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Startups
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
A how-to guide for starting your own business
Starting your own business can be one of the most exhilarating life experiences.
It also can be the scariest. When you are good at something or have what you
believe is the next best product, hanging your own shingle may be the way to go.
Yet, along with it comes a bit of fear about making it on your own.
Those fears are not unfounded. The truth is, nine out of 10 startups fail.1
There are many reasons a new business may not stick around for the long haul.
Competition may play a big role—more than 50 percent of restaurants and retail
stores, as well as those in direct sales and consulting, do not make it to their
five-year anniversary.2
What can you learn from the 10 percent of businesses that do make it? It
turns out that successful businesses have many similar characteristics, from the
personality of its owner(s) to the business practices that are carried out day to day.
This Blue Paper®
will outline the character traits needed to succeed as a business
owner and what you must take into consideration—including the marketability
of your product—before you even dip your toe into entrepreneurial waters. It
will provide tips on developing a budget and raising the required funds to get
your startup off the ground. It will describe the considerations of starting a
business while still employed at your full-time job. Finally, it will assist you in
finding resources both online and in your community that will guide you when
you need help.
Before you begin: are you cut out to
own a business?
According to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, 476,000 U.S. businesses
were started every month in 2013.3
That may sound like a lot, but in reality,
very few people start businesses. In fact, that monthly total translates to 280 in
100,000 people, or .28 percent.
1 Patel, Neil. “90% Of Startups Fail: Here’s What You Need To Know About The 10%.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine,
16 Jan. 2015. Web. 04 May 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/neilpatel/2015/01/16/90-of-startups-will-fail-
heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-10/.
2 Shuteyev, Paul. “StartUp Business FAIL/WIN Statistics.” Email Marketing Blog Atompark Software StartUp
Business FAILWIN Statistics Comments. Mass Mail Software, 15 Apr. 2013. Web. 04 May 2015. http://www.
massmailsoftware.com/blog/startup-business-failwin-statistics/.
3 “Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.” Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. Ewing Marion Kauffman
Foundation, 8 Apr. 2014. Web. 04 May 2015. http://www.kauffman.org/what-we-do/research/kauffman-index-
of-entrepreneurial-activity.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
It takes a specific type of individual to take such a big leap in life. Typical
assumptions about entrepreneurs are that they have Type A personalities, earned
high grades in college, and likely came from corporate management and are
now looking to make big money. Those assumptions don’t fit many of today’s
entrepreneurs. Some are introverts. Nearly one-third never even went to college.4
Most are not in it for the money—rather, they have a passion for what they do
and can visualize how their product or service can make a difference.
Overall, however, entrepreneurs share common personality traits. The list of
descriptors for successful entrepreneurs can get long, but Joe Robinson of
Entrepreneur magazine boiled the list down to seven in a January 2014 article:5
Figure 1: “The 7 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs,” by Joe Robinson.6
Essentially, Robinson said entrepreneurs have to adapt when markets change and
must handle uncertainty and possibly failure—from small weekly mishaps to the
possibility that the business may not exist someday. They must also be visionary.
Entrepreneurs are the people who see opportunity and not only grasp it, but also
communicate their vision to family, investors, customers and staff.
It’s not just any communication, but persuasive communication that will allow
others to see what you see, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration
(SBA). Persuasiveness, or the ability to sway others’ opinions, is just one of the
traits the SBA says an entrepreneur needs.7
Another is negotiation. Negotiation
4 Ibid
5 Robinson, Joe. “The 7 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs.” Entrepreneur. N.p., 10 Jan. 2014. Web. 04 May 2015.
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230350.
6 Robinson, Joe. “The 7 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs.” Entrepreneur. N.p., 10 Jan. 2014. Web. 04 May 2015.
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230350.
7 “Is Entrepreneurship For You?” U.S. Small Business Administration, n.d. Web. https://www.sba.gov/content/
entrepreneurship-you.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
skills are needed for a variety of reasons—from signing a lease on an office space
to agreeing to a rate you will charge for your services. The art of negotiation
keeps business costs as low as possible so funds are available when needed most.
Finally, it’s true that plenty of introverts are successful business owners. However,
those who are more reserved than others still must have a solid set of networking
skills.8
These skills are valuable when pitching a business idea to potential
investors (more on that later) or when inspiring prospective team members who
must agree to follow along on this unchartered journey.
Do you have the right product?
Once you’ve determined that you have the skills and characteristics needed to
start a business, the next consideration must be your product or service. First
and foremost, your product must be right for the market in which you are
trying to sell.
“If the dogs don’t like the dog food it’s bad dog food,” says Paul B. Brown in a
Forbes®
commentary.9
In other words, you only know whether the dog likes the product when it’s
feeding time, and at that point you can’t force it to eat. Likewise, you can’t make
your customer like your product, no matter how much you believe in it. Just as
dogs may be picky about their food, customers are picky about the products they
buy. And putting more money into marketing the product or discounting its price
won’t heighten customers’ desire for the product.
According to a survey of failed startups, 42 percent of those entrepreneurs said
“lack of a market need for their product” caused them to close their doors.10
Steve Tobak, a manager partner with the Silicon Valley-based Invisor Consulting,
says new products or services have to solve a problem. Along with that, they need
to offer a better solution than others are providing.11
8 Prive, Tanya. “Top 11 Reasons Startups Succeed.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 29 Mar. 2013. Web. 04 May 2015.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/tanyaprive/2013/03/29/top-11-reasons-startups-succeed/.
9 Brown, Paul B. “23 Things Every Entrepreneur Must Know.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 22 Sept. 2013. Web. 04
May 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/actiontrumpseverything/2013/09/22/23-things-every-entrepreneur-
must-know-2/.
10 Patel, Neil. “90% Of Startups Fail: Here’s What You Need To Know About The 10%.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine,
16 Jan. 2015. Web. 04 May 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/neilpatel/2015/01/16/90-of-startups-will-fail-
heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-10/.
