SERIES: Start A Small Business 1

I am a HUGE fan of small businesses.  The ingenuity, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit of small business owners makes them a favorite group of people to hang out with.

One thing I see in most small business owners is a passion for the work they do.  One thing I see lacking in most small business owners is knowledge of the "business-side" of doing business.  With this series, I will be teaching some principles that have helped me be successful in my small business.

Part One – Have a business plan.

Ask yourself the following questions.  Take the time to truly understand them!

  • What is your vision for the business?
  • How will you make money?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • Who can you partner with?
  • What are your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats? (SWOT Analysis FORM)
  • How long will it take to turn a profit?
  • What are the start-up costs?
  • How much financing is needed? (Prefer ZERO!)
  • Is this a hobby or a passion?
  • Is your spouse on board with it?

Answer these questions and then take it to a small business owner who has successfully operated a small business for over twenty years.  Ask this person to review your plan.  Seek wisdom.  I promise you that this person will be able to help you immensely.  Do not be afraid to seek wisdom from several people.

Read The Entire Series


  1. Barkri on March 2, 2009 at 4:56 am

    Laid off? This may be the perfect chance to reinvent yourself and start a small business. But there are two main problems to starting a small business: getting your small business to make money and paying your bills and living expenses in the meantime. Here’s a discussion of these two main problems to starting a small business and how you can overcome them.

  2. Grant Baldwin on March 2, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Like you Joe, I’m all for starting a small business. I want to be in charge of my own destiny and not be dependent on someone else for a paycheck.

    That being said, I think depending on the type of business you’re starting, a business plan may be overrated. I’m as much of a planner as anyone but especially if you’re doing something that’s just a one-man-band type operation, how much strategic planning do you really need?

    The problem is sometimes people can spend so much time planning and preparing that they never get around to actually starting the business.

    Don’t get me wrong. Make sure you plan and prepare. But evaluate YOUR business and see if a formal business is necessary.

  3. Chris on March 3, 2009 at 12:04 am


    Some random thoughts.

    I so see your point about people never getting to go because they get bogged down in the details.

    My wife and I just had that conversation Sunday. She for the past year has been meeting with some people she works with to read and review motivational books during a lunch hour. It’s really been great to see her embrace this. But I asked her in the 6 months she’s been doing this, what specifically has she applied to her life or career. She couldn’t answer. I asked if maybe she was spending too much time learning and not enough time implementing and doing or finding a balance.

    As a visual guy, I often need to get thoughts out of my head and onto paper so I can actually see them, prioritize them, act on them and so forth. And I’ll be the first to admit, I’m often slow getting to go.

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