by Kurt Forster | May 24, 2022
There is a public notion that starting a business is very hard. And there are a variety of common sayings used to reinforce that idea. You may have heard such things as, “It takes money to make money,” and “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” or even, “Great ideas are hard to come by.”
But the truth is that starting a business is not as hard as most people think it is. In fact, there are more than 2.5 million businesses in Florida and more than 31 million businesses across the United States. Sure, some of them were started by rich, influential people, with great ideas; but the truth is most of those businesses were started by ordinary people from all walks of life.
According to Small Business Trend, a large majority (69 percent) of small businesses started from home and about half of all businesses remain home-based businesses. Even more revealing, about one third of all businesses started with less than $5,000 and an owner with no more than a high school education. Most of these new businesses didn’t have the newest and greatest ideas to revolutionize the Internet or change the way business is done in their industry.
Instead, they took what they knew from their own lives and applied it to an idea for a business. It wasn’t significant resources beyond the rest of us. In most cases these business owners didn’t start with better education, more money, or more political connections than the rest of us.
Still, getting started can feel paralyzing for some people who have considered starting a small business. Is there a secret ingredient to get over start up paralysis? For many the fear comes from a lack of information about how to get started. The missing ingredient is nothing more than information on how to comply with local, state, and federal requirements. The good news is, there are resources available at no-cost to help with these things, from one-on-one confidential consulting to webinars.
Don’t let a lack of information hold you back from reaching your small business goals. While certain business categories may require special licensing of highly specialized skills, many do not. For example, doctors, nurses, architects, engineers, and general contractors, all receive a great deal of training before they can obtain a professional license to operate on your body or build your home; but millions of businesses require much less preparation.
Another issue that often slows people from getting started is fear about writing a business plan. While there is no requirement that you write a business plan; your chance for success increases dramatically if you start your business with a well thought out plan. Here again, your local economic development resources can help.
For instance, the Florida SBDC at USF region has a team of experts dedicated to sharing the information you need to be successful. We can coach you on how to research your business idea, identify and project your potential resources, develop your business plan, borrow money, market your business, measure your success, and of course comply with necessary regulations, all at no cost.
Whether you just need a little information to comply with local state and federal requirements, or you want to develop a formal business plan; there are a plethora of no-cost resources available. Not every client starts out at the same spot or uses the Network in the same way. There are two primary ways to get started with Florida SBDC Network.
- Sign up for one of the dozens of workshops available at com/training-calendar. Literally thousands of entrepreneurs have started with the starting your business workshops available there and then moved on to the other workshops that cover topics like writing a business plan of getting money to grow your business.
- Sign up for no-cost, one-on-one business consulting at com/schedule-consultant. After signing up you will be contacted by a Florida SBDC Network consultant to set up a consulting session specifically for your business needs. Consultants have a variety of expertise from starting a business to selling a business and everything in between. If you are just getting started, we can help with information about choosing a legal structure, registering with the State and IRS authorities, and obtaining any other necessary licenses or permits.
Resources such as this make it a lot easier to start a business. So don’t buy into the hype that it’s too hard. Utilize the resources available to you to make your entrepreneur dreams come true, like so many before you.