11 Tobak, Steve. “9 Reasons Why Most Startups Fail.” Entrepreneur. N.p., 31 Jan. 2014. Web. 05 May 2015.
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231129.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
It may take several tries to get the right product into the market you wish to
serve. Here is what you should consider as you hypothesize and test the market:12
•	Don’t judge your product on a handful of early adopters. You may have early
success with a few people. However, if you find that it’s difficult to attract
more customers or that you are spending more on acquiring customers than
you are charging, you may need to retool your product or service.
•	Along with that, decide in advance how long you are willing to wait to
achieve success. When that timeframe arrives, take the lessons you’ve
learned and rework the product.
•	Would you or a family member use your product? If family members would
not use it or don’t understand its value, you may not be communicating
clearly or you are not solving a problem.
Is there a plan in place?
Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” That’s true for
startups. A great number of startups go out of business because their owners did
not develop or follow a business plan.
Chris Baskerville, a Forbes contributor who has experienced personal business
insolvencies, said a business plan should look much like a family vacation plan:13
Figure 2: A business plan is much like a family vacation plan.14
12 Cachette, Ellie. “5 Tips for Getting to Product-Market Fit.” Inc.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2015. http://www.
inc.com/ellie-cachette/springboard-five-tips-for-finding-product-market-fit.html.
13 Baskerville, Chris. “The Top 5 Reasons Startups Fail.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 6 Mar. 2015. Web. 06 May
2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2015/03/06/the-top-5-reasons-startups-fail/.
14 Ibid
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
Unfortunately, startup entrepreneurs often stop planning after the concept
stage, Baskerville says. He suggests the business plan help answer the
following questions:
•	Why are you in business?
•	What need are you satisfying?
•	Why has it not been done before?
•	Why can you deliver a better result than your competition?
•	How will you obtain your “first mover advantage?”
Quite often, investors who are considering putting funds toward a startup will
require a business plan. Keep these points in mind when writing for investors:15
1.	Keep it brief. Entrepreneurs are passionate, often wanting to expound
on their business dreams. Instead, the business plan should be succinct,
providing a clear pathway toward success and how you plan to get there.
2.	Yet, be thorough. Entrepreneurs must show that they have thought of
every detail. In addition to describing the basics of the product and its
market, a plan should include how you are going to produce the product,
a description of the team (even if it’s a team of one) and projected profits.
3.	Be unique. Numerous business plan templates are available online, but
don’t let a cookie-cutter approach keep you from showing the uniqueness
of your business. Think of your business plan as a resume and write it for
the audience. Intrigue investors and make them want to “hire” you.
Budgeting and finances: Love the numbers
The final step of your business plan is projecting financials—income and
expenses.16
By writing your business plan, you should know the available
opportunities, your customer, the price of your product and your competition.
These will all help develop a financial forecast.
It’s easy for new entrepreneurs to love their idea or product so much they think
the numbers will follow. Don’t let that happen to you—instead, love the numbers.
Forecasting a budget will take time, but it’s time well spent.
15 Hockenson, Lauren. “3 Elements of a Successful Startup Business Plan.” Mashable. N.p., 15 Apr. 2013. Web. 06
May 2015. http://mashable.com/2013/04/15/business-plan-elements/.
16 Zwilling, Marty. “5 Rules of Thumb for Startup Financial Projections.” The Huffington Post.
TheHuffingtonPost.com, 28 July 2013. Web. 06 May 2015.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
Startup costs are defined as the costs incurred before the business realizes any
income.17
It is sometimes difficult to estimate how much money you will need to
launch a startup. The SBA says some entrepreneurs need as little as $3,000 to start
a business, while many businesses need $30,000 or more to get off the ground.18
Startup costs may include:
•	Market research
•	Costs in locating and securing an office
•	Advertising/marketing
•	Staff training
•	Wages
•	Professional consultant fees to lawyers and accountants
•	Capital expenditures like inventory or vehicles
Be careful not to underestimate expenses. To be safe, you should:19
•	Double initial estimates for marketing, as they generally are higher than
new business owners project.
•	Triple estimates for licensing, insurance and legal fees because they are
simply too difficult to predict if you’ve never been in business.
•	If you are starting as a sole proprietor, keep track of your time conducting
direct sales and customer service. This will help forecast future costs should
you add staff to conduct these functions in the future.
New business owners have lofty sales goals. That’s great! But, it means you should
do two projections—one that assumes your dream sales projections and another
that is more “conservative reality.”20
The first will keep you motivated. The second
will give greater assurance that your business will be here long into the future.
If the numbers are not working in your favor, consider ways to cut or share costs.
The SBA suggests co-working or shared office spaces, as well as cloud-based
solutions that can replace software licenses.
Entrepreneur John Brandon has specific online and cloud-based tools he uses in
his business. He uses online interfaces for accounting to email invoices, run reports
and manage expenses; tracking project tasks; conducting online discussions;
managing social media platforms; storing data, including business reports and
marketing literature; and taking notes on bits of knowledge you gain, contacts
and reminders. 21
17 Beesley, Caron. “How to Estimate Starting a Business from Scratch.” SBA.gov. U.S., 26 Jan. 2015. Web.
18 Ibid
19 Cooper, Natalie. “How To Forecast Business Revenue and Growth.” Banking Sense RSS. N.p., 9 Dec. 2014. Web.
08 May 2015.
20 Cooper, Natalie. “How To Forecast Business Revenue and Growth.” Banking Sense RSS. N.p., 9 Dec. 2014. Web.
08 May 2015.
21 Brandon, John. “6 Tech Tools for Managing Your Early Stage Startup.” Inc.com. N.p., 11 Feb. 2015. Web. 08
May 2015.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
You may not need all of these tools, or you may find others that work for you.
The trick is to find ways to simplify and streamline your business operations so
you can focus on the big tasks of producing a product and selling it.
Marketing allocations
The cost of marketing is one of the more difficult financial predictions to make.
