5 Tips for Starting Your Own Business

UsMenTalkBy UsMenTalkMarch 9, 20206 Minutes

After college, I immediately entered the life insurance business. I worked out of the company office and didn’t have to pay for overhead, but I worked solely on commission. So, if I made no sales, I made no money! But as time went on, I did really well.

Eventually I decided to go out on my own as an independent rep. Now I had to pay for all of the overhead of my business. I was excited about the opportunity of owning my own business, but scared about the liability and responsibility I’d be taking on. But as they say, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Fortunately, I had a track record of success and knew how to make money in the life insurance business. This gave me a lot of confidence to proceed. So, I came up with a company name and met with a lawyer friend to help me set it up properly. I was now off to the entrepreneurial races.

Long story short, I built this new company up and later sold it for millions. But most business ventures don’t offer such a comfortable and safe growing experience, a fact I learned the hard way. My next three ventures all resulted in failure. Apparently, I didn’t really know what it took to start a successful business from scratch. But through up and downs, I learned a lot about being an entrepreneur. And if you’re interested in starting your own business, I’ve got some advice for you to consider before you do.

5 Tips for Starting Your Own Business
1. If it’s always been your dream to at least attempt going out on your own — go for it! You only live once. But, make sure you’re doing it out of passion, not because you think you’ll make more money.
2. Have a clearly written and well-thought-out business plan. Nothing happens exactly as planned, but a good plan gives you a track to follow.
3. Anticipate higher capital needs and very low revenue projections for the first 2–4 years. Slow growth builds stronger long-term stability.
4. Hire carefully, for one bad apple will destroy the batch. Trust me, it happens.
5. Have a current website no matter what your business is.

How you start your company is also very important. Here are some additional thoughts to consider to help you start off on the right foot.

Marketing is key. The requirements for your endeavor versus the funds available can be a business killer. This is exactly what happened to me. I started a mutual fund company in 2002. And what I didn’t know before I started my company — how much money I would need to market and advertise my product — resulted in the death of my business. You see, I had to market equal to or greater than fund family’s like Fidelity, Putnam, Wellington, etc. And the budge required for that was far from what we had or could raise. Had I done my homework right the first time, I would have never chosen to even begin this venture. Within three years, I returned all fund money back to the investors and all of us owners had to cut our losses and lick our financial wounds. Knowing our landscape better would have led to a better decision.

You must set up your business correctly from the beginning. Things like the type of business structure, what state you should set up in, who should be listed as manager/chairman for liability purposes, etc., are all things that must be carefully considered. Assuming you’re ready to take the plunge, speak to a really good estate and tax planning attorney. I was very lucky here. The young attorney I chose some 30 years ago is today considered one of the brightest and most experienced in the country. His name is Steve Sciarretta. And although he handles many wealthy individuals, he is still happy to talk with the average person just starting out. If you’re interested, call him at 800-545-8454 to schedule a free consult. Tell him Larry Bryan sent you.

Okay guys, whaddaya think?

Have you had a similar experience? Can you relate? Share your thoughts, your stories, your questions and advice so we can all learn from one another and make better decisions. Plus, you’ll get some huge karma points for doing so.

Have a great day and a great life.

Larry Bryan
A regular guy, another opinion.℠