis. Many
companies sell tennis balls. Instead, offer something different that a consumer may
want. Maybe tell the consumer why certain tennis balls are perfect for a certain
consumer or offer special kinds of tennis balls that nobody else has.

2) Write a Business Plan. Although a seemingly unnecessary step, this will help
clarify your thoughts and will give you a roadmap of where you would like yourself
and your business to be in the future.

3) Figure out positions and responsibilities beforehand. When beginning a business,
you are responsible for everything. Invigorated by the excitement of a new enterprise,
you will at first have enough energy to do it all. Several months into it, however, as
you again stumble home from work at midnight for the forty first day in a row, your
enthusiasm will begin to wane. Yet, you will still be so bombarded with small details
that you will have to begin work at 6 am the following morning. To save both your
health and your business, decide beforehand exactly what responsibilities will be
yours, what responsibilities will be your partner's and what responsibilities you are
going to give to any future employees.

4) Write an Operations Manual. At first, you may have only one or two employees.
They will learn the business, do multiple tasks and will make your life much easier.
And then, one of them will move away, have a baby or simply quite. How are you
going to have the time to train someone else? Write out all of each employees
responsibilities and a step by step process of how they should execute them. This will
save you invaluable time in the future.

5) Hire employees not friends. When you are just starting out, it is easy to hire those
around you. You know and trust them and don't have to look for other employees.
However tempting this may be, do not do it. Inevitably, there will be tensions and
disagreements between you and your employees. If they are friends, these tensions are
amplified exponentially. Keep your professional life professional and your personal
life personal.

6) Ask Questions. Every day, you will have more and more questions arise. How do
I pay sales taxes in different counties and states? How do I pay employee taxes?
Think of different people who will know the answers and don't be afraid to use them
as a resource.

7) Delegate, delegate, delegate. Many business owners are natural perfectionists and
live by the creed, ‘If you want it done right, do it yourself'. No so. You simply will not
be able to do everything yourself. Figure out what and to whom you can delegate
tasks and then do it.

Finally, and most importantly, figure out what you want from life! Do you want a
large income, lots of leisure time or to simply be your own boss? If you know
beforehand what you want out of starting a business, it will be much easier to get it.

This article is written by Athelia Woolley who co-founded Shabby Apple along with
Emily McCormick. Shabby Apple offers women's dresses and girl's dresses - dresses
that make dressing simple. Shabby Apple dresses are a return to what dresses were
always meant to be - a one-piece outfit. No need to add tank tops, no
cardigans, nothing (except accessories, of course!). Check out Shabby Apple's
Fit-to-Flatter tool to help you find the perfect fit in a dress.

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