1. Know Why Many Businesses Fail. You might have a great product or service, but do you have the skills to build a successful business?
  2. Look Before You Leap. Consider the lifestyle changes you will be making, such as working at home alone to start your business, as opposed to working with a large team in an office environment.
  3. Make a Plan. Factor in health care costs, start-up expenses, computer equipment, marketing materials and fees for legal or tax advice -- and the launch of your new business might end up costing a lot more than you expect. Make sure you have your bases covered.
  4. Counter Unrealistic Expectations. Go as far as creating a “worst case scenario” plan for your self-employment income. Ask yourself, what would happen if you invested $100,000, for example, and the business was a total failure?
  5. Seek Help and Tap Resources. There are many resources online for those starting a small business. A financial advisor can also help create or update a personalized financial plan that integrates entrepreneurial and retirement plans.
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