Thoughts on setting up small business II

I have gotten some favorable comments on the small business video.

Here are some more thoughts.

Starting a small business will most probably be harder than you imagined.  Problems, complexities and details will almost certainly creep up.  Be aware of numerous legal, financial, regulatory, liability and tax liabilities.

Do not make your business plan overly optimistic.  Plan for less than ideal situations, and have a margin of error built in..

Have a Plan B if it does not work out.  Decide before hand who long you are prepared to continue if things don´t work out (when you should throw in the towel) and have a plan ready incase that happens.

A lot of business success has to do with timing (catching that wave).  If you are entering a mature commodity like business with established players it will be hard to succeed.  But, If you can get going at the same time that a trend is developing you can ride that wave.  Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were successful in part because they started out in the late 70s, just when personal computers were getting started.  Starbucks did well because America had a lot of cash rich sleep deprived people in the 1990s, who wanted a higher quality/ status way to get their caffeine fix so they could stay awake and make more money..

Have good marketing, but without a great product to back up the claims, all a great marketing will do is bring people in, have them be disappointed, and not come back.  Apple has great marketing, but also has products that people are satisfied with.

Be flexible and learn to adapt.  If things don´t work out as planned or the market changes, be prepared to change along with it.

Put yourself in the mind of the consumer, and try to meet their needs as much as you can.

Get as good people as you can find.  Poor employees can really wreck a small operation.

If you are going to have a founding partner, think a lot about how the relationship will hold up under the inevitable strain of running the business.  Are both of you able to successfully negotiate problems, stresses, jealousies, etc?  And as Don said, put it all in writing, and have a plan in place incase one partner wants out, or the relationship breaks down.

Best of luck to all of you out there who want to do this.

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