As exciting as it is to turn a business idea into a reality, a lot of time, money, research, and confidence goes into taking that final leap into entrepreneurship. From choosing a business structure to understanding your tax obligations as an entrepreneur, the whole process can be stressful and downright confusing. But fortunately for you, NaijaNoWell is here to take some of the guesswork out of delving into entrepreneurship. Read on to get started.
Brush Up Your Business Skills
Before taking the plunge into entrepreneurship, it’s important to develop strong business acumen if you haven’t already done so. This will allow you to expand your business knowledge and become a better leader overall. Here are some ways to do it:
Go back to school. You could earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in areas such as marketing, management and leadership, or business management.
Read business books. Entrepreneur recommends 12 books for expanding your business knowledge, including “Giftology” by John Ruhlin and “The Hard Things About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz.
Listen to podcasts. You can easily listen to business podcasts online or on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, or Stitcher Radio.
Explore Financing Options
Even if you don’t have money saved as you take the leap into entrepreneurship, there are several ways to secure the funding you need. You could apply for government grants through the Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program or Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR), or you could use other financing options like small business loans and crowdfunding.
Select Your Business Location
Unless you’ll be working from home as an entrepreneur, you’ll need to choose a practical location for your new business. According to Greg Barrett of CREentrepreneur, a few viable options for entrepreneurs include coworking spaces, shared office spaces, executive suites, and flex suites. Traditional office spaces are expensive and often require a long-term commitment, but these flexible options are short-term and perfect for growing startups.
Choose Your Legal Structure
Choosing the right legal structure for your startup can be a challenge, but it’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make as an entrepreneur. And while you may change your legal structure as your business grows and evolves, the legal structure you choose early on will affect you financially, legally, and operationally.
If you’ll be working as a solopreneur or freelancer, for instance, a sole proprietorship may be the best legal structure for your business. Partnerships, however, are best for businesses owned by two or more entrepreneurs. Other business structures to consider as an entrepreneur include limited liability companies (LLCs) and corporations.
Hire a Certified Public Accountant
Also known as a CPA, a certified public accountant will be invaluable as you take the leap into entrepreneurship. A CPA can help you to understand your tax obligations as an entrepreneur, choose the best legal structure for your business, set up your accounting software, prepare and file your business taxes, and save you loads of time and money in the long run.
Use the Right Tech Tools
To succeed as an entrepreneur, you’ll also need to use technology to your advantage, including cloud-based project management software and chat platforms like Slack. If you don’t utilize technology, you risk falling behind before you even have a chance to get ahead. However, the right tech tools for one business may not be ideal for you, so be sure to do plenty of research before investing in technology for your new business.
Take That Final Leap Into Entrepreneurship
Whether you’ll be working online or out of a physical office space, these quick tips will help to take some of the stress and guesswork out of delving into the world of entrepreneurship. There’s so much to do and learn when taking the entrepreneurial plunge, and the more you know and understand early on, the greater chance you’ll have at achieving success!
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