Finances & Money

Fleet Founding: Getting Your Business Rolling the Right Way

Thomas Edison once reportedly said that the value of an idea lies in using it. The good news is that small businesses and brand new startups launch all of the time. Clearly, humanity has every intention of getting value from those ideas.

But unfortunately, only a quarter of these ventures are expected to make it to the 15-year mark. Will your new business be built to last? It will if you lay a solid foundation right at the start.

What to Know

Figuring things out along the way has definitely worked for some business owners, but when it comes to longevity, that kind of spontaneity is rarer than you think.

Begin by considering what you do for a living now. When you go into business for yourself, do you anticipate enjoying your day-to-day more? If you’re not excited for the change, go back to the drawing board.

And speaking of your current job, don’t quit. Oftentimes, starting your own business takes longer than expected – even if you think you have it planned down to the final detail.

Your business plan is a good place to start, but don’t get too hung up on it. Start building relationships with people and organizations you’ll need. For example, if you’re getting your own fleet of trucks on the road, it’s much more than simply finding a truck. You’ll want to discern where you’ll get loads for trucks, who will repair it when the time comes, and how you’ll go about finding the best drivers.

The details that make daily operations possible are what is most important. It’s very common for new owners to get stuck on branding, fiddling with their company logo and ordering business cards, but this is a distraction.  

Funding

Even before you start picturing what your life will look like after you start your own business, you should be thinking about money. How do you plan on getting enough funds to really get off of the ground? It all begins with one number – your credit score.

Your credit score is what will help you get approval for the most favorable loans and lines of credit. You could also see about forming a partnership with someone who is willing to invest in your new business, but be wary of teaming up with a close friend or spouse.

Also, we’re living in the age of crowdfunding. If you want to launch a product, consider starting a campaign where your crowd of investors will be the first to receive the product. And don’t forget to ask your local business administration about grants for new businesses. This is quite an involved process, but it’s money you won’t have to pay back.

Of course, a large number of new businesses are funded by the owner themselves. This is all the more reason to have a tight, no-nonsense strategy – your money is on the line.

How long do you see yourself running your new business? If you’re in it for the long haul, you must prioritize funding, and discern how exactly daily operations will run smoothly. Be careful about who you go into business with, and know that branding can be taken care of at a later date.

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Susan Paige

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