The above question might be better phrased as “What don’t you need to know to start a business?” There’s an enormous amount to learn, and you have probably already taken in a lot of it, such as how to write a business plan, seek funding, or do marketing research. However, many people do all these things and still end up closing the doors of their business sooner rather than later. Paying attention to laws and regulations, understanding that you need more than a love of your product or service to succeed and managing your money are all critical.


Almost every industry has regulations and compliance standards that you need to be aware of, or there may be specific regulations within certain departments. From restaurants to retail and offices to construction sites, there are numerous rules that must be followed. These might not always be issues that are obvious, so it’s important to do your research. You might assume that you can start a business out of your home, but are there zoning laws you need to address?

Another might be how a commercial vehicle is defined. What is a commercial vehicle? The answer might seem simple, but there is a narrower definition under the FMCSA. You might not realize that based on the type of work and vehicle, a commercial driver’s license might be necessary. Reviewing a guide on this definition can help you determine whether your vehicles would be considered commercial. A failure to research, understand, and heed regulations can be a symptom of a deeper problem with your planning process in that you have not been detail-oriented enough

Passion Isn’t Enough

Some have the idea that they want to start their own business so that they can do something that they love every day. Unfortunately, a passion for your product or service is not enough to succeed. In fact, it can interfere with success in some cases since it can make you reluctant to tweak your product or service to improve it or broaden its appeal. You still must convince your potential customers that you are solving a problem for them in some way. How you will market yourself and reach those you perceive as your customer base in the first place is also important.

Understanding Finances

Another way that passion for your business can get you in trouble is by causing you to overlook the minutia of money issues. This requires careful planning and careful maintenance. You can’t just hope things work themselves out. Start by using a financial advisor and making sure your business and personal expenses are kept separate, and keep track of everything you spend and everything you bring in. You need to stay on top of this even if you have a bookkeeper or another professional who handles it. Keep an eye on your cash flow. Have money in reserve for times when it runs low, which it probably will. If there’s anything about your taxes or other financial issues that you don’t understand, ask a professional for guidance. Some money spent now can save you a lot in the long run.