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Entrepreneurship Isn’t for Everyone but Here’s How You Can Succeed

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Before the rise of corporations in the Industrial Revolution, most people worked for themselves. Now, we’re circling back as millions of workers have had a taste of freedom.

What’s causing this renewed interest in entrepreneurial ventures? For many, the turning point came during the height of pandemic lockdowns. People experienced autonomy as they worked from home, spent more time with their loved ones, and could arrange their schedules according to their needs. Unwilling to let go of that newfound freedom, many are handing in their resignation letters and setting out to start their own businesses.

Perhaps you’re one of the many looking to follow your dreams. Remember that the road from “I quit” to successful entrepreneurial ventures is anything but straight, predictable, or easy. But it is certainly achievable, especially if you engage with proven business models that provide networks, resources, and support.

The Entrepreneurial Scale

Before we get into what a proven business model is and why it matters, it’s important to understand the scale of entrepreneurship. On the very left side, you have the self-employed 1099 contractor. On the right side, you have someone who creates something out of nothing, a trailblazing visionary who takes 100% of the risk.

The proven business model concept can work well for those in the middle of that continuum. They are directing their daily lives on their own with no one telling them what to do, but they also don’t need to do all the experimentation and risk-taking that comes with creating something from scratch.

Make no mistake: Following a proven business model doesn’t restrict your autonomy. You’ll still have mastery over your time. But you’ll need to follow the system you’re given consistently to set yourself up for success without having to reinvent any wheels.

If you’re looking for more freedom than the corporate world could give you, the first place to look is inward. Take a step back, confirm you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur, and figure out what kind you are. If you’re the type who might benefit from some established structure, the next step is to discover the business model that’s right for you. Start here:

1. Honestly assess whether you have the makings of an entrepreneur.

You know you’re an entrepreneur if you don’t need to be told what to do. You don’t ask for permission; you ask for forgiveness later. You act now, and you just go with your ideas. You’re a risk-taker, but you take responsibility and blame no one for your failures or setbacks. You can think outside the box and see problems and solutions where others don’t. And, most essentially, you have a passion and drive to perform on your own and for yourself.

Once you confirm you’re an entrepreneur, assess where you fall on the continuum. If you’re somewhere in the middle between self-employed contractor and from-the-ground-up entrepreneur, you can find success with a proven business model. But be sure to carefully assess where you fall. If you’re a visionary with big, creative ideas, for example, you might be too far to the right to find fulfillment following an existing model.

2. Identify the purpose that will fuel the fire in your belly.

Work without purpose becomes dull very quickly. That’s why so many workers with entrepreneurial leanings become disengaged. Accordingly, you want to name and claim your purpose. For instance, I have had a lifelong passion for helping entrepreneurs. This led me to find a proven system that allowed me to become a business coach.

To make your list, record everything that you’re passionate about. Maybe it’s working with kids or college students. Whatever it is, write it down. Then, flesh out your purpose a little more.

Let’s say you like working with school children: Do you want to teach them? Do you like the activity so much that you want to do it on a day-to-day basis? Once you confirm what will give you the motivation to keep going, you can start looking for a corresponding business that features a proven income model.

“Entrepreneurship is about turning what excites yuo in life into capital, so that you can do more of it and move forward with it.” – Richard Branson

3. Search through existing business models that line up with your purpose.

Plenty of entrepreneurial ventures are out there. Some have high levels of investment; others require relatively low financial outlays. Make sure you have a budget in mind and then seek out business models in your range. For instance, going back to the idea of tutoring young people, you might consider owning a local Kumon Learning Center. Those usually fall into the low-to-middle investment end.

Maybe your budget is higher and your passion is serving food to families. Opening a well-known chain restaurant could be the right choice. You’ll likely need access to a substantial upfront capital, but many chains have known working models that tend to be lucrative when followed closely.

As a caveat, be cautious when hunting for entrepreneurial ventures. If part of the model’s revenue system is based on somebody else making money from you joining, that should raise some red flags. It matters who is bringing you into the model. If it’s an individual who is personally incentivized financially, beyond maybe a nominal referral fee, to get you into the model because they get a significant portion of your revenue, then be wary. You should only be dealing with a model’s business operations group and not individuals looking to fill their downline.

