By Josh Green
With the start of the New Year, historically there is an increase in individuals looking to start new businesses. The Nevada Small Business Development Center (Nevada SBDC) sees a spike in requests for counseling each year during this time. In fact, January 2015 had 33 percent more new clients than any other month of the year, with the total for January and February accounting for almost 25 percent of all new clients for the year.
Nevada SBDC Director of Counseling Rod Jorgensen has five key items he discusses with all new clients, with a special emphasis on the final point:
- Do the research: Research can make the difference between understanding how to find success and plunging into failure. Ask yourself: What will the business do/be about, who will be served and what will set the idea apart?
- Finances: Creating realistic estimates for startup costs can help paint a clear picture for getting your venture off the ground. What is the source of funds to get started and what are the uses of those funds? Take a close look at credit scores and investment levels If financing is required.
- Revenues: Creating projected revenues can show whether or not the business will be viable. Number of customers and price of products must be based on realistic market assumptions.
- Marketing: Think about how to identify, find and convince potential customers to use the business. Creating a marketing plan that is focused on specific customers will greatly impact your ability to actually get them “in the door.”
- Bringing it all together: Once armed with all of the information from the previous points, it can be determined if it is likely for the business to find success. Then it is time to perform a self-assessment and obtain feedback from others. Is it the right time? Can your family sustain a potentially long period of time with the loss of current income? Working long hours with little to no free time, overcoming adversity and having to be flexible is not for everybody.
There are countless ideas that have great potential, but starting a business is not for the faint of heart and requires many hours of researching, forecasting and soul-searching. It is also important to make sure individuals have as much information as possible before putting money, or themselves, on the line. However, starting and owning a business can be a tremendously rewarding experience. Getting feedback from objective third-parties, such as the Nevada SBDC, SCORE, a banker or attorney can also help provide insights and feedback to help find success.
For more information, to get help starting a business, or to get help with an existing business, visit www.nsbdc.org.
Josh Green is a business counselor and MBA candidate with the Nevada Small Business Development Center.