Most small businesses are sole proprietorships. While this type of business is easy to form and make a profit out of, it exposes the owner to liability for business debts and judgments.
In sole proprietorships, creditors can come after the owner’s personal assets, like savings accounts and real properties, once the business’ money is depleted. While insurance can help reduce the liability, it’s still worth to consider forming a Limited Liability Corporation. This business structure will shield owners from personal liability, but there are more rules and requirements associated with it.
Remember that just because people know nothing about the liability of their business, doesn’t mean they’re not exposed to these types of things. It is always better to consider any form of protection or shield when creating or having a business. Having a business is good as it has a lot of benefits, but it’s better if you can shield your personal assets.
There would always be a possibility that some people would come after your personal assets once the business’ money is depleted. Be aware of what would happen and consider this as a step in getting your business running smoothly for many years.
Think about your business’ legal structure and protect yourself!
Prepare yourself and understand what the industry calls for.
I keep saying to people that business is not for the faint of heart. You truly have to prepare yourself. Not only financially, but you also have to understand what the industry calls for. In business, you have to prepare your mind and body for the tasks and challenges you will face. You have to set your mind that you are going to do this thing called entrepreneurship, regardless if it feels good or not. Whether your customers or clients will come or not, whether your friends or relatives will like your business or not — you’re going to have to make up your mind that you’re going to do it regardless.
Are you going to wake up in the morning even if you don’t feel like getting up and getting that thing done? Are you going to go out and join business seminars or workshops? Are you going to have personal professional development by getting further education? Are you going to spend and invest that dollar in yourself? Are you going to do that? Because if you’re not, just go ahead and fill up that job application form and go and get yourself a job as an employee. Because truly, entrepreneurship is not for you. You do not have the right mindset. If you do not have the right mindset, you’re not only wasting your time and money, but also other people’s time and money. There are many responsibilities in being a business owner, but part of it is also being responsible for having a strong and positive mindset for your business.
Entrepreneurship has a lot of demands, but when done right, it also has a lot of rewards. Keep yourself determined and motivated. You want to ensure that you are able to go after this vision that has been implanted in your mind for your business. Once you have the right mindset, you can be able to understand and prepare for the demands of the business industry — physically, mentally, and financially.
Success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. It means that you have achieved a goal or a vision. This is just one of the many definitions of success. What about you? What is success to you? Have you made a comparison of yourself with your idea of success?
We have to stop comparing ourselves with others, especially with all the social media wherein we see people going in and out of towns, taking exotic trips, etc. You don’t know how they’re paying for that; you don’t know where they’re staying; you don’t know anything about them and their actual way of life. But you are binding yourself up because you feel as though you are “not where someone else is”.
So define success or redefine what truly success is for you. We’re here to constantly let you know what success truly is. Success is about how you’re feeling about yourself, how your relationship is with your spouse, how your relationship is with your children, and your relationship spiritually with God. That is where true success lies; not in your bank account, not in how many zeroes are in your cheque, not about what car you drive or house you own.
Those are material things that you end up with after you go through a process, but the process itself is what real, true success is.
In short, success is not about material things; it’s not a thing that the world can give. It is only given by the Lord. That’s why you have your family, your peace and your relationship with God. That’s the true meaning of success. You can have it even without money.
Starting a business is not easy, it’s tricky and difficult. You need to know every aspect; you should know what to avoid and what are worthy of the risk. A lot of you may be going through pitfalls and are not sure why.
Here are the six (6) Pitfalls of Entrepreneurship that will help and guide you in your business growth.
1. You don’t have a business plan laid out for yourself. You’re not creating that road map that’s going to cover all your business needs, or you’re not updating your business plan with any new market trend changes.
2. Legalities. You’re not forming your business properly. If you are an LLC (Limited Liability Company) or maybe you have to switch to EST Corp, you’re not doing that in the proper way and you’re losing out on tax benefits because of that. Or maybe you’re doing your business as a DBA, there are so many liabilities in that and you need to check them.
3. Your contracts aren’t in order; you don’t have your marketing in order; you are working with people that you don’t have business working with; you’re making assumptions on the industry that you have not tested and you don’t have a credible source.