That’s because determining a marketing budget is not definitive and often
is based on several factors. The most common way to determine a marketing
budget is to base it on a percentage of sales. In practice, marketing budgets
range from 1 percent to 30 percent of sales, and most fall below 10 percent.
According to a study of the CMO (Chief Marketing Officers) Council, 58 percent of
respondents said they spend less than 4 percent of sales revenue.22
Two percent of
CMOs said they spend more than 20 percent of the sales budget.
If you plan to base your marketing budget on sales, you should consider
the following:23
•	Volume: In general, the higher the volume of sales, the lower the percent
of sales is spent on marketing.
•	New product: A new product or new product line may take as much as
20 percent of sales for marketing. Established products generally require
a lower spend.
•	Brand awareness: If the market isn’t familiar with your company or
your product, you’ll need to spend a higher percentage of sales on
marketing efforts.
The drawback of basing a marketing budget on percentage of sales comes to
light during months or quarters when sales are slow. With a decline in sales
comes a decline in the marketing budget, yet this may be the time when you
need marketing the most. Another option for budgeting marketing expenses is
to allocate a percentage of your total budget. As a guideline, startup businesses
should allocate 20 to 30 percent of total budget to marketing in the first and
second years of business.24
If you are buying an established business, 7 to 10
percent of your budget should be adequate.
22 Bransom, Ann. “The Recommended Percentage of Sales for a Marketing Budget.” Small Business. N.p., n.d.
Web. 06 May 2015.
23 Ibid
24 Joyner, Jeffrey. “What Is the Average Marketing and Advertising Budget for a Company?” Small Business.
N.p., n.d. Web. 06 May 2015.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
Raising the necessary funds
Startups often run out of cash. Avoid this by raising the necessary funds at
the start and budgeting wisely as you go. Baskerville stresses the need for daily
cash flow.25
“Having only 95 percent of necessary capital to start your business is not enough,”
he says. “You need 100 percent.”
Funding can come from traditional sources, or you can find creative ways to
finance your venture.
First, you can stay close to home and look at your personal resources. Besides
dipping into a savings account, you may sell assets like a car or a boat. You also
could take out a home equity loan or open a business credit card.26
Warnings
come with each of these options, however. If your business fails, you may risk
home foreclosure when using a home equity loan as financing. Having a line
of credit may be the riskiest way to fund a startup, because interest rates can
skyrocket quickly and the financing does not go away if you cannot pay off
the card.
Friends or family members may be willing to offer no-interest or low-interest
loans without the hassle of bank contracts.27
The risk here is harming a
relationship if you are late on payments or are unable to pay the loan back.
Small business loans are available through banks, although they are not as readily
available as they were before the recession of 2008. Banks will want to know
every detail of how the loan will be spent, and many banks will not loan to a
first-time business owner who does not have a proven track record.28
The SBA also
has loans available, but it only loans to entrepreneurs who have been in business
at least two years and are generating a cash flow.29
Opportunities exist to obtain funding from people or groups of people who want
to invest in businesses in which they have a common interest. Some well-known
companies began with angel investors. Angel investors often work individually
or in a small group to invest in companies, with the expectation that they make a
25 Baskerville, Chris. “The Top 5 Reasons Startups Fail.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 6 Mar. 2015. Web. 06 May
2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2015/03/06/the-top-5-reasons-startups-fail/.
26 Mielach, Dave. “15 Creative Financing Methods for Startups.” BusinessNewsDaily.com. N.p., 26 Mar. 2014.
Web. 07 May 2015.
27 Ibid
28 Heitzman, Adam. “5 Best Ways for Funding a Startup.” Inc.com. N.p., 25 Nov. 2014. Web. 07 May 2015.
29 Mielach, Dave. “15 Creative Financing Methods for Startups.” BusinessNewsDaily.com. N.p., 26 Mar. 2014.
Web. 07 May 2015.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
significant percent return on investment—some may want to own as much as 49
percent of a company.30
These angel investors often provide mentorship and may
even have customers or partners for the businesses in which they invest. However,
less than 4 percent of angel investor requests are fulfilled.31
Venture capitalists also invest in companies, but they often look for specific
startups to fund. Venture capitalists have more money and resources, so they
prefer stable opportunities that will provide a bigger return.32
Many times,
venture capitalists want to recoup their initial investment within five years.33
Fewer venture capital requests are fulfilled than angel investor requests.
One of the newest ways to raise funds is to take your idea to the world, literally.
It’s called crowdfunding. Kickstarter®
and Indiegogo®
are two of the most
common websites on which a business owner can share his or her idea and seek
financing from people who want to contribute money toward the startup.34
Entrepreneurs are expected to provide details about their ventures—basically
business plans. Contributors may simply make a donation or promise to buy the
product in advance. In many cases, donors are expecting a kick-back in the form
of a reward, like a small gift.
Startups as a side job: Why part time is
a consideration
Day after day, you sit at your 8-to-5 job, dreaming of being your own boss. You’re
a risk taker, but you know that quitting in favor of going it alone may be too
much to handle. You still need basic necessities, like health insurance benefits and
a regular paycheck, before taking the entrepreneurial plunge.
Many experts would tell you to begin a startup on the side. In fact, Business
Insider®
named part-time startup businesses as one of three major innovation
trends for 2015.35
According to entrepreneur Jim Price, who wrote about the
trends, starting a business today takes one-quarter of the time and one-tenth of
the cost, compared to 10 years ago. Mobile payments, Web-based tools and cloud
storage all contribute to the ease of starting a business.
30 Heitzman, Adam. “5 Best Ways for Funding a Startup.” Inc.com. N.p., 25 Nov. 2014. Web. 07 May 2015.
31 Zwilling, Marty. “5 Rules of Thumb for Startup Financial Projections.” The Huffington Post.
TheHuffingtonPost.com, 28 July 2013. Web. 06 May 2015.
