Originally published 3/3/2017 at 06:00a.m., updated 3/2/2017 at 03:34p.m.
The Entrepreneur’s Toolkit is a resource to help budding and existing entrepreneurs with taking their enterprise to the next level.
Each month, I will provide tools of the trade, take pulse of entrepreneurship, and resources to help you develop personally.
Consider this column your coach for personal and entrepreneurial growth. I welcome ideas or simply questions about entrepreneurship that you need assistance with. This is your space to grow.
I often hear from individuals that are looking to leave their full time job for a journey into the world of entrepreneurship. With television shows like Shark Tank; The Profit; Beyond the Tank; Like
a Boss,people are tuned in and taking an interest in starting a business.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
Think before you leap.Here many entrepreneurs start selling a product or performing a service, get a little money coming in and next step, give their pink slip to their employer. If you have made your decision to do this with success, kudos go out to you. I’ve seen entrepreneurs leave their job too soon. Instead of leaping out, leap out with a plan of action.
So, when is the right time? You will need to determine that. Several guidelines you can use include, but not limited to: your business income exceeds your paycheck for three consecutive months, you have investors that provide funds to cover living expenses for at least six months, or you are just ready to make a life-changing decision and prepared for it and launch.
Consider part-time first.To gain an understanding of business, you may want to start out part-time with a product or service that you create. Or, you can experiment with organizations that have systems and products to sell already in place. A good example is network marketing companies. These organizations have systems that you can plug right into to get started, some have proven products and some have mentors that can help you develop business skills. The investment is far less than the traditional business model of having a location.
Resources to explore. There are millions of links on the world-wide web that provide resources to get started in business. To gain a basic understanding, you may look to community colleges that are incorporating entrepreneurship in its continuing education programs. In addition, the Small Business Administration has a learning portal filled with resources to help you at every level of your business. You can access it at https://www.sba.gov/tools/sba-learningcenter/search/training. You may also want to speak to entrepreneurs who’ve been there, done that. You can use your local and social networks to identify entrepreneurs who are willing to share with you.
Next step. Now that you have this information, what action will you take? If you are ready to take action, email me to obtain your complimentary one page action plan.
Omar S. Muhammad is an EN-TREPRE-NEUR and is the director & intrapreneur for the Entrepreneurial Development & Assistance Center at Morgan State University. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.