With the popular conversation about making lifestyle adjustments to be an entrepreneur, there's another, more aggressive option: retire early and then start a company. The Washington Post recently profiled Mr. Money Mustache, a man in Colorado that retired at age 30 and now writes a popular blog on happiness and retiring early with a modest lifestyle. If you haven't read about his approach, start with…
Many states in the U.S. really want you to start a business within their borders. Multiple reasons are cited including: jobs, financial boon, taxes, and a cascade effect for more business start ups. Recently, the governor of Texas made trip to Illinois and spoke at a business conference to try to lure Illinois business to Texas (1).
What about other states? Does a difference really exist between states?
According to a recent article on Entrenpreneur.com, 10 states rate above all others for entrepreneurship and innovation. Leading the pack are Maryland and Colorado followed by Virginia and Utah. The article, based on a study by the US Chamber of Commerce, looked at the number of high-tech businesses in the state, programs that support entrepreneurs, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) job concentration. Each state that made the list has something unique to offer resident entrepreneurs.
This study and article examined mostly high-tech business, but these states are obviously fertile ground for starting various kinds of businesses. Start up business needs support services too – from coffee shops to restaurants to packing and shipping operations, and that makes this list all the more valuable and interesting.
The full Entrenpreneur article is here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226521
Starting a home-based business involves planning, key financial decisions, and a series of legal steps. The 10 easy steps below can help you plan, prepare, and launch your business. Click on the links to learn more from the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Don’t forget to consider a business name and verify if the name is already in use. Chose a short, catchy, memorable name that sounds good and is easily marketed and branded. A tag line or catch-phrase for your business is important too. Do it once, do it right, never do it again.
Use these tools and resources to create a business plan. This written guide will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully.
Take advantage of free training and counseling services, from preparing a business plan and securing financing, to expanding or relocating a business.
Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws. Home-based business owners are subject to many of the laws and regulations that apply to other business owners. These include: traffic, noise, changes in physical appearance, and nature of the business.
Find government backed loans, venture capital and research grants to help you get started. Other sources include using part of a retirement plan, crowd funding, personal savings, and friends and family.
Homepreneurs recently discussed creating a home business with Arts and Crafts. We believe this market is growing, cost-effective, and a business option for many. Arts and Crafts can be done part-time, full-time, by the employed, retired or semi-retired. G&D Products – featured as a Homepreneurs success story – is a retired couple that enjoys creating hand-made good while traveling to craft shows in the Midwest.
In this series of articles, we will define crafts, market research, sales and marketing, and setting prices.
The most commonly asked question when considering Art and Crafts are: what can I make to sell?
Answering the first requires a little inventory of skills and interests. Do you like to paint, knit, embroider or use metal to make funny figures? Perhaps you enjoy photography on the side and have an interesting inventory of unique photos. We can’t answer this question for you, but can offer some suggestions.
Ultimately, crafts fall into 5 major categories:
- Textile – any type of craft that starts with fabric. Examples here include knitting, crochet, quilting, embroidery or appliqué.
- Paper – a craft involving paper or its source: wood. Examples here include: cards, calligraphy, papier-mâché, wood engraving or block print.
- Fashion – this craft involves anything that dresses the human body. Examples include: hats, clothes, jewelry or handbags. Many materials are used from leather to silver and precious stones.
- Decorative – this craft covers a wide range including: furniture making, metalwork, stained glass, dried flowers or basketry.
- Functional – this craft may combine other types of craft design. A piece of furniture may be both decorative and serve a function. Ditto for a ceramic dish set. It looks good on display, but one might eat from it too.
As noted above, many options are available for the interested crafter. In the next article, we’ll discuss how to research the market for your craft.
By Dion D Shaw
Dion D Shaw is the founder and owner of Homepreneurs
Homepreneurs does not endorse nor have any relationships with any of the services listed. Homepreneurs receives no compensation or consideration for its suggestions. Homepreneurs strongly urges all interested parties to conduct research and accepts no responsibility for any losses incurred.
© Homepreneurs 2010 – 2013
You’ve decided – or are compelled – to start your own business. You have talent, experience, a good idea, and a desire to leave the corporate world behind. But a nagging question exists: How to start? Overcoming this mental block is the first obstacle in the path to success. This blog and many others dedicated to starting a home business are good places to start. Research your idea, the market niche, competition and compare your strategy. As a primer, I ran across this article that provides seven steps from idea to implementation. It is a basic guide, written in plain language, and contains common-sense steps.
Still interested in starting a business? Read and follow these steps. It provides wonderful information for start ups.
Seven Steps to Starting Your own Business
By Palo Alto Software
I’d like a basic outline for the fundamentals of how to start my own business. Please include some insight on financial management, legalities, literature that may come in handy, etc. Thanks!
What is interesting about this question is that, while many businesses are indeed created after much thought and planning, probably just as many are started on the fly; the guy who has had the itch to go solo but gets fired from his day job before actually doing so is apt to just wing it and hope for the best.
By the same token, there are many companies that start out planning to be one thing and end up doing something quite different. This is not to say that forethought and planning are a waste of time when starting a business; that’s certainly not true. Rather, it points out one of the fundamental laws of successful entrepreneurship: be flexible. For example, a 15 years ago Microsoft had no Internet strategy at all. Seeing the folly of that, they shifted much of their focus almost overnight. That’s a good lesson for all of us.
That said, here are the seven steps to starting your own business:
Step 1: Personal evaluation.
Begin by taking stock of yourself and your situation. Why do you want to start a business? Is it money, freedom, creativity, or some other reason? What skills do you have? What industries do you know about? Would you want to provide a service or a product? What do you like to do? How much capital do you have to risk? Will it be a full-time or a part-time venture? Your answers to these types of questions will help you narrow your focus and pick a business.
Maybe you don’t know what kind of business fits your goals. If that’s the case, there are many places to get business ideas. Do some online research. Look through the Yellow Pages. Go to trade shows. Buy industry magazines. Check in with the Small Business Association. Read the business section of the newspaper.
Step 2: Analyze the industry.
Once you decide on a business that fits your goals and lifestyle, you need to evaluate your idea. Who will buy your product or service? Who would be your competitors? You also need to figure out at this stage how much money you will need to get started.
Step 3: Make it legal.
There are several ways to form your business – it could be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation. As I have discussed several times previously, although incorporating can be expensive, it is well worth the money. A corporation becomes a separate entity that is legally responsible for the business. If something goes wrong, you cannot be held personally liable.
You also need to get the proper business licenses and permits. Depending upon the business, there may be city, county, or state regulations as well as permits and licenses to deal with. This is also the time to check into any insurance you may need for the business and to find a good accountant.
Step 4: Draft a business plan.
If you will be seeking outside financing, a business plan is a necessity. But even if you are going to finance the venture yourself, a business plan will help you figure out how much money you will need to get started, what needs to get done when, and where you are headed.
Step 5: Get financed.
Depending on the size of your venture, you may need to seek financing from an “angel” or from a venture capital firm. Most small businesses begin with private financing from credit cards, personal loans, help from the family, etc. As a rule of thumb, besides your start-up costs, you should also have at least three months’ worth of your family’s budget in the bank.
Step 6: Set up shop.
Find a location. Negotiate leases. Buy inventory. Get the phones installed. Have stationery printed. Hire staff. Set your prices. Throw a “Grand Opening” party.
Step 7: Trial and error.
It will take awhile to figure out what works and what does not. Follow your business plan, but be open and creative. Advertise! Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. And above all, have a ball! Running your own business is one of the great joys in life!