Passion, creativeness and vision are all characteristics of today’s entrepreneur. The mentality is I will get there not matter how; please get out of my way, determination at its best. This is a large part of the process to initiate that idea, believe in it and go forward. But what today’s entrepreneur needs to consider is more than just an idea.
Sad to say, that is not all. The most successful Entrepreneurs will tell you that at least 90% of their time is spent dealing with matters that lie far away from the creative domain where their ideas first took root. These are the dull, dry details that can, if ignored, spell the end of a promising venture.
I am an entrepreneur. I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to be involved with some great ideas, while on the same note observing some of the most spectacular failures. The following observations about the boring parts of entrepreneurship you need to consider are derived from past experiences that I have had in my practice.
Where do you want to be, and how do you intend to get there. So you took a napkin, drew some diagrams and now you have your business al figured out. If it were that easy, there would be a shortage of napkins around the world.
It involves disciplined consideration of where you want to be in one, three and five years from now and how you intend to get there. The results of this exercise will impact a large number of decisions you make in the early going, from how you structure your business entity, what skills you emphasize in your initial hiring, how much financing you will seek and when.
Be careful with your pocketbook. Part of the problem that I see too often is that people starting their business forget about a lot of expenses. Heat, electricity, paper, ink, tables, chairs, office cleaners etc., etc. all costs money. Here’s one thing to remember, and once again, they all cost money.
Although it’s tempting to think that grand offices and grand expenditure are the way to impress investors, customers, and prospective employees, the opposite is usually the case. The proceeds of your first financing may look inexhaustible when they’re fresh in the bank, but can vanish quickly without serious and disciplined budgeting.
Think about arrangements with your co-founders. Once your venture is underway, you want to focus on your venture. Arrangements that are not discussed and set in stone with the people that you start your company with can create conflict in determining who does what within your organization. Agree upon responsibilities, and agree upon ownership within the business. This way, that part is said and done and you can focus on the business itself opposed to who should get what percentage of the company and who is the marketing director and who’s in charge or customer service etc.
Be wary of tax and accounting issues. What could be more deadly than having to worry about whether some common sense agreement with corporate stock might not work out because of tax and accounting rules? But this sort of planning is very necessary evil – better than finding out afterward that you owe a bundle of taxes or have to book a phantom expense that wipes out your first year profits. Please refer to www.ataccountant.com for some tips
Consider the name of your company. Your name is very important to the success of your business. In the event that you have a product, it can resemble the actual product, hence using your name as a marketing vehicle. So you’re using your name effectively and with a purpose.
Look into patents, trademarks and copyright protection. Don’t take your time with this, do it now. In the case of patents, waiting can limit your options. If your product has been on sale for more than a year, or the idea has been publicly disclosed for that time, it will probably be too late. Furthermore, that one-year grace period is not available for patenting an invention in most foreign countries. Trademarks, pertinent to your company or product names, can be researched with a quick trademark search. And look into copyrights, it is a quick read and fairly straight forward.
Take time for yourself. Please, please, please take time for yourself. This is sometimes the most difficult part of the entrepreneurial experience. Make sure you take time for family, friends, spouses, ballet recitals baseball games, and your hobbies. Being a successful entrepreneur is a fantastic experience, but make sure that you include the parts and people involved in your life that got you here.
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