How long does it really take to start a new business? Depends.
If you are bound and determined that you are going to start a “perfect” new business, then the answer is never. If you want to just get going developing an idea that has “haunted” you for quite a while, then the answer is today. Then there are the variations in between both of these based on people’s different personalities and how big of a business you want to build. Start very, very small – the bare minimum – try it on for size first.
Small business is easy and it’s difficult. Why? Because of the enormity of information, the lack of really good training for small business hopefuls and the confusion of how, what, where, when, who, why and even the what. What is a person to do?
Start. What do I mean by that? Just begin. Don’t think business plan just yet – just get a business going. But you don’t know what you’ll need – here is a starter list for small business hopeful:
- business name – start with your own – you can change the name later eg if your name is Jane Dexter and you want to start a cleaning business, call it Jane Dexter Home Cleaning Services – simple. You don’t even have to register your company at this point – just begin. You don’t have to charge GST until you reach $30,000 per year.
- get yourself a domain name and create a free website on Google and the many other free website providers or inexpensive web hosts such as hostmonster, bluehost, etc. Create a couple of pages such as your Home Page, About Page, and maybe a couple of pages on organizing or cleaning or whatever.
- decide on what you’ll charge after some preliminary research on the web
- decide what kind of client you want
- go to a local small printer, (a small business too) show them your website and ask them to produce a postcard for distribution as well as a standard business card which will match your website – make it really, really simple – business name, phone number, tag line (short 5 or 6 word expression of what you do under your business name), your name, and a list of services on the back of both your business card and your postcard – should cost around $50 for 200 postcards and $25 or $50 for a decent business card – don’t go crazy spending a lot of money on printing – you’re not ready for that yet – just get something done that is presentable.
- decide where you’ll advertise and promote
Will this be a successful business? Maybe. The truth is that you’ll find out whether you really want to do this or not, you can do it while you still have a job, and it won’t cost you a lot of time, energy and money to give it a try. Then you’ll know for sure if it is truly what you want to do.
Yes, there are a ton of other things you could do – but, let’s face it – you are neither creating something that hasn’t existed before in the world – the only newness about it is your entry into owning your own small business.
Let’s say you love being in your own business and your business takes off. What then? I’ll talk about that in other segments.