Hello, I’m Douglas G. Jackson, founding attorney of The Law Firm of Douglas G. Jackson. Today, I want to talk to you about planning to start a business.
Though I tend to usually focus on legal matters, especially in Florida, you can start a business anywhere in the United States and even the world. Today, it’s arguably easier to start a business than ever. That’s right, you have more tools available to you and with technology, you don’t even need office space. That’s right, I’m shooting this video from home right now. That background behind me, it’s not real, and you can do it, too, and even do better.
So…. You want to start your own business. Where do you start? With an idea. Do you have a service or product that you think would benefit others. Well, there you go. You have an idea for a business. But what next?
Network with others who know more about starting a business than you do. Join meetups, or online groups, or even start your own mastermind group. I’m, personally, in a number of different groups, and I’ve learned so much from other business owners. Search online for meet-ups. Join your local Chamber of Commerce, trust me it’s worth it.
Here in St. Petersburg, we have several groups to help you. We have the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce. We have a group called Greenhouse, at St.PeteGreenHouse.com, which even has an entrepreneurship academy, and gives you access to consultants and mentors, at no cost to you. We also have a group that meets most Thursdays at Nova 535 called the Entrepreneur Social Club, which is completely free to attend and you can drop in any time. Nationally, there is a group called Score, at Score.org, that can also give you access to free business mentors. Don’t be afraid to seek outside advice to refine your ideas.
The next step is to start working on your business plan. This is a document that will help you map out your business. What are your goals? What are your objectives? How are you going to achieve them? Your business plan is going to be vital as you move forward with starting your business.
If you’re going to be seeking funding from investors, you’re definitely going to want to have a solid business plan. But even if you’re not, it’s still a good idea to have one.
Another important step is to make sure that you’re organized and have a good handle on your finances. This means having a system in place to track your income and expenses. There are a lot of great accounting software programs out there, like QuickBooks, that can help you with this.
You’re also going to want to make sure that you have the proper licenses and permits for your business. The last thing you want is to get shut down because you didn’t do your homework.
I tend to focus mostly on law, but you need to have a plan to start a business, even if that plan isn’t fully completed. Yes, sometimes it’s better to start something than perfect it, otherwise you’ll never get started. Still, you have to know the first steps. Although I won’t discuss the planning much more in this video series, you should educate yourself and find the resources you need to be successful. I’ve already talked about free programs like GreenHouse the Entrepreneur Social Club, here in St. Pete, and Score available across the nation, but you can also learn a lot just by searching the internet and watching videos like these. The program Crash Course, which can be found on Youtube, is free and offers great educational programs. One of its series is actually on entrepreneurism.
Learn as much as you can, and create a solid foundational plan, then tune it to the next videos in our series to learn more about how to be successful in starting your business.
Remember, get your legal action at the Law Firm of Douglas G. Jackson.