Everyone daydreams about owning their own business. You might be thinking about starting a restaurant.
You may have thought about starting a construction business, a delivery service or a real estate company. Whatever your dream, there are huge benefits to running your own company.
You're in control of your destiny. You won't have a boss to tell you what to do or when to do it -- you can set your own hours, your own goals and hire your own staff.
You also have more flexibility. If you need to drive your kids to school every day, you can schedule your business around your drive times.
The easy part about starting a small business is daydreaming about it. The harder part, although rewarding, is turning your dream into a reality.
The good news is, you can have your own small business by following a few steps. Each one takes time and work, of course, but each one is achievable.
Are you ready to start your own small business? You can do it by following these five steps. Do not skip bonus tip No. 6!
1. Write a plan
I know, I know. The simple phrase, "business plan" can stop you in your tracks.
You've heard the stories about people spending years on a business plan. The result is a giant book filled with pages of spreadsheets, financial statements, vision statements and so much more.
Don't let that stop you! Business plans today need to be short and to the point.
You want to provide just enough information to let lenders or investors know that you have a financial plan to pay them back. More importantly, you need to prove that you have the know-how to get your company off the ground.
Whether your business plan is 10 pages or 150 pages does not matter. What matters is that you set aside time to write it.
As the saying goes, "without a plan, it's just a dream." These days, you can use software programs to guide you through each step in the process.
2. Be open to every opportunity
You've probably heard successful business people talking about their road to success. Often, that included ditching the very business plan that got them the financial backing to get their business going.
Just think about Apple. What would the company be today if Steve Jobs was stuck on Apple being a computer company that couldn't be bothered with cellphones?
Your small business will take on a life of its own. Make sure you're open to every opportunity that comes your way.
Note: Starting a business can be expensive. But you can save money on one of the biggest home office expenses: printer cartridges. Click here to find out about Epson's revolutionary cartridge-free printers.
3. Seek advice
Nothing puts the brakes on your success faster than "yes men." These might be your family members, spouse or friends.
They want the best for you, so they don't want to hurt your feelings. "Yeah, that's a great idea!" they'll say.
Those words might make you feel good, but they're not useful to help you make your small business successful. For that, you may want to add paid or unpaid advisors on your business team (include that in your business plan).
These can be retirees who were successful in your industry. They might be former co-workers who are knowledgeable and smart.
You should also check your town's small business administration. They often have volunteers from the business community who can advise you for FREE from starting your small business to running it.
4. Watch your budget
You will know precisely how much money you have to spend once you've written your business plan, presented it to investors and borrowed money from them. It can be less clear how much money you have to spend day-to-day.
However, you should not let your spending get murky. Put together a spreadsheet or use a budgeting app and look it over every day!
You need to know how much money you have to achieve your goals. You also need to know how much it will cost you to pay your staff, your lease and a lot more.
5. Delegate responsibilities
You know your skills, talents and weaknesses. You've had years of experience in the business world if you're like most small business owners.
You've had time to figure out what you're good at and where your skills are lacking. You might be great at public speaking, seeing the big picture and entertaining clients.
You have weaknesses, though - we all do! So, make sure you are honest with yourself and hire people who have the skill that you don't have.
If you've always struggled with crunching numbers, doing research, writing or something else, hire someone to do that for you. That's how successful small businesses operate.
Bonus: Save money with a cartridge-free printer
Say goodbye to those expensive ink cartridge replacements. You can with Epson's revolutionary EcoTank SuperTank.
Epson's EcoTank printers use refillable, high-capacity tanks. You can print up to 11,000 black-and-white pages or 8,500 color pages.
By comparison, most printers print 500 or fewer pages. Then, it's back to the store for expensive cartridges.
With EcoTank, you save money. A complete EcoTank costs about $58 and prints roughly 6,500 pages. A comparable, non-EcoTank printer costs about $150 and will print about 2,300 pages.
That's an 80 percent savings! Click here to find out about Epson's revolutionary cartridge-free printers.