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Most of your friends and family have heard you talk about your New Year's resolution to pursue your passion of starting your own business. It’s already February which means there's no more time for procrastination. It’s time to see your dream come true.

5 Things to Remember:

It costs nothing to do research online to get information about starting a business. Don't write off Google as a great starting tool. You can find out the required paperwork for starting your business, how much you’ll pay in fees, and whether or not the name you have in mind for your business is available. Eventually you'll want to do some more in depth research and even consult a professional, preferably an attorney or CPA, but online is a great starting point. Coming to the table having already gathered this preliminary research not only shows your commitment to achieving your goal, but also makes the process a little smoother.

Find out who your competition is and do better.

One mistake a lot of people make when starting a new business is duplicating what someone else has already done and been successful at. Obviously someone else is always going to be in the same field of business you are, BUT you can bring something to the table that they don't. Take an in depth look at what your competition is doing, how they're doing it, and how you can make it better. Think about your strengths and skills and integrate them into your business.

Make sure your credit is in tact or take the steps needed to improve it if it's not.

This seems like an obvious course of action, but you'd be surprised at how much this step is overlooked. Banks (or any institution that you're seeking financial support from) won't trust you to manage the finances of a business if your personal finances aren't in tact. If you have debt or loans, make sure they're under control. Refinance them if you have to. Pay bills on time. Maintain a steady source of income. Institutions that invest money into your business like having a peace of mind knowing that their money was well spent.

Whether you do it yourself or pay someone else, have an official business plan ready.

It is important that you have a clear vision of what you want to do and how you’re going to do it. Consider it a map of the road your business is going to take. These things are subject to change as you progress as there are unforeseen bumps (or potholes if you live in NJ) on every road but having a clear cut starting point is essential. What is your mission? What are you providing to your customers or clients? How are you going to finance this? Are you going to take on business partner(s)? These are only a few of the questions that need to be answered in your business plan. The task can be a little daunting so look to seek professional assistance creating and/or refining your business plan.

Share your dreams with like minded individuals or those who will support you.

Jealousy, unfamiliarity, and complacency can breed negativity in some people. That negativity has the potential to kill your vision. Share your vision with not only positive and supportive people, but also people who are already doing what you want to do. They can provide you with constructive feedback and advice. Your vision is a seed that needs to be nurtured, watered, and protected. Some people will only ever see a seed. Surround yourself with those who can already see the fruit within the seed.

Keeping all of this in mind, it’s time to take the first step toward your goal. Start doing what you love and turn it into a business. It IS possible to turn your passion into your profession.


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