Having your own business is a major goal for many of us. Being in charge and answering only to yourself sounds reachable and exciting, but it is actually a road filled with hard work, possible disappointment and great risk.
These things are often overlooked when fantasizing about being your own boss. However, the first step towards owning your own business is exactly that: fantasizing. If you have no vision for a future in which you’re the boss or entrepreneur, then starting your own business would be best left in the realm of fantasy.
The inciting idea is very important, but not the only thing to consider. An endeavor of this magnitude is not for everyone. That’s why we want to take a look at the things that need to be considered before making this huge decision. Of course, there are many success stories that seem like fairytales, but the reality is that those instances are very rare. The majority of successful businesses are maybe not newsworthy, but are still personal successes for their respective owners.
Sure, dreaming big is great, but keeping in touch with reality is even more important. What are the mistakes you should avoid and the things you should consider when starting your own business? We will try to answer some of the most important questions right here.
1. Research the market
If you’re thinking about opening your own business, you may already have in mind what your business entails. Either you’re selling a product or offering a service. Regardless of what it is, you need a market for it. Researching doesn’t cost anything if you do it yourself. With the help of the Internet and online surveys, it is possible to have a very informative look at the current market situation.
In the old days, research companies mainly did this kind of research. And, although these still exist, most of the work can be done by yourself from home without spending any of your money.
2. Do you have the necessary finances?
You have to spend money in order to make money. This motto is especially true in the beginning. Starting a business is not cheap. It requires paying for a lot of legal fees, materials (if you’re producing), offices and so on. If you have nothing at all to begin with, the costs may rise to enormous amounts depending on the business you’re starting.
After researching the market, it is very important to do research about the specific field of work you’re going to do. Make a list of all the costs that may occur in the beginning and make sure that these costs don’t exceed the limits of your possibilities. The best way to think about how much you can spend is thinking about your starting capital as something you are able to lose while still being able to stand on your feet. If, for example, your starting capital is $25,000, think about that money as something already lost. Can you live with that loss? This may sound a bit pessimistic, but it is very important as a kind of reality check.
3. Assemble your team
You may start up alone with your initial idea, but it is very important to have employees who know how to do things you simply can’t. For example, you’re starting your business as a shoemaker and want to get started making shoes right away. Before that, you have to register your firm. If you have no expertise with the law, you need to hire a lawyer who will do the paperwork for you. Your business is going to have an income, and thus requires an accountant. The list goes on and on, even if you’re the only one who will actually be making the shoes in your firm.
4. Create a business plan
Before registering your business, you need to have a business plan. This plan will include all of the startup costs as well as a plan for the upcoming year or two. A lawyer or any other kind of legal person can help you figure out what your business plan needs to include in order to have a smooth start.
This is the part where you start spending your money, so you have to be very dedicated when going into this step.
Being the boss means more work
If you think that being the owner of a firm only means collecting the profit and telling your employees to work harder, then you need to reconsider starting up in the first place. Thinking this way about owning a business won’t get you far. As soon as you create your business plan, you’ll immediately have a lot of work on your hands, and you need to know that from here on out, it only gets more convoluted.
Of course, it is very rewarding and satisfying once the business takes off, but until then, you need to have strong nerves and the necessary stamina to endure this kind of pressure. The most important part is to not give up.
Assess your skills as a boss
Before you take into account hiring anyone, you have to hire yourself. This means that you have to be brutally honest with yourself. Are you able to lead a team of people? Do you have the necessary skills to handle rivalry with other business? How good are you in meetings and other social occasions? These are just some of the questions you have to truthfully answer about yourself.
If you don’t have the necessary mental capacity and stamina to handle this kind of work, you may want to reconsider the whole thing. Sometimes, being the boss means taking criticism; sometimes it means dishing out criticism. You need to know how to handle both of these things.
On the other hand, nobody is born a boss or entrepreneur. Everything in life has to be learned, and being a leader and a boss is one of those things as well. If you feel comfortable and have enough confidence in the first steps of starting your firm, then you should definitely keep striving towards becoming more skillful in that role. Don’t give up!