Starting a small business is not a small endeavor. Begin your startup company by focusing on items like your marketing strategy, business plan, and veteran financing. Take the time to answer a few questions to make sure you are on the path to success.

Do I Know the Industry?

Knowing the industry in which you plan to introduce your product or service helps you hit the ground running. While some entrepreneurs successfully market in a new market, it takes more research and resources to support this approach. That additional research can be costly in time and attention. If you are venturing into an unfamiliar target audience, consider hiring a consultant familiar with the industry. Your local Small Business Administration also provides valuable support.

Should I Finance the Operation?

It is hard to start a business without funding. Even if you are working out of your home, capital equipment, office supplies, and vehicles can all require financing. Former members of the military may be available for veteran financing through SBA. The Department of Veterans Affairs can help you identify the benefits for which you are eligible. Women- and minority-owned small business owners should reach out to SBA to find financing options.

Where Will the Business Be Located?

Take the time to analyze the best location for your business. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Should I be near a major interstate or transportation route to move products into the supply chain?
  • Can operations be managed from a home office?
  • How far will potential employees travel?
  • Is adequate parking available for staff and customers?
  • Should I lease or purchase a building?

What is a Business Plan?

Business plans are required when applying for a loan. Many veteran financing companies have an extensive underwriting process that involves analyzing your business plan. Even if you do not plan to apply for financing, a business plan helps you manage business growth. A well-developed business plan defines your core values, financial goals, and business history.

Who Can Support Me?

There are mentoring resources available for entrepreneurs. Look for a mentor you admire – someone with a similar professional outlook and goals. Seek a professional that provides encouragement and guidance without giving you the answer. Finally, look for someone with whom you are comfortable working. If you are uncomfortable expressing your concerns or questions, your mentor cannot guide you in the best direction.

You can start your business with a firm foundation by taking the time to answer these questions. That stability will help you stay focused through challenging times. Keep these questions handy and revisit them when considering a new opportunity.