Starting a business can be a hugely challenging and rewarding at the same time. You’ll be your own boss and the effort you put in will be the determining factor in the success or (hopefully not) failure of your business. That’s really what it comes down to – Are you willing to put the time and effort in that it takes to run a business? Running a business becomes more than just a 9 – 5 job and will require plenty of work after hours.
On the plus side, you’ll be able to enjoy the flexibility that running your own business carries. While the work you put into getting things rolling initially may outweigh the benefits, it’s important to remember that the extra effort will pay off later on a personal level (sense of accomplishment) as well as financially.
If you’ve decided that entrepreneurship is for you, here a few tips to turn help turn the dream of owning your own business into a reality:
1.) Choose the right business. You’re going to be devoting a sizeable chunk of your time to running this business, so it’s a good idea to choose an area that you find interesting. It’s important that you also choose an area that you’re skilled in. For example, if you’re interested in the world of finance but useless at maths, starting a business in this area is probably not a good idea. The added advantage is that if you choose an area of business that you’re both skilled and interested in, it will be that much easier to put extra effort in because you enjoy it.
2.) Decide on a business entity. There are a few to choose from including: sole proprietorships, partnerships and companies (Public or private). It’s definitely worth taking some time making this decision as each option has its own set of rules and regulations including, registration fees and annual tax. In some countries the business entity known as a “close corporation” has been discontinued. The main advantages of forming a CC were cheaper start-up costs and a lower company tax bracket. It is possible to change your business entity (from say private to public) at a later stage but it’s a fairly complicated process, with plenty of paperwork. Best choose wisely then….
3.) Draw up a business plan. Not only will a business plan make it easier to obtain funding, the information gathered while compiling the report will help you establish any potential problem areas. Conversely, you may decide to enter a different industry altogether based on your findings.
A full business plan usually includes eight sections and will outline to investors what your idea is and how you plan to get there. Areas covered include competitor analysis, company description, market analysis, financial analysis and more.
More information on business plans can be found here.
4.) Don’t quit your day job first. Start your business while you’re still employed. It can sometimes be a while before a new business starts to turn any profits. You may have to burn the candle at both ends but the advantage is that you’ll still have money coming in if things move more slowly than you expect.
5.) Start small in the beginning. One of the best things about starting your own business is that you’re able to control how fast it grows. Taking risks is fine, just try and make sure that they’re controlled risks. Try any new ideas you get on a smaller scale first and if they show promise, expand on them.
6.) No matter how small your business is, always be professional. Business cards, phone numbers and email address are a must and will make your business look more credible. When you can, try to go the extra mile for clients and always respond as promptly as possible if an issue arises. Your clients will appreciate it and it will help with referring business.
When it comes to deciding on which industry to enter, many prospective entrepreneurs opt to start their own business in the same field. For example a legal consultant who has built up years of experience working for a cost consulting firm, may decide to leave and start his own company because he has the expertise to do so.
License: Creative Commons image source
This article was written by Stephanie Zecca who is an avid social envagalist and loves the outdoors. She writes on a range of topics but has preference for business and finance related matters. Follow her at @StephanieZecca
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