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Turn Your Life Skills Into Business Skills and Become a St. Charles, IL Business Owner

You have a lifetime of experience working in one field or a number of industries, but now you want to shift your career focus and become a business owner. To make a smooth transition to the boardroom, you deserve to have insights and resources that help you reach and realize your full potential as an entrepreneur. As you navigate becoming a business owner, keep the following tips from the St. Charles Area Chamber of Commerce in mind.


Understand Your Opportunities


One of the best things you can do for yourself and your company is to learn from the mistakes other business owners made in the past. That way, you stand a better chance of experiencing success and sidestepping unnecessary difficulties. For instance, look into current companies that offer the service or product you wish to provide to understand their business model and how they achieve success. 


Understand what approaches work, what your target customer wants, and how to connect to your target audience. When you're starting a new venture, it's impossible to do too much research.


Learn How to Secure Funding


You'll likely need a bit of financial help to get your company up and running. Thankfully, you have several options to choose from. Business professionals suggest seeking funding from sources such as angel investors, venture capitalists, commercial lenders, and the Small Business Administration. BusinessTown notes that you may also want to consider alternative sources of lending, such as accounts receivable specialists who can help you borrow from accounts receivables.


Be sure to keep tabs on your credit score through a credit report if you are seeking outside funding. Lenders are far more likely to give money to people with higher credit ratings because it implies financial responsibility. If your score is too low, consider postponing your business plan until you are able to raise it.


Choose the Right Legal Structure


While looking into how to become an entrepreneur, you'll likely come across various business structures, such as partnership, sole proprietorship, limited liability company, and corporation. To make your life easier, it could benefit you and your enterprise to choose an LLC. This structure offers various tax benefits, limited legal liability, flexibility, and there is less paperwork to fill out. 


The process for setting up an LLC varies from state to state, so do yourself a favor and look into your zip code's most recent formation requirements. If you don't have the time or inclination to set up your LLC yourself, consider using an experienced, trusted formation service, which could also help you avoid expensive legal fees. Look for online comparisons to find the best LLC services for your needs. 


Learn the Ins and Outs of Marketing


No matter what industry you go into, you must market your product or service to your target customer. Make time to learn the finer points of marketing, such as securing your company's website. Another marketing tip is to focus on your target customers' specific characteristics. For example, you’ll need to adjust your marketing strategy based on where customers live, where they work, their demographics, and even their buying behaviors. 


While you can likely handle many aspects of marketing, you may want to work with a professional, like a web designer, graphic designer, or social media manager. If you choose to contract out some of your marketing to a remote individual, experiment with a PDF editor online to manage your review process. Your contractor can send you a proof or mockup, and you can add comments directly to the file. Once you return the file, you will both have copies on hand of what comments were made and when, which is great to ensure the revision process goes smoothly.


Do Not Neglect Security


Customers are wary of having their personal and financial information stolen or used in unpermitted ways. Before taking your first order, Kaspersky suggests implementing strong cybersecurity measures. Even small business owners may become victims of online hacks, so get proactive about protecting your company and customer data. You may also want to use your background and experience to teach your customers how to protect themselves while shopping online.


Do Not Neglect Security


You might be better equipped than you realize to transition to a life as an entrepreneur. Give yourself the best chance of success by understanding the options available to you regarding your business structure and funding. Take on what you can, but don’t forget to outsource when needed. Just be sure to set up good digital communication practices. And remember to be patient with the process and with yourself. 


Join the St. Charles Area Chamber of Commerce to build relationships and access resources that will help your business grow.