32 Ibid
33 Mielach, Dave. “15 Creative Financing Methods for Startups.” BusinessNewsDaily.com. N.p., 26 Mar. 2014.
Web. 07 May 2015.
34 Heitzman, Adam. “5 Best Ways for Funding a Startup.” Inc.com. N.p., 25 Nov. 2014. Web. 07 May 2015.
35 Price, Jim. “The 3 Trends That Will Drive Innovation In 2015.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 15 Dec.
2014. Web. 06 May 2015. http://www.businessinsider.com/3-trends-will-drive-innovation-in-2015-2014-12.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
Staying employed while starting a business allows entrepreneurs to test their
product or idea and build up cash. On the other hand, starting a business will take
up a majority of your time that you are not at your day job. Brandon Turner, who
invests in real estate while working a full-time job, breaks down the numbers: Out
of 168 hours in a week, your day job takes up a minimum of 40, and you should
sleep about 56.36
That leaves 72 hours to take on a side job and still have a life.
Turner suggests that those who start a side job become very efficient and get
rid of busy work—stop spending time on useless emails and phone calls. Eat at
home rather than taking time in restaurants. Do whatever you can to cut out
unnecessary tasks. He also suggests doing those new business tasks you are best at
or those only you can do. Outsource everything else.
Jody Porowski, who launched a startup while working full time, offers these tips:37
•	Tell your boss and human resources department about your plans. Make
sure they will allow moonlighting, and if you are working under a contract,
review it. You don’t want your employer to claim ownership of your
company in the future.
•	Don’t let your startup affect your day job. Stay on task and don’t burn
any bridges.
•	Take time to watch your employer for ideas you can use in your business.
Pick up best practices from managers and processes.
•	Eat well and exercise. If you don’t have your health, you won’t succeed at
either job.
•	Your social life will suffer, but do your best to stay connected with close
family and friends. You need their support.
You may get to a point where you might start to resent your day job, but you
are not financially secure enough to leave it. Turner suggests turning negative
thoughts and feelings into positive ones. Instead of holding you back, your day
job is the reason your dreams are alive. Use it as a motivator to chase what you
want in life.
Don’t do it alone: Rely on others’ support
Neil Patel, entrepreneur and angel investor, has found that startups led by
co-founders are more successful than those with a single owner.38
Co-founders
provide accountability to each other and bring differing skill sets to the table.
36 Turner, Brandon. “5 Tips to Chase Your Entrepreneurial Pursuit While Working a Full-Time Job.” Entrepreneur.
N.p., 01 Apr. 2015. Web. 06 May 2015. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/244463.
37 Porowski, Jody. “I Juggled a Full-Time Job While Launching My Startup.” Inc.com. N.p., 6 June 2014. Web. 06
May 2015. http://www.inc.com/jody-porowski/why-i-launched-my-startup-while-working-full-time.html.
38 Patel, Neil. “90% Of Startups Fail: Here’s What You Need To Know About The 10%.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine,
16 Jan. 2015. Web. 04 May 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/neilpatel/2015/01/16/90-of-startups-will-fail-
heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-10/.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
Brown suggests that entrepreneurs, whether they are sole proprietors or partners,
enlist the help of an advisory board.39
Boards provide a different perspective and
ideas. Board members also act as a sounding board and will give honest feedback.
When choosing a board, consider the following:40
•	Choose people you trust who will help you reach your goals.
•	Choose people with diverse expertise so that you can communicate with
them one-on-one about specific areas of business.
•	Consider people who are already advising you, and make it official!
Business mentors also can be relied on to provide advice, especially when the
most important decisions need to be made. Mentors may not even be people
you know. The SBA provides a resource guide titled Steps to Finding a Mentor,
a resource guide that outlines organizations and other sources for building a
mentor relationship.
All of this isn’t to say that startup entrepreneurs should not confide in friends and
family. Tobak says entrepreneurs need both mentors and friends in their business
life.41
Mentors will say what needs to be said to keep the business on track, while
friends will provide emotional support, saying exactly what entrepreneurs want
to hear. It’s up to entrepreneurs to tell the difference.
Plenty of community resources are also available, including Small Business
Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Veteran’s Business Centers and
SCORE offices. The SBA also offers Starting a Business online courses, a Build Your
Business Plan Tool and a Thinking About Starting a Business guide, which includes
articles and quizzes on most of the topics covered in this Blue Paper.42
Final thoughts
You’ve determined you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur, and your
product is right for the market. You have built a business plan and a budget. You
have the financing needed to get started. At this point, Brown offers three pieces
of advice:43
39 Brown, Paul B. “23 Things Every Entrepreneur Must Know.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 22 Sept. 2013. Web. 04
May 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/actiontrumpseverything/2013/09/22/23-things-every-entrepreneur-
must-know-2/.
40 “Startup Leadership: How to Select Advisory Board Members.” YFS Magazine Startups Small Business and
Entrepreneurship Culture. N.p., 01 Apr. 2013. Web. 06 May 2015. http://yfsmagazine.com/2013/04/01/startup-
leadership-how-to-select-advisory-board-members/.
41 Tobak, Steve. “9 Reasons Why Most Startups Fail.” Entrepreneur. N.p., 31 Jan. 2014. Web. 05 May 2015.
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231129.
42 Beesley, Caron. “How to Estimate Starting a Business from Scratch.” SBA.gov. U.S., 26 Jan. 2015. Web.
43 Brown, Paul B. “23 Things Every Entrepreneur Must Know.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 22 Sept. 2013. Web. 04
May 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/actiontrumpseverything/2013/09/22/23-things-every-entrepreneur-
must-know-2/.
© 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
4imprint serves hundreds of thousands of customers with promotional items throughout the United States,
Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland. 4imprint offers corporate gifts, personalized gifts, custom T-shirts,
promotional pens, travel mugs, tote bags, water bottles, Post-it®
Notes, custom calendars, custom shirts
and much more. For additional information, visit www.4imprint.com.
