(BPT) - Fall always seems to be a time of revitalization. It brings a sense of a new beginning with the turning of leaves and kids going back to school. For many, such as recent college graduates, this may be the first time they aren't stepping onto a school campus but rather stepping into a new adventure. Over the past few years, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has found that more and more Americans younger than 35 are joining the ranks of the self-employed and that now may be a great time for them to get their small business idea off the ground.
Because of this, recent college graduates may be thinking more strongly about launching their own business. Any new business venture raises a slew of questions. Fortunately, numerous resources are available to help, as well as an array of new technologies to help small businesses get organized and ultimately be more successful.
Obviously entrepreneurs have a lot to think about, but here are a few helpful tips to keep top of mind.
Seek support through the system
Small businesses have long been recognized as an essential element to the overall health and well-being of the American economy. You can find a number of agencies - federal, state and even local - that provide information, support and services to small businesses starting out.
The SBA is perhaps the best known resource for small businesses. The organization provides a wealth of information, from tips for starting a business to news on available loans and grants, and even online training courses for small-business owners.
The IRS is another good resource to check out because it offers tax-related information for small-business owners. For example, did you know that you can write off your technology investments? In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor provides information, and most states maintain their own independent agencies tasked with aiding and promoting small business within the state.
Technology is your professional friend, too
Many recent college graduates have grown up in the digital age with the latest and greatest technology woven throughout their everyday lives. What they may not see is that the same technology they use in their personal lives can also help their businesses be successful.
Having new technology is a key differentiator between companies that succeed and those that don't. Something as basic as the operating system you use on your office PC can influence efficiency and your bottom line. For example, Windows 7 Professional, along with Windows 8 Pro coming in late October, makes locating and organizing documents and files on a PC fast and simple. These systems also include security measures that help protect themselves from malicious cyberattacks and safeguards that can be used to protect sensitive information such as credit card numbers and employee or customer information.
Nurture your work-life balance
Professional satisfaction is a compelling reason to pursue self-employment.
One of the main reasons why more entrepreneurs report higher professional satisfaction may be because being your own boss provides greater flexibility to balance work and personal needs. That balance is essential to overall happiness and well-being. Although any new business will require a substantial investment of time at startup, young entrepreneurs should keep in mind the need to nurture their personal lives as well.
Just as your business plan spells out the goals for your business and how you will achieve them, you can create a life plan that outlines what you desire from your personal life and details the steps you will take to achieve your personal objectives.
Self-employment offers many advantages, including the independence of being your own boss. With the right technology and support, recent college graduates can launch their own businesses and begin their entrepreneurial adventures.