FORT MYERS, Fla — It's not something you want to do on a whim. Or without a plan. Or money.
Starting your own small business is a daunting task. And as we're seeing with SWFL Reinvented Moving Forward, it takes a lot of work and risk. This series profiles local people who changed the course of their lives and started their own business. For the rest of the year, we'll track their ups and downs in real time.
For this episode, we want to give you some advice, if you're thinking about starting your own business. Our business consultant, Erica Castner, is an advisor with the Small Business Development Center at FGCU.
She gave us a few Do's and Don'ts to get started.
Do your Market Research. Our team of business consultants at the Florida SBDC recommends people do market research to test the market’s willingness to buy your product or service. Have a bias toward that data. Don’t make decisions based on a "feeling."
DO: Assess the capital your business will need in the startup phase as well as the growth and scale phase. Don’t be in a rush to quit your day job, right away, either.
DO: Develop a financial plan, a marketing plan and an operational plan. Going into business without a well thought out documented business plan will be setting yourself up for failure. Don’t go into any business venture without a plan. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
The Florida SBDC offers a Lean Canvas course that will help you test your ideas as well as give you a good foundation for creating your marketing plan.