•	Learn from your mistakes. You will make them, and that’s OK;
•	Fail fast and inexpensively. Take small steps toward your goal and reassess
your path along the way; and
•	If at first you don’t succeed, get out before you lose too much.
Careful planning and the right attitude all contribute to being a part of the 10
percent of entrepreneurs who succeed. If you don’t get it right the first time,
retrace your path and determine where you went wrong. In business, there is
always a chance to get it right the next time.

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Startups Blue Paper

  • 2. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved A how-to guide for starting your own business Starting your own business can be one of the most exhilarating life experiences. It also can be the scariest. When you are good at something or have what you believe is the next best product, hanging your own shingle may be the way to go. Yet, along with it comes a bit of fear about making it on your own. Those fears are not unfounded. The truth is, nine out of 10 startups fail.1 There are many reasons a new business may not stick around for the long haul. Competition may play a big role—more than 50 percent of restaurants and retail stores, as well as those in direct sales and consulting, do not make it to their five-year anniversary.2 What can you learn from the 10 percent of businesses that do make it? It turns out that successful businesses have many similar characteristics, from the personality of its owner(s) to the business practices that are carried out day to day. This Blue Paper® will outline the character traits needed to succeed as a business owner and what you must take into consideration—including the marketability of your product—before you even dip your toe into entrepreneurial waters. It will provide tips on developing a budget and raising the required funds to get your startup off the ground. It will describe the considerations of starting a business while still employed at your full-time job. Finally, it will assist you in finding resources both online and in your community that will guide you when you need help. Before you begin: are you cut out to own a business? According to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, 476,000 U.S. businesses were started every month in 2013.3 That may sound like a lot, but in reality, very few people start businesses. In fact, that monthly total translates to 280 in 100,000 people, or .28 percent. 1 Patel, Neil. “90% Of Startups Fail: Here’s What You Need To Know About The 10%.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 16 Jan. 2015. Web. 04 May 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/neilpatel/2015/01/16/90-of-startups-will-fail- heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-10/. 2 Shuteyev, Paul. “StartUp Business FAIL/WIN Statistics.” Email Marketing Blog Atompark Software StartUp Business FAILWIN Statistics Comments. Mass Mail Software, 15 Apr. 2013. Web. 04 May 2015. http://www. massmailsoftware.com/blog/startup-business-failwin-statistics/. 3 “Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.” Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, 8 Apr. 2014. Web. 04 May 2015. http://www.kauffman.org/what-we-do/research/kauffman-index- of-entrepreneurial-activity.
  • 3. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved It takes a specific type of individual to take such a big leap in life. Typical assumptions about entrepreneurs are that they have Type A personalities, earned high grades in college, and likely came from corporate management and are now looking to make big money. Those assumptions don’t fit many of today’s entrepreneurs. Some are introverts. Nearly one-third never even went to college.4 Most are not in it for the money—rather, they have a passion for what they do and can visualize how their product or service can make a difference. Overall, however, entrepreneurs share common personality traits. The list of descriptors for successful entrepreneurs can get long, but Joe Robinson of Entrepreneur magazine boiled the list down to seven in a January 2014 article:5 Figure 1: “The 7 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs,” by Joe Robinson.6 Essentially, Robinson said entrepreneurs have to adapt when markets change and must handle uncertainty and possibly failure—from small weekly mishaps to the possibility that the business may not exist someday. They must also be visionary. Entrepreneurs are the people who see opportunity and not only grasp it, but also communicate their vision to family, investors, customers and staff. It’s not just any communication, but persuasive communication that will allow others to see what you see, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Persuasiveness, or the ability to sway others’ opinions, is just one of the traits the SBA says an entrepreneur needs.7 Another is negotiation. Negotiation 4 Ibid 5 Robinson, Joe. “The 7 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs.” Entrepreneur. N.p., 10 Jan. 2014. Web. 04 May 2015. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230350. 6 Robinson, Joe. “The 7 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs.” Entrepreneur. N.p., 10 Jan. 2014. Web. 04 May 2015. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230350. 7 “Is Entrepreneurship For You?” U.S. Small Business Administration, n.d. Web. https://www.sba.gov/content/ entrepreneurship-you.
  • 4. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved skills are needed for a variety of reasons—from signing a lease on an office space to agreeing to a rate you will charge for your services. The art of negotiation keeps business costs as low as possible so funds are available when needed most. Finally, it’s true that plenty of introverts are successful business owners. However, those who are more reserved than others still must have a solid set of networking skills.8 These skills are valuable when pitching a business idea to potential investors (more on that later) or when inspiring prospective team members who must agree to follow along on this unchartered journey. Do you have the right product? Once you’ve determined that you have the skills and characteristics needed to start a business, the next consideration must be your product or service. First and foremost, your product must be right for the market in which you are trying to sell. “If the dogs don’t like the dog food it’s bad dog food,” says Paul B. Brown in a Forbes® commentary.9 In other words, you only know whether the dog likes the product when it’s feeding time, and at that point you can’t force it to eat. Likewise, you can’t make your customer like your product, no matter how much you believe in it. Just as dogs may be picky about their food, customers are picky about the products they buy. And putting more money into marketing the product or discounting its price won’t heighten customers’ desire for the product. According to a survey of failed startups, 42 percent of those entrepreneurs said “lack of a market need for their product” caused them to close their doors.10 Steve Tobak, a manager partner with the Silicon Valley-based Invisor Consulting, says new products or services have to solve a problem. Along with that, they need to offer a better solution than others are providing.11 8 Prive, Tanya. “Top 11 Reasons Startups Succeed.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 29 Mar. 2013. Web. 04 May 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/tanyaprive/2013/03/29/top-11-reasons-startups-succeed/. 9 Brown, Paul B. “23 Things Every Entrepreneur Must Know.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 22 Sept. 2013. Web. 04 May 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/actiontrumpseverything/2013/09/22/23-things-every-entrepreneur- must-know-2/. 10 Patel, Neil. “90% Of Startups Fail: Here’s What You Need To Know About The 10%.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 16 Jan. 2015. Web. 04 May 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/neilpatel/2015/01/16/90-of-startups-will-fail- heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-10/. 11 Tobak, Steve. “9 Reasons Why Most Startups Fail.” Entrepreneur. N.p., 31 Jan. 2014. Web. 05 May 2015. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231129.