4. Decide who you want to operate the business.

You need to honestly interrogate yourself and confirm what type of entrepreneur you are and want to be, then go through the process of filtering the many opportunities. For example, do you want to be in charge, or do you want to hire others to operate your business?

If you want to be an absentee owner, look for something hands-free like WaveMax, a coin-operated full-service laundry franchise. You just need to write the check, hire the general manager, and do nothing else after that. It’s recurring passive income, and you can then scale it from there based on your investment returns.

5. Gauge the business model’s support system.

You’ve narrowed down your business model options to one or two possibilities. Now, it’s time to evaluate your top contenders on the support they give.

A proven business model should give you leads, a sales and marketing process, a business development framework, and more. This enables you to skip a lot of the back-end startup responsibilities and start earning faster.

Be diligent about checking references as well. Talk to other users of the business model: Do they feel like the model works and allows them to realize their purpose? Are they profitable or on a path to becoming profitable? The more hard and anecdotal data you have at your fingertips, the easier it will be to pinpoint the right model for you.

The road to entrepreneurship isn’t a straightforward, exacting one. Many entrepreneurs never get liftoff. However, aligning yourself with a business model that’s proven itself time and again can afford you the runway you need to soar.

Mark O’Donnell is the visionary at EOS Worldwide and is passionate about helping entrepreneurs get what they want from their businesses. He helps clients clarify their goals and objectives and take actionable steps to achieve them. Mark is a four-time Inc. 500|5000 entrepreneur with experience in high-growth organizations.

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Entrepreneurs

How Entrepreneurs Are Harnessing LLCs to Launch Successful Startups

LLCs have unique advantages for starting up and growing a successful business

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why you should set up an LLC

In my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve learned that LLCs have unique advantages for starting up and growing a successful business. But, before delving into the advantages, it’s essential to grasp the fundamentals of what an LLC is and how it operates. 

What is an LLC?

An LLC is a hybrid business entity that combines the liability protection of a corporation with the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship. This unique blend provides entrepreneurs with the best of both worlds: personal asset protection and simplified taxation.

One of the most significant advantages of an LLC is its limited liability feature. This means that as the owner, my personal assets are shielded from any liabilities or debts incurred by the business.

In the event of lawsuits or financial obligations, only the assets of the LLC are at risk, offering me peace of mind and protecting my personal wealth.

Advantages of Forming an LLC

Flexibility in Management and Structure

Another aspect of the LLC that appealed to me was its flexibility in management and structure. Unlike corporations, which have rigid hierarchies and formalities, LLCs allow for a more relaxed approach to governance. As the founder, I have the freedom to structure the company in a way that suits the needs and goals of my startup.

For instance, LLCs can choose to be managed by their members (owners) or appoint a manager to oversee operations. This flexibility enables me to maintain full control of the business or delegate management responsibilities to trusted individuals while retaining ownership.

Additionally, LLCs are not bound by strict meeting requirements or extensive record-keeping obligations, reducing administrative burdens and allowing me to focus on building and growing the business.

Pass-Through Taxation and Financial Efficiency

One of the most attractive features of an LLC, particularly for startups, is its pass-through taxation. Unlike corporations, which are subject to double taxation (taxation at both the corporate and individual levels), LLCs pass profits and losses directly to their members’ personal tax returns.

This tax efficiency not only simplifies the filing process but also allows for greater flexibility in managing cash flow and reinvesting profits back into the business. As an entrepreneur, minimizing tax liabilities and maximizing financial efficiency are critical components of long-term success, and the pass-through taxation feature of an LLC aligns perfectly with these objectives.

Enhanced Credibility and Professionalism

Establishing an LLC can also enhance the credibility and professionalism of a startup. Unlike sole proprietorships or general partnerships, which may be perceived as informal or less legitimate, an LLC provides a formal business structure that instills confidence in customers, investors, and partners.

By operating under the umbrella of an LLC, I can present my startup as a reputable and established entity, which can open doors to opportunities such as securing financing, attracting top talent, and forging strategic partnerships.

