How To Start A Business In Pittsburgh
It seems like everyone is an entrepreneur nowadays. Everyday theres a new app, new online business, new restaurants popping up, and even entirely new industries. When it comes to starting businesses it's important to be prepared instead of jumping in head first. Many people want to quit their job because they have a great idea. This is a very risky and poor decision. I suggest keeping that job and any benefits you have, until that side business generates enough income to match it. At that point, you can take the leap and try to go full time in the world of business!
But I'm getting ahead of myself. What's the first steps in just getting the business off the ground?
Here are the 4 steps to determine if you are ready to start a business in Pittsburgh.
The first thing with any business is do people actually want the service or product you will be selling? In some instances, it can be hard to tell. Especially if it's a new product. The best step you can take, is a market sample. This means literally testing your product or service for free to a group of unbiased people. This can be friends, family, or even the person walking beside you on the street. Get input from them to determine if there is an actual need for that product in the area. The worst thing you can do is build a business around something just because you like it, and find out 99% of the public don't care about it at all!
Luckily it is extremely inexpensive to live in Pittsburgh. Before jumping into the business owner lifestyle, you should save up for emergencies. This can include losing your job, business being much more expensive than planned, health issues, new roof, etc. It is crucial for everyone to have an emergency fund of around 6 months of expenses. It is especially crucial to have this set up if you plan to go into business. Worst case scenario you have nothing more than a bad month. If you don't budget accordingly, you could go into debt, or worse default because you can't keep up with your necessities and a business that is not profitable.
3. Collect Information
Before going into business, your job is to collect as much information as humanly possible. This is a new venture for you, which means you have no experience. Like anything, you will have to learn along the way. The key is to find as much information ahead of time to avoid costly mistakes. You can do this by reading books on your potential business, youtube, as well as asking professionals in that industry for advice. This is so important when it comes to starting a business in Pittsburgh. Having guidance and someone to call who is already experienced in your line of work can shave off years of hard work, and thousands of dollars in mistakes.
4. Business Plan
"Failing to plan, is planning to fail" this old saying is spot on when it comes to running a business. It is all too common to watch someone go out of business after the first year or so. In fact most businesses do. That is just the unfortunate truth. The numbers are stacked against a business owner, but a way to mitigate that is with a rock solid business plan. You should include not just your idea and what you think you can sell it for, but every detail of the operation. How much does it cost to set up the business? Do you need to rent a location? Do you need any subscriptions or software programs? Do you need to hire employees? What are all the costs involved with your product or service? What is your demographic? What is the cost for insurance? How much do you need to cover your monthly expenses? How will you finance this venture? The list goes on and on. Many people get excited to start, and rush the process. It's very important when starting a business to think of every possible situation and detail, and plan ahead of time.