  • 5. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved It may take several tries to get the right product into the market you wish to serve. Here is what you should consider as you hypothesize and test the market:12 • Don’t judge your product on a handful of early adopters. You may have early success with a few people. However, if you find that it’s difficult to attract more customers or that you are spending more on acquiring customers than you are charging, you may need to retool your product or service. • Along with that, decide in advance how long you are willing to wait to achieve success. When that timeframe arrives, take the lessons you’ve learned and rework the product. • Would you or a family member use your product? If family members would not use it or don’t understand its value, you may not be communicating clearly or you are not solving a problem. Is there a plan in place? Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” That’s true for startups. A great number of startups go out of business because their owners did not develop or follow a business plan. Chris Baskerville, a Forbes contributor who has experienced personal business insolvencies, said a business plan should look much like a family vacation plan:13 Figure 2: A business plan is much like a family vacation plan.14 12 Cachette, Ellie. “5 Tips for Getting to Product-Market Fit.” Inc.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2015. http://www. inc.com/ellie-cachette/springboard-five-tips-for-finding-product-market-fit.html. 13 Baskerville, Chris. “The Top 5 Reasons Startups Fail.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 6 Mar. 2015. Web. 06 May 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2015/03/06/the-top-5-reasons-startups-fail/. 14 Ibid
  • 6. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved Unfortunately, startup entrepreneurs often stop planning after the concept stage, Baskerville says. He suggests the business plan help answer the following questions: • Why are you in business? • What need are you satisfying? • Why has it not been done before? • Why can you deliver a better result than your competition? • How will you obtain your “first mover advantage?” Quite often, investors who are considering putting funds toward a startup will require a business plan. Keep these points in mind when writing for investors:15 1. Keep it brief. Entrepreneurs are passionate, often wanting to expound on their business dreams. Instead, the business plan should be succinct, providing a clear pathway toward success and how you plan to get there. 2. Yet, be thorough. Entrepreneurs must show that they have thought of every detail. In addition to describing the basics of the product and its market, a plan should include how you are going to produce the product, a description of the team (even if it’s a team of one) and projected profits. 3. Be unique. Numerous business plan templates are available online, but don’t let a cookie-cutter approach keep you from showing the uniqueness of your business. Think of your business plan as a resume and write it for the audience. Intrigue investors and make them want to “hire” you. Budgeting and finances: Love the numbers The final step of your business plan is projecting financials—income and expenses.16 By writing your business plan, you should know the available opportunities, your customer, the price of your product and your competition. These will all help develop a financial forecast. It’s easy for new entrepreneurs to love their idea or product so much they think the numbers will follow. Don’t let that happen to you—instead, love the numbers. Forecasting a budget will take time, but it’s time well spent. 15 Hockenson, Lauren. “3 Elements of a Successful Startup Business Plan.” Mashable. N.p., 15 Apr. 2013. Web. 06 May 2015. http://mashable.com/2013/04/15/business-plan-elements/. 16 Zwilling, Marty. “5 Rules of Thumb for Startup Financial Projections.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 28 July 2013. Web. 06 May 2015.
  • 7. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved Startup costs are defined as the costs incurred before the business realizes any income.17 It is sometimes difficult to estimate how much money you will need to launch a startup. The SBA says some entrepreneurs need as little as $3,000 to start a business, while many businesses need $30,000 or more to get off the ground.18 Startup costs may include: • Market research • Costs in locating and securing an office • Advertising/marketing • Staff training • Wages • Professional consultant fees to lawyers and accountants • Capital expenditures like inventory or vehicles Be careful not to underestimate expenses. To be safe, you should:19 • Double initial estimates for marketing, as they generally are higher than new business owners project. • Triple estimates for licensing, insurance and legal fees because they are simply too difficult to predict if you’ve never been in business. • If you are starting as a sole proprietor, keep track of your time conducting direct sales and customer service. This will help forecast future costs should you add staff to conduct these functions in the future. New business owners have lofty sales goals. That’s great! But, it means you should do two projections—one that assumes your dream sales projections and another that is more “conservative reality.”20 The first will keep you motivated. The second will give greater assurance that your business will be here long into the future. If the numbers are not working in your favor, consider ways to cut or share costs. The SBA suggests co-working or shared office spaces, as well as cloud-based solutions that can replace software licenses. Entrepreneur John Brandon has specific online and cloud-based tools he uses in his business. He uses online interfaces for accounting to email invoices, run reports and manage expenses; tracking project tasks; conducting online discussions; managing social media platforms; storing data, including business reports and marketing literature; and taking notes on bits of knowledge you gain, contacts and reminders. 21 17 Beesley, Caron. “How to Estimate Starting a Business from Scratch.” SBA.gov. U.S., 26 Jan. 2015. Web. 18 Ibid 19 Cooper, Natalie. “How To Forecast Business Revenue and Growth.” Banking Sense RSS. N.p., 9 Dec. 2014. Web. 08 May 2015. 20 Cooper, Natalie. “How To Forecast Business Revenue and Growth.” Banking Sense RSS. N.p., 9 Dec. 2014. Web. 08 May 2015. 21 Brandon, John. “6 Tech Tools for Managing Your Early Stage Startup.” Inc.com. N.p., 11 Feb. 2015. Web. 08 May 2015.
