Dear Ash Cash: I currently work a city job in downtown Baltimore but I’m interested in starting my own business. Where do I start and how can I do it successfully?
-Jerrod E (Baltimore, MD)
If this were a classroom and I asked how many people have a “side
hustle” I can guarantee that almost everyone would raise their hands.
When I say “side hustle” I mean something that you love doing that
gives you extra money, but is not your main source of income. It can
be DJing, Promoting parties, your Hip-Hop blog, or selling your
mixtapes on the weekend. We all have our “side hustles” and if this
were a perfect world our “side hustle” would be the main. But why
isn’t it? Starting a business is not an easy task but with the right
preparation, dedication, and focus you can free yourself of that
dreaded job you hate so much. All action isn’t created equal, so it’s
important that you follow certain steps so that you can increase the
chances of your endeavor being successful. Starting a business should
be done in an effective way instead of just doing it for the sake of
just doing it. The following are a few steps to take in order to start
a business effectively:
1. Find Time – First you need to put aside at least two to three hours
a day to focus on your business. No matter how crazy you may think
your life is, I can guarantee you that with proper time management you
can find two to three hours.
2. Set Goals – Once you’ve flushed out all of your ideas and have come
up with a strategy to execute them, make sure you set goals for you
and your business so that you have something to be held accountable
to. Make sure that your goals are S.M.A.R.T., which stands for
Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Realistic – & Time bound. They
should also be broken up into short and long term.
3. Take care of the Legal and Administrative stuff – Now that you
know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there, you have to
search for and create a business name. Once you find an available name
go to either Dreamhost.com or GoDaddy.com to register it and create
your website. Complete forms on Legalzoom.com or WeThePeople.com to
legally set up your business as a sole proprietorship, Corporation,
LLC, DBA, or LLP. Lastly, you need to go to the IRS and get a Federal
Tax ID number. It’s free and you can print it out in seconds by
4. Learn More about your Business – There’s never a such thing as t
much knowledge. Whenever you have some free time, preferably on the
weekends make sure you are taking online classes, workshops, and
seminars, pertaining to your business.
5. Launch and Spread the Word – Now you’re ready to start making some
money! Once you launch your business, its imperative that you tell
your friends, family, co-workers, church congregation, classmates,
strangers and whoever else you run across.
6. Stay Focused & Committed – Now that you’re officially a business
owner you have to remember one thing; Not all days are going to be the
same. Some days business is going to be great and others not so great.
The important thing is to work your plan and stay committed to your
Congratulations!! You are truly a boss! Keep Grinding and make those
dreams become reality! Again, NOTHING CAN STOP YOU!!!
THE WORLD IS YOURS!!!
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