For aspiring entrepreneurs, starting a small business is most likely at the top of their to-do list.
However, this resolution is easier said than done. Starting your own business requires investing all of your time, energy, and resources every day to help the business take off and become a success. It’s hard work, but it also pays off and allows you to be the master of your own destiny which may be why entrepreneurship is such a popular resolution.
If you think you’re ready to start a business next year, here are some of the advantages to the process you’ll be able to enjoy.
You’ll receive more tax benefits
Why wait until 2018 to start a business when you can get a leg up early and open shop this year? If you incorporate before the year ends, you may have to pay franchise taxes. Waiting to get your business up and running at the beginning of next year might feel like it’s pretty far off from now, but it ensures that you will only have to pay taxes for the current year that you’re in business.
In the meantime, focus on sharpening your business ideas and prepping the groundwork for your startup. Use this time to perfect your elevator pitch, draft up an objective business plan, analyze the market you want to reach, determine what legal structure you want incorporate as, and critically examine your finances including whether or not you’ll need to apply for a loan.
You’ll get to be your own boss
Being your own boss is a much more double-edged sword than non-entrepreneurs may realize. On the one hand, you get to create your own schedule and run the show rather than work for someone else. On the other, you are fully responsible for every decision you make. All of these actions fall on your shoulders, especially if you chose to run your own business without any outside partners.
As your own boss, you should possess, and be willing to grow and refine, the following characteristics.
Positivity. How do you react to frustrating or disappointing moments? Are you more inclined to throw in the towel and sulk or push through the hurdles and persist? Your entrepreneurial journey will be full of ups and downs, but having a great attitude no matter what the situation looks like will take you much further than negativity.
A can-do attitude. Become a “yes” person and nix saying no, especially when it comes to the customer experience.
Great communicator. Entrepreneurs communicate with a wide variety of people from partners to employees to customers on a daily basis. Take the time to understand how people like to be communicated with and interact with them accordingly.
Strong work ethic. This is the time for you to roll up your sleeves and have the discipline to get down to business 24/7.
Risk taker. As Ms. Frizzle on The Magic School Bus would say, take chances, make mistakes, and get messy. Entrepreneurs should be ready and willing to do all of this for when it comes to their business.
A good listener. Listen to the needs of others as much as they listen to you. Be open to constructive feedback, good or bad, and take it to heart as it will allow your business to grow.
There are more resources than ever before available to help you
For a long time, one of the biggest barriers that kept would-be entrepreneurs from fulfilling their resolutions of starting a small business was a lack of knowledge and assistance. Today, there’s no limit to the amount of available support. Websites like TaskRabbit and Fiverr offer marketplaces where professionals trained in every area from graphic design to social media can provide affordable services to entrepreneurs. Most major cities have accelerator and incubator communities that provide funding and mentorship to ‘treps with big ideas. And there are plenty of apps including Dropbox, Evernote, Square, and Salesforce that make it easy to run your business on the go.
There’s only one more thing you need in order to start a business in the New Year: passion. You have a new idea that you, and those around you, truly believe in, that excites you and that you are motivated to bring to life. Don’t put it off any further — get your startup in gear at the beginning of the year. After all, New Year, new you, and a new business too!