4. You don’t have your accounting together. You haven’t gotten your Quickbooks or whatever accounting method connected to your payment method together. You’re not keeping financial track. You’re also co-mingling funds (ex. you’re getting your nails and your hair done off the business money).
5. You are not adapting to what the market is doing. You’re not making those quick decisions to guide you to that next level.
6. You’re insecure. You’re in fear and you have a lot of doubts on what you are doing. You’re not preparing yourself in the proper manner so that you can have the confidence to run with the dream that has been provided for you.
Always remember you are the one responsible for your own success.
Have you created the person you want to become? You know that you were created by the Creator and one of your birthright is to create. So the person you are right now, is this the person you want to have created? Or would you like to create a different person? Because guess what? It’s a new day! You can create something totally different today than what you walked into yesterday. So I also asked myself these questions: “Is this the Nicole you wanted to be? Or is there another Nicole you want to become? What do I want? What are my desires? How do I want to see myself in five years? Or am I still living in the past? Am I still living as Nicole at 13 years old, who had a baby and gave birth at 14? Am I still living as that Nicole? Am I still living with a mindset that I had when I was in my younger years?” So it’s something for you to think about. I want you to breathe in this new day. I want you to inhale this new day — the NEW DAY which you have the responsibility to create, and in the manner in which you want to create it. We can’t always have excuses and blame everyone else for mishaps and for things that are going wrong in our lives, when we ourselves are the creator. Again, I want to ask you: Did you create your new day, today?
Everything starts with a Vision. What is your vision for your business? What do you really want to accomplish? What goals do you want to work on? When will you start planning? Do you have a plan laid out for you now or are you just starting?
A few months before 2016 ended, I had been lugging around a flip-chart everywhere I went. That flip-chart was very important to me because my goals were on there. The action items I needed to do in order to get those goals completed, and ways on how to implement it, were also listed. It was that important to me and that’s why I was lugging it around. I would gladly lug my little board around than anything else because this is the vision that has been downloaded into me.
As business owners, we usually do our planning before the year ends. That is the time that we gather things and ideas, so that we can face the succeeding year with new goals, new ideas, and new projects. But if you haven’t done your planning yet, it doesn’t mean that you have to wait for the last quarter of this year to start. Planning should happen regularly and continuously. So what are you doing now? You can start by reading. You can read from books, magazines, blogs, from your computer or tablet, and you don’t even have to spend a cent for it because you can read a lot of information for free. Collect all the information and ideas and write them down. Digest every piece of information, take advantage of your resources, and pump up that creative mode. I just want to ignite that feeling inside of you that is telling you that it’s time to create — it’s time to have new ideas, new projects, and new businesses.
What does professionalism mean to you? You need to identify what professionalism is for you so that you can exude what it is. There are some people who feel that they are very professional but in fact, they don’t act like that at all. They come to their meetings late, they’re not dressed appropriately, they’re not getting the job done, they can’t be relied on, etc. As a professional, make certain that you are mindful of other people’s time, mindful of responding to emails on time (and if you can’t, just apologize), or just simply, return phone calls. Just do those common ethical things because you don’t want someone else to do that to you, especially when you are trying to ask clients to participate with you or you’re trying to get that deal.
In business, the reality is that, how you appear to the public matters. People are always watching you, watching your every move. So you can’t go and just look any kind of way, because you don’t know who you are going to run into, you don’t know how your next deal is going to come through. You have to at least put your best foot forward. Practicing professionalism will help you make a great first impression because people are looking at everything. How are you coming into meetings? Are you meeting potential clients with dirty clothes and messy hair? Always remember that people are looking before they buy your product. They’re not buying your sweet potato pie, they’re not buying your coaching services, they’re not buying your smoothies, they are not buying your actual product… They are buying you.
It’s been a long time coming, but I’m so ecstatic officially launch this platform. I’ve always desired my own platform where I can be transparent and provide you with more opportunities to Turn Your Dreams Into Your Reality. My journey has been far from easy, but I can tell you that it has been worth the fight. I’ll be publishing my biography book soon which speaks in more detail about how I’ve been able to overcome many personal and professional life experiences. Please feel free to get in touch with me because I look forward to meeting you!
Dr. Nicole Farmer