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Commentary: Here’s a six month plan to grow from employee to entrepreneur

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Commentary: Here’s a six month plan to grow from employee to entrepreneur
August 31
03:00 2017

By Algenon Cash, Guest Columnist

Many entrepreneurs are currently employees, but that doesn’t mean you cannot start your new business – as long as you consider your family’s financial security.  If you’re unemployed, then undoubtedly you are self-motivated to get your new venture into the marketplace.

I often recommend allowing six months to fully make an effective transition from being an employee to becoming an entrepreneur.  Here are some steps to consider:

Know your strengths and experience

Most people fail to determine if they have relevant experience for the specific business they are planning to start.  An open and honest review of your background, education and overall experience should give insight about whether a particular industry is a right fit for you.  But don’t simply consider your professional background, but also include personal weaknesses and strengths.

Plan for success, don’t fail to plan

Interview other small business owners about the process they went through to get started, what challenges they encountered and how they responded to certain opportunities.  Thoroughly research your industry, market and competitors to determine the ability for your new company to sustain.

Attend workshops on starting a business

The primary reason most start-up companies fail is lack of management skills, such as record keeping, personnel management, market analysis and communication skills.  Local universities and community colleges offer workshops to help you gain skills in these core areas.

Many of my friends coach new entrepreneurs – our community has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to starting a business.  I’ve written in the past about Venture Café, which is a great way to connect with other local entrepreneurs, resources and mentors.  Also take a moment to visit the Forsyth Tech Small Business Center, which is operated by Allan Younger, a huge supporter of small business owners.  Not to mention Flywheel, WS Starts and EBS Executive Business Suites provide access to knowledge, networking and affordable office space.

Raise capital for your business

Many entrepreneurs only consider financial capital when starting a business, but you also need to think about social capital.  In other words, not only take a look at your relationships for potential investors, but also consider who may be able to help connect you to customers, vendors and other valuable resources.  Your close friend or college roommate may not be able to write a check for your new venture, but can make a phone call that opens a door – both provide significant value to a start-up company. 

However if you have solid experience, a compelling business plan and demonstrate that you’ve sought out the necessary knowledge to be successful – then banks, angel investors and many others will be far more open to assisting.

If you utilize these quick steps and determine that you’re not ready to start your business, then don’t worry – all you need to do is determine what actions are necessary to get you unstuck in a particular area.  Most successful businesses don’t crop up overnight; it requires sustained persistence, self-discipline and key relationships.  But if you are ready, then you can move forward and bring your entrepreneurial dreams into reality.  Good luck.

Algenon Cash is the managing director of Wharton Gladden & Company, an investment banking firm, he is also a national spokesperson for the oil and natural gas industry.  Reach him at acash@nullwhartongladden.com.

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