If you intend to start your own business, then you should read this and every other writeup you can find about become self-employed. Being a business owner, either as your main occupation or as a side gig, isn’t as simple as it sounds. You need sufficient knowledge to run a successful business.
But that’s not to say owning a business is exceptionally difficult. There are perks to owning your own business as well. The mere fact that most of the richest people in the world own their business, is one of the reasons that many people dream of setting up a company too. As good as this sounds, there are some frank and hard truths you must know before you even venture into business.
It is important to be aware of the following:
- A business may not start making profits initially: Building a thriving business takes time. Hence, patience and consistency are a major requirement.
- It might not work out: Many people fail at their first business idea. It isn’t a rule, but it is a possibility you will have to live with. You will need to keep being creative and come up with new business ideas even if previous ones failed to float.
- Owning a business may not give you free time: Some people erroneously believe that owning a business means you will have all the time in the world to do whatever you want. The truth is that successful business people rarely get enough free time for anything.
- Funding will always be a challenge: You will need to be creative about ways to safely raise funds for your business.
Your business doesn’t have to be the best right from the onset. Small businesses contribute to the growth and development of the economy and provide employment opportunity. Hence, there is no problem with starting small, as long as you intend to subsequently grow bigger.
Tips for starting a business
A lot goes into starting a business. However, one of the most important determinants will be your willingness to learn, unlearn and relearn a lot of things. We live in a rapidly changing world and to survive as a new business, knowledge is required to keep up. To start a business that will be sustainable, here are a few things you should do:
- Self-evaluation: To start a business, self- evaluation is important. Ask yourself the following: Why do you want to start the business? What you want to deal in? Is it selling goods or rendering of services? You also need to decide if the business is a full-time job or part time. When evaluating yourself, you get to know your strengths and weaknesses, and it will help you decide the kind of business to run, either a sole-proprietorship or a partnership. To start a business with success in mind, desire is not enough, you need patience and doggedness to overcome big and small challenges, because they will come.
- Do your research: After your self-evaluation to help you to decide on what you want to do, it is useful you do your research, get to know your industry and what market is available for your product or services. This stage might also require you to get trained to acquire knowledge about your industry. You can also get knowledge from the internet, books and by attending workshops presented by people that have been involved in the business.
- See a consultant: A business consultant helps you test your ideas to determine its potency. They offer consultancy services to people with ideas wanting to start their business. Most people do not see the importance of consulting with an expert, but you will want to start your business avoiding unnecessary mistakes. They not only listen to your ideas to know if it will work, but some consultants will also help you with tips on starting and running your business. They may also help you write a plan which serves as a blueprint for your business. Starting a business, you need all the support you can get, and a business consultant is willing to do that and more.
- Register your business: Knowing what you want, doing your research and seeing a consultant should have equipped you with all you need to get started. One of the first things you need to do when starting your business is to get it registered. By law, your business hasn’t started until it is registered. Do your research about the requirements for registering a business in your area.
- Start your business: Now you can follow the business plan to start your business. Your plan for funding can be the starting point, especially if you need investors for your business. You can also start putting structures into place, rent a building if there is a need to (most online businesses don’t need an office space at the start). You may also need to employ people. However, keep the number to the barest minimum. You should only hire people whose services you will need. You may hire more employees as the business expands.
- Build a solid structure: It is very important that after starting your business you focus on building effective structures. Owning your own business gives you the opportunity to be creative. After starting your business, it is not a time to relax, but a time to put structures into place. This involves deciding on the value of your business, funding plans, payment plans for employees and lots more. Your business also requires branding, and this will determine what it will be known for.
At the end of the day, not everyone will start their business. However, if you intend to take the leap and start, the tips above will come in handy in getting you established on your journey to becoming a successful business owner.