Start A BusinessEntrepreneurshipStarting a new business in 2023? Ask yourself these questions first —...

Starting a new business in 2023? Ask yourself these questions first — Melinda Emerson aka “SmallBizLady”

The beginning of the year is an exciting time for new entrepreneurs, as they look to make good on their resolution of starting a new business. However, becoming a small business owner is always a challenge, which is why it’s important to seek advice from those who have experience in creating successful startups. Melinda Emerson, aka the “SmallBizLady,” is a walking small business legend, with years of experience guiding new leaders through the process of creating a company. Today she joins host Jim Fitzpatrick on The Small Business Show to give her tips for succeeding in the New Year.

Why am I starting a business?

Emerson’s first piece of advice for hopeful entrepreneurs is to make sure they understand why they feel compelled to start a new business. The desire to start a new company often comes from the need for something new in one’s career, however, this doesn’t mean one has to become a business owner. Sometimes a simple change of pace is better instead, which could be something as simple as a new job, position, or even industry. Furthermore, the immense effort needed to develop a successful business can place pressure on not only oneself but also family and friends. It is impossible to start a business without sacrifice, so entrepreneurs need to ensure they are ready by being clear on why they want to become an owner.

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How will I pay for my business?

Speaking of sacrifice, starting a business also means spending money. The initial funds for the vast majority of companies come out of the owner’s pockets, which means entrepreneurs have to get their finances in order before starting their business. Emerson recommends that entrepreneurs check their credit to ensure that their debt and borrowing limit are sufficient enough for their plans. It often takes some time for businesses to become profitable, which is why new owners have to make sure they are ready to support themselves without revenue for at least the first few months.

Is my business idea valid?

Validating one’s business idea is an essential but often overlooked step to starting a new endeavor. New companies don’t become successful simply because of passion or inspiration: they succeed because customers love their products or services. Emerson often tells hopeful entrepreneurs to take a part time job in the industry they hope to enter, to make sure their idea is refined and unique enough to be competitive.

Starting a new business is exciting, but also stressful, and can take a severe toll on one’s personal relationships and finances. However, entrepreneurs can avoid much of the struggle by asking themselves how and why their company will succeed where others won’t. Emerson recommends looking for support from friends and family, which can be vital in managing the initial months of a startup.

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