Wednesday, October 11, 2017

3 Tips to Starting Your Own Business

Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit with dreams of owning your own business one day? With this in mind, WGU Career & Professional Development has compiled resources for students and graduates.

First, explore business ideas.
Many pathways can lead to a successful and rewarding business venture. Maybe you want to make a business out of your passion, or you have discovered an unmet need in the market. Perhaps you are interested in purchasing an existing business or franchise. Here are a couple resources that can help you determine which business idea might lead you down that path to success.
  • Entrepreneurial Aptitude – Select CareerBeam Self-Assessment Tools from the Self-Assessment webpage and complete the Entrepreneurial Aptitude assessment to help determine if entrepreneurship might be the right career path for you.
  • Market Research Tools – The Small Business Administration has a collection of free tools to help you find that competitive edge.

Next, do your research and make a (business) plan.
Once you have a solid idea in place, it is time to get to work researching the ins and outs of building a business. The U.S. Small Business Administration is a government agency that provides an array of free services for entrepreneurs. Are you unsure of how to write a business plan? Do have questions on how you are going to fund your business? Overwhelmed with where to start? Don’t worry! These resources provide valuable information on how to turn your idea into a successful business reality.
  • 10 Steps to Get Started – (Start here!) You will find tools and information related to creating a business plan, funding your business, and making key decisions to help you successfully get your business off the ground. 
  • Workshops & Learning Resources – Browse webinars and live workshop opportunities offered by SCORE, a nonprofit resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Finally, build a support network.
Starting a new business can be exciting and rewarding, but unforeseen challenges and obstacles can also accompany the process.  Make sure to seek a support system to gain expert advice and to help maintain motivation and momentum. Get involved with your local chamber of commerce or small-business chapter. Find a mentor who can help you test your ideas, and seek information about the nuts and bolts of getting your business started. Here are a few places to start looking for support.
  • SCORE Business Mentor – Search through thousands of volunteer business counselors throughout the United States.    

Although you will certainly require support beyond the scope of our services, contact the Career & Professional Development team for career management support and assistance to help you achieve your goals. You took a leap of faith to earn your degree; this can be one more success-chapter in your life!