Can you afford to start your own business?
I fumbled through these exact thoughts so many times before I finally pulled the trigger and started what has become Homegrown Happiness. I felt like my thoughts had been playing a game of ping pong long enough, and I was ready to just try. I didn't care if I failed- I was sick of wondering whether or not it would work.
The truth about being a business owner is sometimes you have to pull the trigger on things. Will it work? Maybe not, but you can only think about things for so long. Nothing will ever come to fruition if you refuse to step outside of your comfort zone.
Planning a business
Can you afford to start your own business? Start by looking at your business plan. How many items have you marked off? If you don't have a business plan drawn up, then I suggest starting there. Here are a couple things to consider to get yourself going on a business plan:
Have you created yourself a branding palette? (Colors, design styles, fonts, images)
Do you plan on having an online store? An online presence is very important in this day and age. Compare prices for common e-commerce websites (Shopify, Wix, Square)
Have you finalized a name for your business? Check to make sure that name is available on social media websites.
Have you compared rates at your local financial institutions? Also look at credit cards with benefits for small business owners.
Do you have the funds for the initial legal fees involved with starting your business?
There are many parts of planning out a business that are based off of your interest and talents.. While those aspects are often free when it comes to business planning, there will be things that you absolutely need to save money for.
My biggest tip for financial planning for a business is to start by looking at your personal finances. How much money are you spending on frivolous things? Are there areas where you could cut costs in order to get your business started more quickly? I'm the type of person that likes to get everything drawn out. I write everything down (Expenses and Income) and then I pull up financial calculators. This budget planning calculator is excellent! You need to have everything written down to the cent to be able to accurately draw up a plan for when you can afford to launch your business.
Once you pay to start your business you can find large corporations and government rewards to help you keep your business afloat. The US Chamber website has a list of free government grants. The US Small Business Administration also has a list of grants available on their website.
Cutting Business Costs
When starting your own business, try not to be overly eager. There are a few ways for you to logically cut costs without sacrificing the quality of your product or service.
Instead of paying for 3 years of website hosting, pay for a single year.
Look for individuals willing to complete work on a freelance basis versus opting for large name companies.
Skip over Facebook and Instagram paid advertising. Advertise yourself in local Facebook groups, and create social media pages to grow organically.
I felt my heart drop into my stomach when my credit card proceed for the first initial fees involved with starting Homegrown Happiness. Here I am a year later; I'm making money, and I'm about to start my second business! If you can start a business while being able to afford your day to day life, I absolutely recommend it.