Tuesday, January 14, 2014



For a serial entrepreneur like Zalman Silber, starting a business is the most natural thing to do. Considered by many to be the American dream, making a business succeed is like breathing air for walking success stories like him. Already a top performer for legendary New York Life, Zalman Silber really made his fortune with his inspired idea to place a virtual helicopter fly-over in the Empire State Building. In business for over a decade now, the ever-popular Skyride sees long lines every day. His other businesses testify to the wide range of his entrepreneurial interests, from marketing to financial management. But even a natural success story will agree that the hardest step is the first step.
For unlike the case of a Zalman Silber, many people will find that running a business is the most difficult thing they will ever do in life. According to the United States Small Business Administration, statistics show that as many as four out of five businesses fail during their first five years. Even at the ten-year mark the failure rate is significant. So part of what adds to the difficulty of that first step in starting up a business of your own will be such considerations as:
Do you know the business? Truly know it, inside-out. Don't just get into something because your current boss makes it all seem so simple! Often in life, ideas are simple, but the devil's in the details - it's the execution of those ideas that's so complicated.
Is the idea truly good? You don't want to simply jump on the bandwagon unless there is still some space left for you. Better yet, have something that really distinguishes what you offer from what is already available.
Can you raise the funds? It takes money to make money, so do you have any? Enough? Let's be realistic here. If you aren't committing some thirty to fifty percent or more of all start-up costs yourself then you shouldn't be in business. After all, if you can't meet that threshold then you don't believe in your own vision - so why should someone else? A knowledgeable investor will want to see that you have a personal stake in the business' success.
Et cetera.... And that's all just the beginning. There are licensing and insurance issues involved in any endeavor, and you must have a business plan, which includes settling on the kind of corporate structure to be used for your start-up. Tough, isn't it?

But that's okay. You're an entrepreneur. You wouldn't have it any other way. So that when you succeed, you will have certainly earned it.