The Dos and Don’ts

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Being your own boss has crossed the minds of many, but entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. Alongside the ability to work around your own schedule, be your own boss, spearhead the process of turning this passion of yours into a steady stream of income, and all the other benefits to working for yourself, it’s not always an easy road to travel. Starting your own business requires a lot of preparation, caution, courage, and patience. You must recognize that the success of your business depends on you, and this may come with small failures along your journey, but it can also become the best decision you ever made.

YNCU is dedicated to supporting small businesses in our communities and we want to see you succeed in making your lifelong dreams a reality. We’ve put together a few dos and don’ts to help guide you towards starting a small business. 


DO have genuine intentions. Businesses require a strong foundation built on a set of values and principles in order to succeed. If you create your small business with the sole purpose of making money and nothing else, the lack of purpose and direction will quickly become apparent to your clients/customers, employees, and vendors. It goes without saying that a profit has to be made but ensure your honest reasons for building this business extend beyond financial gain.

DO your research. Understanding your competitors is important for any startup. Take some time to look into similar businesses in your market. Try to get insights into how they operate, if they failed and why, who their customers are, their marketing practices, what area they’re servicing, etc. The more you know about your competition, the better prepared you are when it comes time to penetrate the market with your million-dollar idea!

DO take risks. Starting a business is a risk in itself, and almost every decision you make in this process will have some kind of risk attached. However, with the research you have gathered about your competitors, industry trends, and your target market, you can make calculated risks. Every successful business has taken risks to get to where they are, so don’t be afraid to do the same.

DO get your finances in order. No matter what, entrepreneurs need a tight financial plan outlining everything from how much you’re investing, what the return on investment might look like, and how exactly you plan to make a profit. Also be comfortable with the fact that you may not be making a profit in the early days. YNCU has experienced advisors that can help ensure your first financial steps are the right ones. Click here to speak to a YNCU business advisor to get started!

DO everything by the book. Proper bookkeeping, paying your taxes, abiding by rules and regulations, understanding policies, contracts, etc. – ensure you’re on top of it all and if you’re ever beginning to fall off, seek help from a professional. Get everything in writing and always remain professional. 

DO take time to get to know your clientele. Understanding your target market is essential when starting a new business by establishing a solid customer base that expands over time. Go beyond demographics and market trends. Dig deeper to find out who your customers are, what their needs are, and what their current problems are. What are you offering to meet their needs?

DO make yourself known to platforms who highlight small businesses in your area. Check out your local Chamber of Commerce, connect with groups on social media, and take advantage of networking events happening in your community.


DON’T get a big head. Being kind and humble when you work for yourself is important in building strong, trusting relationships with your customers, suppliers, and staff. These relationships are needed to efficiently run your business, which means having the right attitude can be what makes or breaks your small business. 

DON’T take your opinion as fact. Welcome constructive criticism with open arms. Be open to new ideas and advice, especially from those with hands-on experience. That being said, remember what your goals are and what you envision for your small business. Being open-minded doesn’t mean you have to do anything that steers you away from your overall vision. 

DON’T underestimate the cost of the startup process. Anything you’re budgeting for, ensure there is extra room. Don’t underestimate your ‘competition’. Understand that brand loyalty exists even with small businesses. Don’t underestimate the amount of time you will be putting into your business to ensure its success. 

DON’T ignore the current market. Keep on top of new industry trends, new products, new competition – be aware of everything that’s happening that may affect your business. Staying informed can give you that competitive edge that sets you apart from the rest.

DON’T take it personally. Growing your own business from the bottom up can lead to strong emotional ties to your “baby”. It’s important to remember that every entrepreneur experiences rejection, be it from investors, customers, partners, etc. Learn to keep your emotions (and your pride) separate from your business and don’t beat yourself up over things you can’t control.

Now go ahead and start that business plan! We have additional resources to help you get started or expand an existing small business. To learn about our business banking and service options, click here.

For all your general financial inquiries and how you can plan out your financial goals, come talk with an advisor at your YNCU branch!

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