Welcome to T.E.A.M

Learn more about our focus on education, assistance and access to financing for minority and women business owners.

Read more

Guest Blogger

7 Steps To A Social Media Marketing Plan.

Aliza Sherman is a new media entrepreneur, author, women's issues activist, and international speaker.

Read more

Tip of the Month

Internet Access and Broadband Services

Read more

Business Information by Gladys Edmunds

Business Information by Gladys Edmunds
At age 15 Gladys developed a travel service that would prosper for more than 30 years. She is a national award winning entrepreneur, keynote speaker, author and columnist. Visit her at www.gladysedmunds.com

Why You Can't Go By The Book With Your Start-Up

Why You Can't Go By The Book With Your Start-Up

Dear Gladys,

I just graduated from college and plan to start my own business. I have been doing research and have read up on how to start a business. I want to know if there is a book that will take me step-by-step through the process of getting my enterprise up and running. It seems like each book I read has useful information. But I don’t want to have to read dozens of books to get started. I would rather save time and follow the guide of one book. What complete guide book do you suggest?

Thanks - R. W.

I wish I could say that such a thing exists, but if it does I have not seen it. And there is good reason for that. Each of us is unique. And, our businesses and our business knowledge and information reflects that uniqueness.

I agree that you should create some kind of road map for yourself. This can be done in the form of a business plan or blueprint that includes the following elements of business:

  • Description of business.
  • Marketing plan.
  • Operating procedures.
  • What employees you will need and how to hire them.
  • Setting up an accounting system.
  • Legal advice for licenses and legal documents.
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Inventory management.
  • Leasing rental space.

This is a brief description of some aspects of business. You can spend a lot of time preparing to start your business or you can invest very little time. But whichever way you choose there will come a time when preparation ends and experience must begin.

It is experience that becomes the best teacher. For sure, you can read books and talk to many successful entrepreneurs, both of which I recommended that you do. However, your experience and the application of your unique approach along with absolute trust in yourself will help to propel you to success.

Also, as you travel the entrepreneurial highway you should deal with it like any journey. Once you have your road map in place – and of course you took care of that with your basic blueprint or business plan – you must follow the road signs that will guide you. Let me give you an illustration of what I mean.

There was no way I could have read a book about all of the many things that I encountered as I developed my business. Accounts receivables became my nightmare. My corporate clients ran my accounts receivable up to over half a million dollars a month. This was not a good thing for a small business and worse yet when watching large companies file bankruptcy almost weekly.

There was no book to guide me and my colleagues were all in the same scary boat. I took a leap of faith and notified all of our corporate clients that effective the first of the following month our office would accept credit cards only. We lost a few clients but gained several more. I made this move without the aid of books or advice, for the sake of my sanity and my company’s future.

Celebrate the uniqueness of who you are. You don’t need a step-by-step guide. What you need is a basic blueprint, a lot of faith and trust in yourself, and an awareness of and attention to the signs that guide you along the way. And, as time goes on you will have a few unique ideas that you can submit to me to share with other readers.

Best wishes on your entrepreneurial endeavors.