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
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