Financial Wellness Article Series: We Are All Entrepreneurs

November 6, 2018
By Shannon Crow, Financial Wellness Program Coordinator

The definition of an entrepreneur is a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.

If you manage your home, aren’t you doing just that on a small scale? If you manage a church or non-profit, wouldn’t you also meet that criteria? Entrepreneurial skills would definitely be needed when you plant a church.

Entrepreneurship can be a way to have a bi-vocational ministry, pay for your expenses as a student, and/or pay on your student loan. Any of these endeavors can also be an additional ministry and/or creative outlet.

Being a successful entrepreneur is a matter of marrying your skillset with a need(s) in the market. What needs have you seen in your community? Once you have a number of ideas for businesses, you will need to decide how much time you are willing to devote to this new business and how much money you want to make. This will eliminate some of the ideas on the list.

In addition, Chris Guillebeau in Side Hustle from Idea to Income in 27 Days has “The High Potential Idea Checklist” which includes the following:

  • Can you describe how to turn your idea into action in one sentence?
  • Is there an obvious way to make money with this idea?
  • Does this idea solve a problem for someone?
  • Can you figure out how to make this idea happen quickly?
  • Is it relatively low maintenance?
  • Can you get paid more than once for this idea?”
  • If you meet these criteria, you will have a better chance at success.

    Once you have an idea that has potential, it is important to determine your vision for the business and draw up a business plan. This will help you manage the business, and it will also show you problem areas outside your control and/or skill level. Then you know going in the help you need and the risks you face. Many times, once you realize the risks, there are solutions that can alleviate the risk. Here are some things to think about when you are writing your business plan:

    You need to research up front the kind of organization you are going to start – sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, or corporation. Who is going to do your accounting from day one? What are the tax implications? If you have any employees, you will need to pay any employees, deduct their withholding taxes, and contribute your share of those taxes. You need to know in the beginning months how to pay in estimated taxes.

    You’ll need to estimate what your income and costs will be. If you are building widgets, you need to know how many you have to sell to break even and what it takes to make a profit. You will need to decide whether you can manage all the areas of the business by yourself or do you need a partner or employees. What would be their roles and how would they contribute to the business? What about equipment?

    Where will you locate your business? Is it possible to start in your apartment or home to avoid taking on more rent?

    As you can see, this can get complicated but none of it is hard. The one thing I would stress is to get everything set up right before you make your first sale. Please feel free to stop by the Financial Wellness office in Truett Room 112 if you have questions or need help starting your small business.

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    George W. Truett Theological Seminary