Many of us have a goal of starting our own business. We dream of ditching the 9-to-5 and being our own boss, but one of the factors that often gets in the way of us making that life change and launching the business of our dreams is money.
Well, I have some news for you: you don’t need loads of money to get started. In fact, you know that tax return money you get every year? What if this year, instead of saving or spending that money, you invest it in yourself and your business?
If starting a business has been a goal of yours for a while, now is the time to start. You’ve put it off long enough.
Here are four steps to take if you want to start a business with your tax return money.
1. Shift Your Mindset
Now that you have your tax return money in hand, it’s time to invest it in your business, but before you can start building that business, you need to shift your mindset from consumer to producer. Think of your tax return as an investment. You’re no longer a customer who’s going to spend money on someone else’s business. Your perspective needs to be one of an entrepreneur, and entrepreneurs invest in themselves.
Focus on how you can invest the money in your business in order to generate more. If you want to come out of the gate winning, this subtle shift in perspective is essential. You need to think like an entrepreneur to create a solid foundation for your business.
2. Research the Market
If you know you want to start your own business, but aren’t sure exactly what that business is yet, don’t let the lack of an idea or concept stop you from getting started. Begin by doing market research. Find a pressing problem that people have and think about what product or service you can create to solve that problem.
Or maybe you already know what product or service you want to put out into the world. Don’t skip the research. See what’s already on the market and look for a gap. Figure out what’s missing and how you can make it better.
3. Refine Your Idea
Now that you have your idea, it’s smooth sailing from here, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. You’re only getting started. You may have a solid idea or concept on paper, but it isn’t validated until someone is willing to pay for it.
When you’re refining your business idea, consider what your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is. What can sell to prove that your product or service works without spending lots of time or money to execute and launch? This is your MVP; your bread and butter. Figuring out your MVP allows you to, immediately, put that tax return to good use without spending months or years trying to execute.
4. Execution Over Perfection
I hate to break it to you, but no matter how much you prepare, your business will never be perfect. It won’t be perfect in a year, it won’t be perfect after five years, and it definitely won’t be perfect when you’re just getting started, but that’s okay. Perfection isn’t the goal, execution is.
First-time entrepreneurs are notorious for waiting to launch their product or service until it’s perfect, but this isn’t productive. If anything, it will slow you down, or worse, keep you from launching at all. The speed at which you execute has a direct impact on your success. The first step is to just start. Execute, learn, adjust and execute again.
Don’t get stuck on trying to make it perfect. Focus on what’s in front of you and get it done so you can get your business started.
Lamar Tyler is the creator and co-founder of the international business network, Traffic Sales & Profit (TSP), a premier community for purpose-driven African American entrepreneurs that provides solutions to drive more website traffic, convert more online sales and increase business profit. Along with his wife, Ronnie, Lamar is also the creator and co-founder of, BlackandMarriedwithKids.com, the web’s most popular destination for guidance on African American marriage and parenting. Both brands are making a positive impact on changing the narrative of how the world views Black families and Black businesses.