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Start your small business with a small budget

One of the great things about being in business these days — whether it is having a side hustle or a retail store or an online business — is that there is just so much free help available.

To wit: Last week, I held my most popular webinar ever (almost 4,000 people registered!) for SCORE, called 7 Steps to Starting on a Shoestring. SCORE is an amazing organization; more than 10,000 business volunteers who can help and mentor you (physically or virtually) on almost any aspect of your business — marketing, sales, taxes, whatever. And, like my webinar, many of SCORE’s offerings are free.

You can also get free help from your local Small Business Development Center and the Small Business Administration.

The point being, if you want to start a business right now, and especially if you need to do so on a shoestring, it is very possible. Here are the steps you would take:

Step 1: Self-assessment.

Not everyone is cut out to be their own boss. Some people are athletes, others are artists, some people make great employees (not me!), and others are meant to be entrepreneurs.

Small-business owners should build a proactive finance plan.

Is the entrepreneurial life right for you? Here’s a question to help you decide:

Does the idea of leaving your job – with its steady paycheck and benefits and boss and co-workers – more excite you or terrify you? Starting your own business is a risk, and as such, you have to be comfortable – nay, excited – about that if this is going to be right for you.

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