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Smart Business Essentials

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Practical Business Skills

Is Starting a Business Right for You?

Small business owners sell a wide variety of products and services. Perhaps you’ve developed a new toy that you want to sell online and in local shops. You might have a valuable skill that you can offer. Or, you may want to buy and run an established business rather than start from scratch.

Becoming a business owner can certainly be enticing. You can be your own boss, run things how you want, and have opportunities for personal and financial growth. But there may be a steep learning curve in the beginning. Particularly with small businesses, the business owner often has to wear many hats: manager, accountant and salesperson to name three.

Launching a small business can also be risky. You might have lower sales than expected or face unexpected expenses that you can’t afford.

Before you commit to starting a new company, write a list of business risks that you might face in the first year. You can talk with your potential business partners or other experienced business owners to learn more about their experiences and get some ideas.

Rate the risks as low, medium or high. If the risks are medium or high, they could put your business at risk of failure. Ask yourself, "Is the risk of starting this business worth the reward?"

Your decision can affect your financial well-being, family life and health, so think carefully about what you can do to avoid the risks, or turn a medium risk into a low risk. You can also develop backup plans in case your business doesn’t work out.

If you’re ready to continue, you can start your journey by learning about the steps you’ll need to take to start and run a successful business.

Starting a Business
No matter what type of product or service they sell, many small business owners have to go through a similar process to turn an idea into a real company. From creating a business plan to registering your business with the proper government organizations, the process can include a mix of practical and legal steps. Learn more.

Keys to Success
There is no single path to starting a successful small business. Many small and micro companies don’t survive their first few years. Business owners can’t control everything, but you can set yourself up for success by learning what distinguishes profitable businesses from those that fail. Learn more.

Disclaimer: No Legal Advice Intended
This site provides general information related to creating and running a business. The content of this site is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal or tax advice or opinions. The contents of this site, and the viewing of the information on this site, should not be construed as, and should not be relied upon for, legal, financial or tax advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. No action should be taken in reliance on the information contained on this site, and Visa Inc. disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this site to the fullest extent permitted by law. You should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal or tax issue or problem, including those relating to your current or potential business.

The contents of this site have been developed for a U.S. audience.