When starting a small business, your first steps should be researching your target market, developing a marketing plan, and testing offers. In other words, taking action to turn your business idea into a real business by making sure you can sell your products at a profit.

Unfortunately, many first-time entrepreneurs let their anxiety about such things as tax codes, website security, and the right corporate structure sidetrack them into spending all their time on endless rounds of research.

Sure those things become important, but only after your business is up and running. And once the business is actually making money, you can afford to hire professionals (an attorney, accountant, Web designer, etc.) to worry about them for you.

It may seem like you are working on your business while you are trying to figure these things out for yourself. But as MaryEllen Tribby, ETR’s publisher and CEO, points out (often in her “tough love” comments to attendees at our conferences):

“Instead of helping you get ahead, these things could actually be preventing you from achieving the success you want.

“Whenever you think you MUST do something to help get your business started, ask yourself, ‘Will this help me achieve my marketing goals?’ If the answer is no, it may not be worth worrying about it.”

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