  • 8. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved You may not need all of these tools, or you may find others that work for you. The trick is to find ways to simplify and streamline your business operations so you can focus on the big tasks of producing a product and selling it. Marketing allocations The cost of marketing is one of the more difficult financial predictions to make. That’s because determining a marketing budget is not definitive and often is based on several factors. The most common way to determine a marketing budget is to base it on a percentage of sales. In practice, marketing budgets range from 1 percent to 30 percent of sales, and most fall below 10 percent. According to a study of the CMO (Chief Marketing Officers) Council, 58 percent of respondents said they spend less than 4 percent of sales revenue.22 Two percent of CMOs said they spend more than 20 percent of the sales budget. If you plan to base your marketing budget on sales, you should consider the following:23 • Volume: In general, the higher the volume of sales, the lower the percent of sales is spent on marketing. • New product: A new product or new product line may take as much as 20 percent of sales for marketing. Established products generally require a lower spend. • Brand awareness: If the market isn’t familiar with your company or your product, you’ll need to spend a higher percentage of sales on marketing efforts. The drawback of basing a marketing budget on percentage of sales comes to light during months or quarters when sales are slow. With a decline in sales comes a decline in the marketing budget, yet this may be the time when you need marketing the most. Another option for budgeting marketing expenses is to allocate a percentage of your total budget. As a guideline, startup businesses should allocate 20 to 30 percent of total budget to marketing in the first and second years of business.24 If you are buying an established business, 7 to 10 percent of your budget should be adequate. 22 Bransom, Ann. “The Recommended Percentage of Sales for a Marketing Budget.” Small Business. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 May 2015. 23 Ibid 24 Joyner, Jeffrey. “What Is the Average Marketing and Advertising Budget for a Company?” Small Business. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 May 2015.
  • 9. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved Raising the necessary funds Startups often run out of cash. Avoid this by raising the necessary funds at the start and budgeting wisely as you go. Baskerville stresses the need for daily cash flow.25 “Having only 95 percent of necessary capital to start your business is not enough,” he says. “You need 100 percent.” Funding can come from traditional sources, or you can find creative ways to finance your venture. First, you can stay close to home and look at your personal resources. Besides dipping into a savings account, you may sell assets like a car or a boat. You also could take out a home equity loan or open a business credit card.26 Warnings come with each of these options, however. If your business fails, you may risk home foreclosure when using a home equity loan as financing. Having a line of credit may be the riskiest way to fund a startup, because interest rates can skyrocket quickly and the financing does not go away if you cannot pay off the card. Friends or family members may be willing to offer no-interest or low-interest loans without the hassle of bank contracts.27 The risk here is harming a relationship if you are late on payments or are unable to pay the loan back. Small business loans are available through banks, although they are not as readily available as they were before the recession of 2008. Banks will want to know every detail of how the loan will be spent, and many banks will not loan to a first-time business owner who does not have a proven track record.28 The SBA also has loans available, but it only loans to entrepreneurs who have been in business at least two years and are generating a cash flow.29 Opportunities exist to obtain funding from people or groups of people who want to invest in businesses in which they have a common interest. Some well-known companies began with angel investors. Angel investors often work individually or in a small group to invest in companies, with the expectation that they make a 25 Baskerville, Chris. “The Top 5 Reasons Startups Fail.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 6 Mar. 2015. Web. 06 May 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2015/03/06/the-top-5-reasons-startups-fail/. 26 Mielach, Dave. “15 Creative Financing Methods for Startups.” BusinessNewsDaily.com. N.p., 26 Mar. 2014. Web. 07 May 2015. 27 Ibid 28 Heitzman, Adam. “5 Best Ways for Funding a Startup.” Inc.com. N.p., 25 Nov. 2014. Web. 07 May 2015. 29 Mielach, Dave. “15 Creative Financing Methods for Startups.” BusinessNewsDaily.com. N.p., 26 Mar. 2014. Web. 07 May 2015.
  • 10. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved significant percent return on investment—some may want to own as much as 49 percent of a company.30 These angel investors often provide mentorship and may even have customers or partners for the businesses in which they invest. However, less than 4 percent of angel investor requests are fulfilled.31 Venture capitalists also invest in companies, but they often look for specific startups to fund. Venture capitalists have more money and resources, so they prefer stable opportunities that will provide a bigger return.32 Many times, venture capitalists want to recoup their initial investment within five years.33 Fewer venture capital requests are fulfilled than angel investor requests. One of the newest ways to raise funds is to take your idea to the world, literally. It’s called crowdfunding. Kickstarter® and Indiegogo® are two of the most common websites on which a business owner can share his or her idea and seek financing from people who want to contribute money toward the startup.34 Entrepreneurs are expected to provide details about their ventures—basically business plans. Contributors may simply make a donation or promise to buy the product in advance. In many cases, donors are expecting a kick-back in the form of a reward, like a small gift. Startups as a side job: Why part time is a consideration Day after day, you sit at your 8-to-5 job, dreaming of being your own boss. You’re a risk taker, but you know that quitting in favor of going it alone may be too much to handle. You still need basic necessities, like health insurance benefits and a regular paycheck, before taking the entrepreneurial plunge. Many experts would tell you to begin a startup on the side. In fact, Business Insider® named part-time startup businesses as one of three major innovation trends for 2015.35 According to entrepreneur Jim Price, who wrote about the trends, starting a business today takes one-quarter of the time and one-tenth of the cost, compared to 10 years ago. Mobile payments, Web-based tools and cloud storage all contribute to the ease of starting a business. 30 Heitzman, Adam. “5 Best Ways for Funding a Startup.” Inc.com. N.p., 25 Nov. 2014. Web. 07 May 2015. 31 Zwilling, Marty. “5 Rules of Thumb for Startup Financial Projections.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 28 July 2013. Web. 06 May 2015. 32 Ibid 33 Mielach, Dave. “15 Creative Financing Methods for Startups.” BusinessNewsDaily.com. N.p., 26 Mar. 2014. Web. 07 May 2015. 34 Heitzman, Adam. “5 Best Ways for Funding a Startup.” Inc.com. N.p., 25 Nov. 2014. Web. 07 May 2015. 35 Price, Jim. “The 3 Trends That Will Drive Innovation In 2015.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 15 Dec. 2014. Web. 06 May 2015. http://www.businessinsider.com/3-trends-will-drive-innovation-in-2015-2014-12.
