Starting a Business? A Few Things You Need to Know


Starting a business

Starting a Business? A few things You Need to Know

Starting a business? Here are a few tips to help you along the way. I’ve been in business now for 23 years. I’ve been very lucky because it’s been estimated that up to 85% of new businesses fail within the first four years or less. Some studies state as high as 60% of new businesses fail within the first year. During the past two decades, I have seen many examples of why small businesses fail via my own experiences and I’d like to share those with you.  if you have considered diving in and trying your efforts at a small business, here are the things that you should ABSOLUTELY NOT DO if you don’t want to fail IMMEDIATELY.

Starting a Business? YOU MUST HAVE …  PASSION for What You Do

Start Your Small business: Have you ever been in love? REAL LOVE? The kind that makes you forget the rest of the world exists and EVERYTHING is about the other person? You can talk on the phone for hours to them but it seems like minutes? You leap out of bed ready to take on the day with a huge smile on your face because you’re experiencing true happiness?

Unfortunately, for most, this feeling is temporary but not if you’re a small business and you constantly reinvent yourself. Why? Because business is the SAME WAY! “Do what you LOVE and the money will Come” is exact and true but at some point, you have to put the “passion” on the backburner and focus on sales. Probably after the first year. If you do it the opposite way and you are only in business to make money … you will fail miserably. What is it that you LOVE to do, that you could do ALL DAY, all week, all month and all year and when you are doing it, it feels like you are not working but doing what you love? Have people offered to pay you to do this thing for them? If you can answer the question …There’s your potential business!

Starting a Business? YOU MUST … Have a Budget

Start Your Small business: I would STRONGLY suggest not taking out loans if you don’t have to for three  reasons:

  1. I don’t like dealing with middlemen, they can rob you of your passion and it’s always best to start off NOT owing someone the loan back PLUS interest. You are starting BEHIND the 8-Ball and it’s very difficult to EVER catch up. How you start is how you finish in business.
  2. It ALWAYS helps if you have money stashed to start your small business for those lean times and THERE WILL BE LEAN TIMES. When a check or payment doesn’t arrive on time and personal bills are due etc. If you start off begging for business, your entire business will most likely be based on you begging. If you have to beg people to convince them of your value, you are in the wrong business. They should SEE the value at a certain point. You never want clients running FROM you, you want them running TO you. Provide great service
  3. In the game of running a business, it is YOUR objective to make money and everybody else’s to separate you from that money and to leave you broke and starving. Read Rich Dad Poor Dad and you will know what I mean. (get the audio version if you are like me and don’t like to read). You want to avoid all interest, penalties, and services you don’t need because you WILL need the money at some point and you SHOULD be able to enjoy what you have worked for SPEND VERY WISELY and make your money work FOR you not you for it.

Starting a Business? … Have a Vision…

Start Your Small business: I am surrounded by other black entrepreneurs or people who are on their way to being black entrepreneurs. We attract each other and most of my closest friends are black entrepreneurs. I had a former tenant who loved to experiment with cheesecakes. He worked for the gas company for his full-time gig but he would do things like making Peach Cobbler Cheesecake, German Chocolate Cheesecake, Cheesecake Pound Cake, Oatmeal Raisin Cheesecake and even Sweet Potato Cheesecake. People would go NUTS over those Cheesecakes and he started taking them to work and his coworkers would offer him up to $30.00 to make them ONE of his Cheesecakes. Before he knew it, he had to rent a kitchen and he was making at least 50 Cheesecakes a weekend as word spread. He LOVED doing it and he became a different person while he was doing it. He really enjoyed it.

He wasn’t bound by the work grind and the stress he had to often face working with broken gas lines in the field. Who could be passionate about that? To make a long story short, he was not comfortable with the lack of security he felt he would have without a full-time job. I along with several other black entrepreneur friends tried to convince him that he could triple and even quadruple his current income and have continued growth over the next 5 years that would make him incredibly successful but he did not have VISION. He let the opportunity to own a business pass him by and sticks with making cheesecakes as a hobby. Of course, he will never grow.


Starting a Business? YOU SHOULD BE … ORIGINAL?

Start Your Small business: Doing what someone else does because you have the same contacts or you see that they are making money is doing business competing. It’s the opportunist’s way of duplicating what someone else is doing to make the same money.

It may work for a minute because the clients get confused but chances are you don’t have the talent and you are not churning out the same quality product that they are and you will eventually fail. If your business is based on mimicking what someone else does, it’s NOT time to start your small business, it’s time to either do a better job or think of something else. The greatest part of being an black entrepreneur is the passion that you AND ONLY YOU have for what you do.

Starting a Business? YOU ARE READY IF … People Keep Coming Back?

Start Your Small business: One of the GREATEST signs that you are able to start your small business is if whatever it is that you do has the same clients coming back for more WITHOUT you calling them. Your clients are the best friends to your business.

If you have been in business for more than 3 years and you don’t have at LEAST one or two MAJOR clients, something is wrong. Prospects are not seeing the value of what it is that you do.

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Kevin "KevRoss" Ross is a music and radio industry expert. He is a 20 -plus year entrepreneur with the leading most successful industry trade publication and site Radio Facts ( He has also published various books, magazines, performed marketing and promotions for major corporations and recording artists and he is on the advisory board of several industry organizations. This year Ross introduced his non profit organization LOMARI (Leaders of the Music and Recording Industry) to help teach young minority students how to market and manage their music and products.
starting-business Starting a Business? A few things You Need to Know Starting a business? Here are a few tips to help you along the way. I've been in business now for 23 years. I've been very lucky because it's been estimated that up to 85% of...

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