Starting your own business may be a dream that you have long pursued. However, if you immigrated to the United States and are trying to open a business, there are some challenges and processes you need to be prepared for that might slow you down initially. The good news is that there are many opportunities for immigrants. With a little preparatory work, you can be ready to achieve your dreams.
Steps for Starting a Business
It can be easier than you think to start a new business. The majority of the process is starting your operations and marketing. The following are some of the steps you need to keep in mind.
- Get It Registered: One of the first steps is selecting the right business entity type. Retired attorney Dana Shultz explains that in many cases, the best answer is a limited liability company that you can register with your state. The rules are a little different depending on where you live, so make sure you check the local process. Getting registered will help to protect both your business and your personal assets.
- Create a Business Plan: You should also write a business plan. This can be a valuable tool for raising funds. It will also serve as a guide and control for your company. Writing the plan is a good exercise in strategic planning.
- Raise Capital: Every business needs money to operate. Raising capital can help you to ensure that you have the runway you need to get your business in the black. Getting a small business loan is one great option. Alternatively, you could seek out an investor to partner with you and provide seed funding.
- Start Operations: When you have your business registered, a plan written and capital in the bank, it is time to start operating. The sooner you are operating and earning money the better. It is a good idea to calculate your break-even point and work quickly to reach it.
Challenges Faced by Immigrant Entrepreneurs
Running a small business can be a great way to establish your life in your new country. However, it isn’t without stumbling blocks.
The following are a few unique challenges faced by immigrant entrepreneurs:
Visas Can Be Difficult To Obtain: As Ashoori Law explains, the United States government does not always make getting a visa easy. The process can be confusing, challenging and uncertain. Plus, the rules are different for every country of origin. Connecting with an immigration lawyer is often the best bet.
Cultural Barriers: Some entrepreneurs have difficulty adjusting to the cultural norms of the U.S. This can sometimes make it harder to strike deals and earn customers. Connecting with a mentor, either from the business or private sector, can help. Consider reaching out to other business owners or immigrants that have already traveled a similar path.
It can also be helpful to enroll in classes for business owners and to connect with the local chamber of commerce. A resource for answering questions and a sounding board for ideas can help overcome any number of hurdles while you’re learning and growing.
Long-Distance Family Relationships: Many immigrants have family in their countries of origin. Visiting can be financially challenging when loved ones are as far away as places like Makati, Philippines, so many people keep in touch in other ways.
Technology offers several free communication options, such as texting, calling and video chatting. And there are other opportunities, such as sending a balikbayan box, which is made more affordable by using a search tool to find low-cost courier companies. Similarly, it’s common to send funds home to support family. Fortunately there are money transfer services that allow you to compare affordability and speed so you can rest assured each penny you earn is well-spent. And should an opportunity arise for travel, websites like TripAdvisor allow you to find the best accommodations for your flight, hotel and vehicle.
Learn More About Being an Entrepreneur
Are you ready to follow your dreams and start a new business? Follow in the footsteps of inspiring entrepreneurs and begin your journey today. With the above information in mind, you will be in a good position to find success. Don’t forget to take advantage of all the resources available to you.
Startups is dedicated to providing information and ideas to entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey. Connect today for news and opportunities from home and abroad.