Starting a New Small Business? Here is Some Free Advice

So, you are starting a small business. First, let me say congratulations. Small businesses are the backbone of the US economy and are the foundation of the American Dream and I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for anyone that is willing to risk in order to grow and achieve success and a piece of that American Dream.

Since I was sixteen years old, I have been an owner of a business. Seven businesses in 23 years and each one taught me valuable lessons. Starting and owning a small business is unique and never dull. It will test your metal and often times leave you breathless. But no work is more rewarding and potentially profitable than working for yourself and being your own boss.

I wanted to share with you a lesson I learned along the way that I hope will help you in pursuit of your dreams. I have no doubt that you are good at your trade. Whether you are a plumber, chef, mechanic or landscaper…the belief that you are capable is what has brought you to the decision to go out on your own. The problem with that is your trade skills rarely translate into small business ownership success. In my opinion, success as a small business will require you become an expert at areas of business that may be foreign to you.

The most important concept you must master is marketing and advertising. I have seen more small businesses go belly up because of poor or miscalculated marketing and advertising decisions than anything else. Whether it be overspending on yellow pages, over extending your budget and not having enough for operations or just flat out spending money on stuff that doesn’t work. If you don’t have an effective marketing and advertising campaign, you are dead in the water.

Frankly, the reason why franchise operations have a much higher success rate than independent small businesses is because the marketing and advertising plans are already in existence and all you have to do is follow the plan.

If you are not looking at a franchise, then you need to come up with a plan of your own. My suggestion is to always first start with a budget of zero. This may sound strange, but if you don’t set a budget, then you