The answer of course fluctuates wildly, everything from the sarcastic to the generic and all shades in between. To a certain extent, that vague response is a justifiable tap dance, justifiable in the sense that the question itself is relatively redundant in the sense of business preparation. Very rarely do we see any practical advice given, and in the cases where it is given, rarely do I see the correct response, which is namely, "What is your business background?"
Regardless to the approach you take to the industry, the fundamental and determining factor in answering that question is really a simple matter of understanding business, developing a plan, and working your field. Far too often we see people begin in this industry only to be greatly disappointed with low profitability for the sometimes huge investment in hours spent to trying to make it.
I am not going to dive into the aspects that make up a good adult entertainment web site, for that you need only point your browser to the huge volumes of tips, tricks, and techniques contained in the article archives of this adult resource. Instead I want to focus on the basics of business, any business.
Notwithstanding the nature of the business you are getting into, every business is going to have some common basic principals. Specifically, you should have in your plan an effective outline to deal with Accounting, Analysis, Legal and Finance. I intentionally left out Marketing and Product because they are outside of the scope of this article.
There is no such thing as a free ride, and this business is no exception to that rule of life. Accounting is the basics of business, a component that will, if done correctly, sustain every other part of your business. It's more than just 'we pulled this cash in' and 'we paid that cash out.' Effective accounting practices can predict, regulate and caution the business owner on everything else that they do. It tells you what to pay the taxman, what you can invest and most importantly, what you walk away with as a paycheck. It acts as a gas gauge and should incorporate a quantifiable game plan as defined in your business plan.
The Finance element is an extension of accounting; it derives its limits from your business plan based on a percentage that reality dictates as a result of your accounting. Sometimes finance is an absolute, and based on the product, it can also be an abstract. In the brick and mortar world, finance deals with banks, assets and real property collateral. Finance is the acquisition arm of your business and if you are to maintain any kind of reasonably consistent personal income, it must be a planned resource.
Way too often while trying to cut corners, we overlook what I consider to be the essential element of legal resources. In this day and age, it's becoming more important than it ever has been before in this industry, and frankly my belief is that you are crazy to enter or operate in this business without a sound legal plan. A legal resource plan should be figured in on your baseline business plan. Not unlike financial resources, it should be a finite percentage that is automatically ear marked as part of your operating structure. Best advice is to set a goal to reach, and then move excesses back into your plan once that goal is obtained. If you never have to use it, that is great, but the time to discover if you can do without it is not when you are forced to use it.
Any business plan is a living breathing guideline. It's intent is to provide a road map to success and as such can and should be in a constant state of evolution. Changes to your plan should not be haphazard but rather based on a solid method of analysis of the state of your business. Analytical technique is a very important component, not only in the traditional sense that is applied to marketing and sales, but also in terms of meeting business plan milestones. Effective analysis is what allows your business to grow from an informed perspective and allows your plans to evolve with an eye to risk management. Analytical skills are greatly sought after in the business world and spending a little time to familiarize yourself with these techniques can only benefit and accent your success.
The components of business basics are more involved than this space provides to promote a decent understanding. Any businessperson intent on success should spend the time to look into these concepts from a more proper perspective. Many books and tutorials have been written that run through the essential elements of good business concepts. It doesn't matter if you are just getting started, or if you are already well into the rat race, everyone can benefit from a working knowledge of basic business. There is really is no such thing as too late and the old phrase "Better late than never" has never been more true. It is far too easy for one to say, "Heck, I am doing just fine." The question is, "Could you be doing better?"