Starting and managing a business takes motivation, desire, talent, research and planning. The purpose of any business that's operated by a Christian should be to glorify God, not just to make a profit.
If you're more concerned with pursuing riches than serving God, you cease to be useful to God. "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth"(Matthew 6:24).
Like a chess game, success in small business requires decisive and correct moves, so develop a plan.
- Get started by listing your reasons for wanting to go into business.
- Determine the type of business that is right for you, based on your talents, skills, time availability, and interests.
- Identify the niche your business would fill.
- Develop a pre-business checklist to answer questions about location, finances, insurance, equipment and supply needs, and legal structure.
- Establish a budget, even if your idea is several years in the future. Be cautious about borrowing to start any new venture.
- Never borrow against your home or retirement account. Don't deplete savings accounts, or cash in IRAs or cash savings bonds to fund new ventures. Debt makes it difficult for a new business to break even. If God wants you to develop this idea, He will provide a way to finance it without having to jeopardize your future.
If you are interested in purchasing an existing business, it's best to have a lot of experience in that business. Carefully examine the records and books. This is very important and would be worth the money an accountant may charge for this service.
Determining the value of a business is very difficult and what a business is actually worth seldom brings that price. In addition to property value (get three fair market appraisals) and the cost of inventory, the business worth should be about four times its net yearly earnings. After deducting your salary, a business should be able to pay itself off in 5 to 7 years. If it can't, it's probably overpriced and not a good buy.
Home based business
Before becoming involved with any home-based venture:
- Get the names of the principals of the business opportunity and the home office of the company.
- Contact the Better Business Bureau in the state where they are located and the attorney general or the state securities office of that state. Ask if any complaints have been filed against the company before you make any decision to become a part of that company.
- God knows your needs and the desires of your heart. Trust Him to show you the business that will fit your talents and needs and will honor His name.
Small business is the backbone of the American economy and is America's largest employer. Starting your own business can be very challenging and rewarding. If you are successful it gives you a chance to take control of your future, achieve a great sense of personal satisfaction, and reap financial rewards.
But remember, in order to be successful in the eyes of the Lord, the business must be established for the purpose of glorifying and honoring Him.