This enhanced credibility can be a significant advantage, particularly in competitive industries or when seeking to differentiate my startup in the market.

Protection of Intellectual Property and Brand Assets

For startups built around innovative ideas or unique intellectual property, protecting these assets is paramount. An LLC offers an additional layer of protection for intellectual property and brand assets, safeguarding them from infringement or unauthorized use.

By registering trademarks, copyrights, or patents under the name of the LLC, I can establish legal ownership and enforce my rights more effectively in the event of disputes or infringement claims. This protection not only preserves the value of my intellectual property but also enhances the overall stability and longevity of the startup.

Steps to Form an LLC

Let us now look at the general steps to form an LLC for your business:

Step 1: Choose a Name for Your LLC

Selecting a unique and distinguishable name is the first step in forming an LLC. Ensure that the name you choose complies with the rules set by your state’s LLC division. Typically, the name must end with “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or an abbreviation of these terms.

Additionally, the name should not infringe on the trademarks of existing businesses.

Step 2: Designate a Registered Agent

A registered agent is an individual or entity appointed to receive legal documents, such as lawsuits or subpoenas, on behalf of the LLC. The registered agent must have a physical address within the state where the LLC is formed.

For instance, if you are forming an LLC in Texas, ensure that your registered agent has a physical address in Texas.

This role is crucial for ensuring that the LLC remains compliant with legal requirements and maintains good standing.

Step 3: File Articles of Organization

The Articles of Organization, also known as a Certificate of Formation or Certificate of Organization in some states, is a document that formally establishes the LLC. You’ll need to submit this document to the appropriate state agency, usually the Secretary of State or Division of Corporations.

The articles typically include basic information such as the LLC’s name, address, registered agent details, and the purpose of the business.

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

While not always a legal requirement, drafting an operating agreement is highly recommended for LLCs. This document outlines the ownership structure, management roles, voting rights, profit-sharing arrangements, and other important aspects of the LLC’s operations.

Even if you’re the sole owner of the LLC, having an operating agreement in place can help clarify expectations and prevent disputes in the future.

Step 5: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify your LLC for tax purposes.

Even if your LLC doesn’t have employees, obtaining an EIN is necessary for opening a business bank account, filing taxes, and conducting other financial transactions.

Step 6: Obtain Necessary Permits and Licenses

Depending on the nature of your business and its location, you may need to obtain various permits, licenses, or certifications to operate legally. These requirements can vary widely from one industry and jurisdiction to another. Common examples include business licenses, zoning permits, health permits, and professional licenses.

In my entrepreneurial journey, the decision to establish my startups as LLCs has been instrumental in mitigating risks, optimizing financial performance, and positioning my ventures for long-term success.

By harnessing the advantages of the LLC structure, I’ve been able to navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship with confidence and resilience, laying the groundwork for a bright and prosperous future.

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Entrepreneurs

Build a Strong IT Team with These Smart Hiring Tips

Without dedicated IT staff, your company may not be able to function as efficiently or effectively

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Hiring tips for tech industry

The role of IT staff in your company is not only essential but also ever-evolving. As your business grows, so does the need for qualified IT staff and more robust recruiting solutions.

After all, from maintaining and troubleshooting the computer systems that keep your business running smoothly, IT staff also help employees stay connected and productive by providing technical support at all times. (more…)

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Entrepreneurs

5 Important Legal Tips Every Entrepreneur Should Know

With a firm commitment to legal knowledge, you pave the way to grow your business sustainably

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legal tips for entrepreneurs

Embarking on the entrepreneurial path is a courageous venture that calls for a diverse skill set to achieve enduring success.

While creativity, drive, and strategic vision are paramount, integrating legal insight into your entrepreneurial toolkit can be a game-changer.

This comprehensive guide delves deeper into the five critical steps that can empower you to navigate the intricate legal landscape and propel your venture toward prosperity. (more…)

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Entrepreneurs

6 Hacks to Boost Your Productivity as a Business Owner

To improve how much you get done each day, it’s smart to establish routines and use careful planning

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productivity for business owners

Entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to get more done with the time and resources they have. Business owners can use clever productivity tricks to break these limits and make the most of their projects. (more…)

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