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Nine Steps to Success

By Dr. Robert Sullivan

Large companies are downsizing. Reengineering is all too common. Many people are seriously considering starting their own business so as not to become victims of the all too uncertain corporate world. In fact, a new small business is started every 11-seconds throughout the U.S. Many fail but you can improve your odds of success by learning from the mistakes of others. Here are "nine steps to success" that are based on many "real-life" lessons of successes and failures.

Get smart. You might know a lot about your product or service but you might not be knowledgeable about the practical aspects of starting and operating a business. Be honest when assessing your knowledge and take advantage of available information as well as the various support organizations such as the SBA (800 827 5722 or on the internet at http://www.sbaonline.gov) or your local SCORE chapter. Learn from others mistakes!

Get advice.

You cannot be an expert on everything. Get assistance early from as many sources as possible. Talk to your attorney, accountant and banker. Talk to your friends, family and your competition.

Plan.

A major reason for business failure is lack of planning. Fail to plan and you plan to fail. Prepare a strategic plan for your business that clearly defines your mission, your present situation, your strategies, and where you want to be in the next three to five years. This plan will be your roadmap to effective decision making.

Protect yourself.

Before you start operations, make certain you are protected from a legal and insurance point of view. Select a business legal structure (talk to your attorney) and develop a insurance program (talk with an independent insurance agent) that is best for your type of business. Take NO chances!

Avoid hiring employees at the start.

This is not always possible but put it off for as long a possible. The legal complexities of hiring and maintaining employees (even one!) can be daunting and take up a lot of your time.

Purchase a computer and learn to use it.

Operating your business without a computer will put you at an immediate disadvantage. They are simply too valuable as a time-saving tool. Don't be overwhelmed at the apparent complexity of a computer, once you begin they are quite easy to use. Furthermore you will want a computer to take advantage of the internet - the most exciting development of recent times for communications (e-mail: send a message anywhere in the world with no long distance charges) and research (The world wide web or WWW is an amazio. There will be good times and bad. Be persistent and stubborn -view any failure as a learning experience and an opportunity for additional success.

Visualize success.

Keep your goals in mind and expect that you will achieve them. Don't lose sight of your goal... keep pushing.

And finally...

Don't delay acting on a good idea. Even a great idea is worthless if you don't do something with it.

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This article is an excerpt from "The Small Business Start-Up Guide" by Robert Sullivan, which is available from the publisher, Information International, Box 579, Great Falls, VA 22066, at $16.95 plus $3.50s/h. 800 375 8439. Visit "The Small Business Advisor" at http://www.isquare.com

Brought to you by World Wide Information Outlet (WWIO) your source of FREEWare Content online. Located on the Internet at: http://certificate.net/wwio/

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