  • 11. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved Staying employed while starting a business allows entrepreneurs to test their product or idea and build up cash. On the other hand, starting a business will take up a majority of your time that you are not at your day job. Brandon Turner, who invests in real estate while working a full-time job, breaks down the numbers: Out of 168 hours in a week, your day job takes up a minimum of 40, and you should sleep about 56.36 That leaves 72 hours to take on a side job and still have a life. Turner suggests that those who start a side job become very efficient and get rid of busy work—stop spending time on useless emails and phone calls. Eat at home rather than taking time in restaurants. Do whatever you can to cut out unnecessary tasks. He also suggests doing those new business tasks you are best at or those only you can do. Outsource everything else. Jody Porowski, who launched a startup while working full time, offers these tips:37 • Tell your boss and human resources department about your plans. Make sure they will allow moonlighting, and if you are working under a contract, review it. You don’t want your employer to claim ownership of your company in the future. • Don’t let your startup affect your day job. Stay on task and don’t burn any bridges. • Take time to watch your employer for ideas you can use in your business. Pick up best practices from managers and processes. • Eat well and exercise. If you don’t have your health, you won’t succeed at either job. • Your social life will suffer, but do your best to stay connected with close family and friends. You need their support. You may get to a point where you might start to resent your day job, but you are not financially secure enough to leave it. Turner suggests turning negative thoughts and feelings into positive ones. Instead of holding you back, your day job is the reason your dreams are alive. Use it as a motivator to chase what you want in life. Don’t do it alone: Rely on others’ support Neil Patel, entrepreneur and angel investor, has found that startups led by co-founders are more successful than those with a single owner.38 Co-founders provide accountability to each other and bring differing skill sets to the table. 36 Turner, Brandon. “5 Tips to Chase Your Entrepreneurial Pursuit While Working a Full-Time Job.” Entrepreneur. N.p., 01 Apr. 2015. Web. 06 May 2015. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/244463. 37 Porowski, Jody. “I Juggled a Full-Time Job While Launching My Startup.” Inc.com. N.p., 6 June 2014. Web. 06 May 2015. http://www.inc.com/jody-porowski/why-i-launched-my-startup-while-working-full-time.html. 38 Patel, Neil. “90% Of Startups Fail: Here’s What You Need To Know About The 10%.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 16 Jan. 2015. Web. 04 May 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/neilpatel/2015/01/16/90-of-startups-will-fail- heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-10/.
  • 12. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved Brown suggests that entrepreneurs, whether they are sole proprietors or partners, enlist the help of an advisory board.39 Boards provide a different perspective and ideas. Board members also act as a sounding board and will give honest feedback. When choosing a board, consider the following:40 • Choose people you trust who will help you reach your goals. • Choose people with diverse expertise so that you can communicate with them one-on-one about specific areas of business. • Consider people who are already advising you, and make it official! Business mentors also can be relied on to provide advice, especially when the most important decisions need to be made. Mentors may not even be people you know. The SBA provides a resource guide titled Steps to Finding a Mentor, a resource guide that outlines organizations and other sources for building a mentor relationship. All of this isn’t to say that startup entrepreneurs should not confide in friends and family. Tobak says entrepreneurs need both mentors and friends in their business life.41 Mentors will say what needs to be said to keep the business on track, while friends will provide emotional support, saying exactly what entrepreneurs want to hear. It’s up to entrepreneurs to tell the difference. Plenty of community resources are also available, including Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Veteran’s Business Centers and SCORE offices. The SBA also offers Starting a Business online courses, a Build Your Business Plan Tool and a Thinking About Starting a Business guide, which includes articles and quizzes on most of the topics covered in this Blue Paper.42 Final thoughts You’ve determined you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur, and your product is right for the market. You have built a business plan and a budget. You have the financing needed to get started. At this point, Brown offers three pieces of advice:43 39 Brown, Paul B. “23 Things Every Entrepreneur Must Know.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 22 Sept. 2013. Web. 04 May 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/actiontrumpseverything/2013/09/22/23-things-every-entrepreneur- must-know-2/. 40 “Startup Leadership: How to Select Advisory Board Members.” YFS Magazine Startups Small Business and Entrepreneurship Culture. N.p., 01 Apr. 2013. Web. 06 May 2015. http://yfsmagazine.com/2013/04/01/startup- leadership-how-to-select-advisory-board-members/. 41 Tobak, Steve. “9 Reasons Why Most Startups Fail.” Entrepreneur. N.p., 31 Jan. 2014. Web. 05 May 2015. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231129. 42 Beesley, Caron. “How to Estimate Starting a Business from Scratch.” SBA.gov. U.S., 26 Jan. 2015. Web. 43 Brown, Paul B. “23 Things Every Entrepreneur Must Know.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 22 Sept. 2013. Web. 04 May 2015. http://www.forbes.com/sites/actiontrumpseverything/2013/09/22/23-things-every-entrepreneur- must-know-2/.
  • 13. © 2015 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved 4imprint serves hundreds of thousands of customers with promotional items throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland. 4imprint offers corporate gifts, personalized gifts, custom T-shirts, promotional pens, travel mugs, tote bags, water bottles, Post-it® Notes, custom calendars, custom shirts and much more. For additional information, visit www.4imprint.com. • Learn from your mistakes. You will make them, and that’s OK; • Fail fast and inexpensively. Take small steps toward your goal and reassess your path along the way; and • If at first you don’t succeed, get out before you lose too much. Careful planning and the right attitude all contribute to being a part of the 10 percent of entrepreneurs who succeed. If you don’t get it right the first time, retrace your path and determine where you went wrong. In business, there is always a chance to get it right the next time.