Most of us have toyed with the idea of starting our own business at some time in our working lives. It may have been after an especially frustrating conversation with our boss or after peering at our wage slip and feeling a bit disappointed.
The options for starting your own enterprise are vast. However, if you are going to make a success of it, there are five things that you must get right from the start.
Be realistic about what you can and cannot do
Make a list of the skills and experience that you can bring to your new venture. This is important because you will have to buy in what you cannot do yourself and that costs money! Think about the type of business that you want to launch. Do you have the time and resources to make a success of it? Entrepreneurs need to be very resilient and develop a tough skin. Can you do that? Do you have a nest egg put to one side or a good job that will see you through the rocky early days when money may be in short supply?
Develop a fantastic idea
If your business is going to be successful you must be able to deliver a service or product that is different to or better than everybody else’s. If you don’t have an idea that you totally believe in then it is unlikely that anyone else will buy into it either.
Research is essential. Think about what problems people face and how you can help them to solve those problems.
Remember you need to make money
It is easy to get carried away with the process of starting a business and forget that the whole reason for doing it was to make some money. As a bare minimum, you must be sending an invoice with Square through https://squareup.com/invoices and get some money in.
Keep an eye on your profit margins at all time. If you cannot see how something will clearly make you money, don’t do it!
Write a business plan
Everyone groans at the thought of doing this but it will be the most useful document that you have. If you ever want to apply for a business loan or attract a potential investor, you will need one! As a minimum, it must have a company summary, an executive summary, details of your service or product, a good description of your target market and financial projections.
You can get plenty of guidance online on how to prepare an impressive business plan. Find out if there is any free business support in your area.
Prepare to be flexible
Businesses must move with the times. The most successful businesses are flexible and move quickly to exploit changing markets. If you learn as you go along you will soon identify new areas that you can move into and products that you can develop. All you have to do is keep an eye on your niche.