Tips for New Entrepreneurs

biz-stress2Starting a business may be the “American Dream,” but it can also be terrifying.  As exciting as it sounds to break free from the shackles of your 9-to-5 job, corporate American may appear comforting in comparison to the instability of entrepreneurship.  For example, you once had a team of experts at your disposal, not to mention peer support from coworkers, not to mention the stability of a regular paycheck.  You had 24-hour assistant from an “IT Helpdesk,” and someone to fix the printer when it broke down for the third time in a week.  

Leaving the security of a full-time job can be daunting, but there are three specific challenges that seem to affect all entrepreneurs – chief among them are stress, instability and solitude.  According to the experts in entrepreneurship, facing down these demons is the only way to overcome them.

ecommerce businessIf you own a brick-and-mortar business, it's easy to advertise that it is for sale. You can display a "For Sale" sign in the window, list it in a local business directory, or advertise in the Business Opportunities section of your local newspaper. Chances are, word will get around and you will soon be speaking with a number of qualified prospects. But most of these techniques will not work when you are selling an online business.

quit day jobAre you tired of worrying about your job security? Perhaps you're ready to quit the 9 to 5 job and work on your side business full-time. Maybe you are exhausted from trying to lead a "double life" until it's time to be a full-time business owner. The question of when to take the plunge is the biggest dilemma for entrepreneurs. If you leave too soon you may run out of cash too quickly, but if you wait too long you may miss the best growth opportunities.

venture capitalWhat is one of the biggest deterrents to starting a business? Most would-be entrepreneurs will say it in just one word: capital. Sure, capital can be the catalyst for a new business launch, but the lack of it can keep a great idea from being realized. There are plenty of "big-concept" entrepreneurs who want to raise money for startup and expansion but they don't know where to find venture capital funds. According to a recent article in Entrepreneur, "A Quick Guide to Finding a Venture Capital Match," most first-time fundraisers mistakenly pursue a short list of funds, or even one fund. Your chances of getting fully capitalized will increase dramatically by approaching a long list of funding sources.

start a businessThis may sound like a contradiction, but a business degree really isn't necessary to run a business. Despite all the well-meaning parents out there who strongly recommend it, entrepreneurs are not "cookie cutter" business majors.

If business ownership is your aspiration, it never hurts to have an education, but a true entrepreneur makes his or her own destiny. You will rarely need an impressive-looking resume; and for that matter you really don't need a degree at all. Believe it or not, one of the best things college can do is teach you discipline. You might also meet some valuable business connections while you're there.

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