During the lifetime of most working people, they have thought about starting their own business because of the desire to be independent and free to control the events in their lives. There is no better time than now to be an entrepreneur entering the world of business. You can become part of the gigantic wave that is sweeping across America. Business researchers predict that in the future most major innovations and positive changes in the world will come from nascent entrepreneurs like you and me.

If you’ve ever thought about starting your own business, then your initial planning is vital to your success. Dr. Pat Laino, the author of “Unlock The American Dream” and the Director of the Entrepreneur Center in Utica for two decades, offers advice to those wanting to start a business. She is called Dr. Pat by the thousands of business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs who have been trained and coached by her. Hundreds of these entrepreneurs have gone on to start and operate a robust and healthy business operation, fulfilling their American dream.

Initially, you should assess the pros and cons of starting your own business because this is the first test to determine if a business undertaking is right for you. When hopeful entrepreneurs come to me for advice, the first of three important questions are discussed about where to begin.

The first question is: do you have the experience and expertise to go into the specific field of business that you want to open?

I have had some hopeful entrepreneurs come to me who wanted to launch a business but lack the knowledge and skills in the field that they want to enter. Whether you are opening a café, a pet center or food establishment, you need the specific skills to open and operate the business.

I recall a young woman who wanted to open a coffee shop and when I inquired whether or not she had the specific skills, she said that she ate breakfast every day at the coffee shop that she wanted to purchase. She said that she had none of the culinary skills to operate this type of business, but for thought that she could hire someone right up front to do the cooking.

In addition, her management skills were limited and she had no idea what it would take to open and run this business operation. My Initial recommendations were to go to work in a coffee shop to learn the culinary skills needed and to acquire the business and management skills to succeed.

The next question addresses whether or not there are enough customers to generate an ongoing healthy profit?

Research is needed to identify specific customers, will they come to your site and are there enough of them to generate an ongoing healthy profit margin? I also ask what their marketing and advertising strategies will be in the start-up phase to “kick off” their business.

The third question is about the location of the business and this is the utmost importance to your success. Conrad Hilton, the founder of the famous Hilton Hotel chain, was asked why his business was so successful. His reply was, “Location, location, location.”

I have seen numerous entrepreneurs open with a great product or service, but their customers couldn’t find them, wouldn’t go to their location because of the safety factor or there was not enough parking. No amount of advertisement would bring their customers in to buy at these poor sites.

After you have researched and responded to these three basic questions, then it’s time to begin developing your own individualized Business Plan. It’s important that you create your very own Business Plan and plan your work to succeed in your own business. Colin Powell, an American Four Star General, once said, “There is no secret to success. It’s the result of preparation and hard work.”

Going into business is one of the most important steps that you will ever take in your life, so remember Dr. King’s famous quote, “Take the first step in faith because you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” (Dr. Martin Luther King 1929 – 1968.)
This is only the beginning of Dr. Pat’s advice for starting your own successful business. If you would like to learn more of her “inside secrets,” you can go to drpatlaino.com or purchase her book entitled “Unlock the American Dream” from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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