Start Your Business

Becoming an Entrepreneur

Start a Small Business

Becoming an Entrepreneur

This Year, This Time

Starting your own business requires hard work and dedication. It may also require a great deal of time away from your family. Before you embark on this journey, you may want to assess how this new venture will impact your home life. If you have small children, will you be able to devote 12 hour days, six days a week to your business? Do you have a support system in place to help out with homework, carpool or play dates? You may find that juggling the demands of parenting with a new business is a tough balancing act. But don't let that discourage you. You'll need to have an honest discussion with your spouse and family members about the changes that come with owning a business. You'll want to have a back-up plan just in case you can't take your little ones to soccer practice or attend a PTA meeting. Remember, this is a team effort.

Everyone just raves about your key lime pie. Or people think the dress you made was store-bought. You hear it all the time: "You should go into business!" Your eyes light up with excitement just thinking about it. But then, reality sets in and the questions and doubts enter. Can I really open a business? How much money would it take to open a shop? Do I have what it takes? Following your dreams can be risky and scary--but it doesn't have to be. Here are some things you can do to turn that dream into a reality.

Think It Over

This is the time for introspection. Think long and hard about whether or not being an entrepreneur is right for you. Make a list of the advantages of starting a business. For example: You get to be your own boss and only answer to yourself; you get to reap the profits of all of your hard work and effort. Then make a list of the disadvantages: your salary is not guaranteed; there is a risk of failure; you'll work very long hours at first, and possibly for years to come. If, after this reflection, you still want to open your business, you're ready to move on to the next step.

Planning and Preparation

You've heard it before: Preparation is the key to success. You can start by doing research and gathering information and data about your future venture. These facts will come in handy as you write your business plan.

During this phase, you will learn a great deal about the daily tasks of your business. This is the time to seek advice from people with similar businesses and pick their brains. Ask them what pitfalls to avoid and what the pros and cons to the business are. You'll be amazed by the number of resources out there for aspiring entrepreneurs. Your local library can be a vast resource of information as well for the new small business owner, so check with your reference librarian to find more information.

Put It In Writing

All businesses have to start with a business plan, which is a road map or guide that details how you plan to start your business and how you intend to run it. It's very important because it's what you will present to your potential investors in order to show that your business is viable. Be sure that your business plan has an executive summary that outlines your business and provides a mission statement. It's always good to have a company description and market analysis that state the purpose of your enterprise and the solutions it will provide to its potential clientele.

Now What?

Once you've completed your business plan and proposal, then you need to identify investors, grants and loans available. Also look into permits, licenses or certifications necessary to start your business.

Seek Help

You may want to decide what kind of business you plan on forming: a company, corporation, nonprofit corporation, etc. It's always helpful to seek the counsel of an accountant. You may also want to consult with an attorney who can protect you and your assets, especially if you're creating a product or new ideas. An attorney can help you protect your intellectual property via copyright or trademark.

If all of this seems daunting and overwhelming, don't be discouraged. You don't have to do this alone. There are many resources available to help you with every step along the way. Organizations such as SCORE can help you create your business plan and advise you as you embark on this journey. Consider pairing with a mentor who can guide you through each step. You may want to join professional organizations such as NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) to network with other entrepreneurs like yourself.

Step by Step

No one says you have to quit your job tomorrow and start your own business. This could be the year you simply gather information and assess if and when you should open your business. Once you've made that decision, you can formulate a strategic plan to help you get started. Regardless of what you choose, there is a feeling of empowerment that comes with planning and taking action. And by reading this article, you just took your first step toward reaching your goal.

This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.


Investment and Insurance Products:

Are Not FDIC or any other Government Agency Insured   Are Not Bank Guaranteed  May Lose Value 

© 2018 SunTrust Banks, Inc

equal housing logoSunTrust Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. Member FDIC

equal housing logoEqual Housing Lender. SunTrust Mortgage, Inc

SunTrust, SunTrust Mortgage, SunTrust PortfolioView, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, SunTrust Premier Program, AMC Pinnacle, AMC Premier, Access 3, Signature Advantage Brokerage, Custom Choice Loan and SunTrust SummitView are federally registered service marks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Services provided by the following affiliates of SunTrust Banks, Inc.: Banking products and services are provided by SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. Trust and investment management services are provided by SunTrust Bank, SunTrust Delaware Trust Company and SunTrust Banks Trust Company (Cayman) Limited. Securities, brokerage accounts and insurance (including annuities) are offered by SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., a SEC registered broker-dealer, member FINRA, SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency. Investment advisory services are offered by SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc., a SEC registered adviser. GFO Advisory Services, LLC is a SEC registered investment adviser that provides investment advisory services to a group of private investment funds and other non-investment advisory services to affiliates. Mortgage products and services are provided by SunTrust Mortgage, Inc.

SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. - NMLS #2915, 901 Semmes Avenue, Richmond, VA 23224, 1-800-634-7928. CA: licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, IL: Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee #MB-989, Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, 100 W. Randolph, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60601, 1-888-473-4858, MA: Mortgage Lender license #-ML-2915, NJ: Mortgage Banker License - New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, NY: Licensed Mortgage Banker—NYS Department of Financial Services, and RI: Rhode Island Licensed Lender.

"SunTrust Advisors" may be officers and/or associated persons of the following affiliates of SunTrust Banks, Inc.: SunTrust Bank, our commercial bank, which provides banking, trust and asset management services; SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., a registered broker-dealer, which is a member of FINRA and SIPC, and a licensed insurance agency, and which provides securities, annuities and life insurance products; SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc., a SEC registered investment adviser which provides Investment Advisory services.

SunTrust Private Wealth Management, International Wealth Management, Business Owner Specialty Group, Sports and Entertainment Group, and Legal and Medical Specialty Groups and GenSpring are marketing names used by SunTrust Bank, SunTrust Banks Trust Company (Cayman) Limited, SunTrust Delaware Trust Company, SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., and SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc.

SunTrust Bank and its affiliates do not accept fiduciary responsibility for all banking and investment account types offered. Please consult with your SunTrust representative to determine whether SunTrust and its affiliates have agreed to accept fiduciary responsibility for your account(s) and if you have completed the documentation necessary to establish a fiduciary relationship with SunTrust Bank or an affiliate. Additional information regarding account types and important disclosures may be found at

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey is the trade name for the corporate and investment banking services of SunTrust Banks, Inc. and its subsidiaries, including SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc., member FINRA and SIPC.