In This Chapter
Taking the plunge and leaving your job
Financing your business
Deciding whether you should incorporate
Attracting and retaining customers
Finding and equipping your business space
Keeping track of the money
After you research and evaluate the needs of your business, at some point you need to decide whether to actually start your business. In reference to his business plan, Alex Popov, founder of Smart Alec's, a healthy fast-food restaurant, says, "Something just clicked one day, and I said to myself, 'Yes, this is a business that is viable and appropriate now.'"
Most entrepreneurs experience this sudden realization, including me — I've experienced it with every business that I've ever started. If you really want to, you can conduct and analyze market research and crunch numbers until the cows come home. Even if you're a linear, logical, analytic, quantitative kind of person, you need to make a gut-level decision in the final analysis: Do you want to jump in the water and start swimming, or do you want to stay on the sidelines and remain a spectator? In my opinion, watching isn't nearly as fun as doing. If you feel ready but have some trepidation, you're normal — just go for it!
When you decide to take off into the world of small-business ownership, you also need to ponder and make some decisions about a number of important issues. Just like a pilot before he launches an airplane into flight, ...