Is This A Good Time to Start a Business?

By on August 1, 2014

By Patricia Stallworth –

One of the questions I’m often asked is that given the current economy is this a good time to start a business. The good news is that the answer is YES. The bad news is that you have to be more prepared than ever before or you could literally lose your shirt. As the world gets smaller and consumers get smarter, competition gets fiercer so not only must you prepare in terms of developing a marketable product or service, you must also up your business and marketing skills, and always keep an eye on the competition.

But beyond all that, starting and running a successful business is really hard work but it’s not often portrayed that way so many people take the plunge without understanding what they’re getting themselves into. As a result, many fail. In fact the failure rate for new businesses is somewhere between 50 and 90 percent!

With that in mind, prospective business owners who want to beat the odds should focus on the basics as they build a plan for their business. Business basics fall into three categories:

  1. Infrastructure
  2. Sales and Marketing
  3. Cash flow

Infrastructure – provides a foundation for the business and promotes sustainability. Major elements include: a description of your business idea; the problem you solve; current alternatives in the marketplace; and your vision for the business moving forward.

Sales and Marketing – is responsible for bringing money into the business and they drive your profitability. Major elements include: a target customer profile; a list of your top competitors; and a list of the places you plan to sell your product or service such as in a retail store or online.

Cash Flow – is the keeper of the funds and it helps ensure that money and resources will be available to run and grow the business. In fact, businesses cannot exist without cash. Major elements include: revenue streams (how you make money); your expenses; and a list of the key numbers that will tell you how the business is doing at any given point in time.

As you build a plan for your business, pay close attention to the basics. This is just a quick overview, so in all probability, you will need to do further research. But focusing on the basics is more than just the smart thing to do, it gives you an advantage and helps you get started on the right track to build a profitable, sustainable business that has a greater chance of success in this and any economy.

Patricia Stallworth, MBA is the creative voice behind www.WiseWealthyWomen.com, a site devoted to helping women achieve financial independence through entrepreneurship. If you are thinking about starting a business or if you already have one and would like to make sure that you have covered all of the basics, I invite you to join me in a 30-part series entitled “Steps to Start a Business.” Got a business or money question? Contact Patricia at [email protected].

 

Patricia Stallworth

About Patricia Stallworth

Patricia Stallworth, is an author, speaker, money coach and consultant. She is the founder and CEO of PS Worth, a financial education and consulting firm whose mission is to arm women and men with the skills and tools to take charge and take control of their financial lives, and the author of Squeeze the Most Out of Your Money, Minding Your Money and the 57 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce. Stallworth is a former instructor in the Certified Financial Planner™ and Certified Divorce Financial Analysts programs at Oglethorpe University. She also worked in a management or advisory capacity with several firms, including American Express Financial Advisors and Deloitte & Touche. And she is a former money talk show host for WCLK in Atlanta, Women & Money blogger for BlackEnterprise.com, and Wealthy Smart’s columnist for the Atlanta Tribune. Her website: http://patriciastallworth.com/ and www.MZoneUS.com.

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Is This A Good Time to Start a Business?