SCORE Small Business Blog

Start: What Does It Take to Start a Successful Biz?

Start-Up Questions to Consider

Successful small business owners come from all walks of life, all educational backgrounds and all parts of the world. Some began their companies to devote themselves full time to an industry they love, while others sought to free themselves from the uncertainties of working for someone else and job security. In 2008 there were 627,000 new businesses that opened according to the US Dept of Labor. And there are 29.6 million businesses in the United States according to the Office of Advocacy.

What does it take to start and manage a successful small business? It basically requires research, planning, dedication and hard work from a truly committed, innovative and motivated entrepreneur. It takes learning everything you can about running the business and understanding the industry.

Entrepreneurs have vision and see all the possibilities, and are realists, who recognize the realities and risks of building a viable venture. They know that running a business is not always glamorous. Yet, it is also understood that the business must be profitable, create financial independence and personal satisfaction.

It is important to know your strengths and weaknesses, capabilities and talents, and the areas that more knowledge is needed. A common reason for the failure of a small business is a lack of management experience. So many aspiring entrepreneurs take business courses to learn the information necessary in planning their business.

They also examine their personal work habits. Running a business is much different from working for somebody else, even if that position allows the freedom to make decisions and includes management responsibilities. Experienced entrepreneurs know there is no such thing as a 40-hour work week.

Talk to other small business owners who are in your industry. Find out how they got started, what mistakes they made, what they would have done differently. These discussions may also open up possible opportunities to team up with existing businesses for special projects, workload overflows or complementary services.

The first steps for creating a successful business are planning, research and more planning. Ask yourself, “Can I be my own boss?” Try to objectively assess the pros and cons of running your own business with full responsibility of all aspects of the business or if it makes more sense to work for someone else with a guaranteed pay check.

If you are considering becoming your own boss, take advantage of the business resources available to you at to access the knowledge of business experts from across the country.

Julie BranderBusiness Mentor, SCORE New Haven
Julie has been a SCORE volunteer since 1997. She has 20 years of experience in business, starting a manufacturing, wholesale and retail jewelry company. After selling her business, she dedicated herself to helping other entrepreneurs start and expand their business. | @juliebrander | More from Julie

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