Starting your own business can be exciting, but it can also be very scary. The number of great possibilities already pile up your head, but you cannot exclude the unknown possibilities from entering your mind. That’s why we’ve summarized these points for all the newbies out there. These are the things you must know before you carry on with your great idea.
Research and evaluate
What kind of business are you starting? There are a lot of business ideas which you can use. Whichever you choose, make sure that you do the research and math. Research about the following:
- availability of market in the area you are planning to start your business
- costs of starting the business
- competitors in the industry
- feasibility and profitability
- fresh concepts and ideas for the kind of business you have chosen
If the kind of business you are creating is already existing and many others have been in the industry, then evaluate whether you can compete with them. Make sure to always offer something better or cheaper. If not, offer something new. If you cannot do these things, then you might want to research other business ideas which you can build.
Choose something you like
Money is a factor in building a business, yes. The business is feasible and profitable, yes. However, do you like your own business? It is always a good idea to choose a business which you like running and doing. Take note that you will have to invest not only your money but also your time and energy in the business.
During the first 2 years, you might have to sacrifice most of your personal time in order to bring your business in the direction you want to go. In the first 5 years, you might be earning minimal profits. And by the time you will be earning as you have foreseen, always remember that you will still be running the business for the next number of years. And you will still be investing your time and energy to it. Thus, it is always best to choose something you like in order to avoid burnout and, sometimes, quitting. Yes. Quitting.
Why are you building your own business? What are your reasons in choosing the kind of business or what are your reasons in building one, in the first place? These reasons will help you during the start and on the course of your business. Remember, having your own business is not easy. It is challenging. It is fulfilling, but sometimes you would want to quit more than you want to continue. Knowing the reason or reasons why you built it in the first place would avoid you from giving up instantly.
It is always better to have a mission statement or a vision. These things will guide you on what you want to achieve for your business. When things are not that good (yes, there will be those moments), you can always go back to your mission and vision.
Get a coach
Being a freshman in the industry, you would want to have someone to guide you. Get a coach and a mentor. The business coach will not only guide you on the things you need to do or accomplish, he will also keep you on track. Business coaches are there to guide and help you reach your goals. Although you might be investing some for his mentoring and guidance, it always pays to have a professional to help you. Aside from guiding you in your tasks, a personal coach can also inspire you to never quit on what you have started and continue to soar through.
Remember, business coaches want to help you. Your success is their success. They will do their absolute best to help you reach your aim and successfully build and run your own business.
Being a businessman doesn’t mean you would have to keep your ideas to yourself because you wouldn’t want others to take hold of it. If you want to succeed in the business industry, you must learn how to network with other businessmen and collaborate ideas with them.
Connect with the ones who have been successful in their craft and ask for tips and strategies. Know what made them succeed. Also ask those who are not successful in their previous or current businesses. Learn from them and the things that hindered them from running their respective businesses successfully.
Create personal connections with fellow entrepreneurs. They can also help you brainstorm on ideas. You can even collaborate with them and create ideas which will both benefit your business and the other’s business. Network and collaboration can get you a long long way.
Consult a lawyer and accountant
It is always better to be preventive rather than deal with legal matters when you are already in trouble. Upon starting your business, always consult your lawyer on the legal matters and possible issues that would be encountered. Make sure that you avoid the issues, especially on trademarks, copyrights and legal use of business names. Consulting your lawyer will help you secure all the necessary documents required in starting your business – including permits and authority. With all these legalities settled, you are sure comfortable focusing on other matters such as how to market your business rather than how to avoid legal issues. You might want to keep in touch with your lawyer if ever you have legal questions and matters at hand.
Bringing in an accountant will help you, especially in managing your finances, including your costs and expenses. The accountant can also help you in tax filing and can teach you the proper way of filing and paying for your taxes. Having someone to guide and help you with these things would avoid you from facing legal issues on taxes and other matters.
Do not quit your job immediately
Many people will tell you that if you don’t give your 100% on the business, the business is doomed to fail. And that means, you have to quit your job and concentrate on building your own business. But that is not the case, necessarily. You can always give your 100% without quitting your job. Giving your 100% means that you are willing to invest your time and effort in starting and running your business, outside your job. Remember that not everyone is lucky enough to have all the finances available. You might want to keep your day job to keep your finances rolling while you go and build your business.
Having your own business entails expenses. These expenses requires cash outflow. Where are you going to get the cash if you already quit your job? Yes, you might have loaned. But the loan money is for your business, and not for your personal expenses. Your personal expenses wouldn’t stop when you start a business. They continue, and you can finance these expenses from the money you are earning from your job, while your business is just yet starting.
However, you can always quit your job when you already have enough money to finance your needs and also your company. Quit your job when you are ready and the business is ready – meaning earning and stable.
Secure a credit line
As mentioned earlier, not everyone is lucky enough to have ready funds for building a business. Secure a credit line. Work on your credit score and be able to have a good credit line with a bank, just in case you need more funds.
Have a buffer
Being optimistic is very important as entrepreneurs. You don’t want to dwell on negativity and thoughts of failure. But let’s face it. You don’t have to dwell on thoughts of failure, but you have to consider that there is always a possibility that your business would not succeed as planned. Prepare a buffer. Nothing will encourage you more to invest your finances, time and energy on something, than knowing that you have a buffer when all else doesn’t work out. Thus, have an exit strategy. It is always appeasing to know that all your efforts on building your business will never go to waste because you can always sell your inventory or your capital to someone or to a company (as an example).
Family is important
You might have to invest more time in your business. But never forget that family is important. Do not make your business as an excuse to not attending to your family’s needs. Your family can be your strength and source of inspiration in the things you are doing. At the end of the day, you will always go home to them. There. Enough said.