Do you have ambitions to be your own boss? Are you tired of working for others? If so, you may be toying with the idea of setting up on your own. More and more budding entrepreneurs are making the leap and launching startups. While failure rates are high, there are plenty of success stories out there. If you make the right calls, there’s no reason why you can’t establish a profitable business. If you’re thinking of taking the plunge, here are some essential considerations.
When you’re employed, you work to a schedule. Many of us are used to clocking on at 9am and heading home at 5pm. Some people work shifts, and others have more flexible working arrangements. Whatever your situation, you probably have a routine that you’re used to and a set number of hours per week or month. When you set up a business of your own, it’s crucial to understand the potential impact on your time. You may have more flexibility in terms of where and when you work, but creating a new company and building a brand takes a huge amount of time. It’s not as simple as setting up a website and responding to a few emails every day. Business owners, especially those attempting to make a fledgling startup a success, work long hours. The plus side to those long hours is that you work for you! There’s a quote (forgive me for not remembering who said it) that goes “I’d rather work 80 hours a week for myself, then 40 hours a week for someone else.” and I couldn’t agree with that saying more!
Some businesses cost a lot more to get off the ground than others, but even the simplest idea can involve a significant investment. If you don’t have enough money to set up your business, you’ll need to consider funding avenues. How are you going to get hold of the capital you need to start your company? Could you borrow money from friends or family members? Are you interested in getting investors on board? Are you hoping to secure a loan? Once you’ve done some research and made a decision, focus on increasing your chances of success. If you’re looking to borrow money, or to get investors on board, for example, draw up a business plan, rehearse your presentation, and make sure you’re able to answer questions.
Once you’ve got enough money to get started, you’ll need to figure out how you’re going to generate an income and turn over profits. Depending on the type of business you run, and the size and scale of the venture, you may need to cover staff wages, the cost of hiring or buying equipment and technology, and tax bills. If you’re not experienced in accounting, it’s hugely beneficial to hire an accountant to cast an eye over your books. If you miss deadlines or you don’t pay enough in taxes, you may find yourself in a situation where you’re looking for law firms that help people with tax problems. Manage your accounts from day one, seek expert advice, and make sure you understand exactly what you need to do to stay afloat and adhere to financial regulations.
If you watch the TV or you’re a fan of movies, you might assume that hitting the big time is all about having an ingenious idea or being in the right place at the right time. While these factors can play a part in forging a promising trajectory, it takes a lot more than a brainwave and some contacts to establish a successful business. Overnight glory is extremely rare, and most entrepreneurs devote a vast amount of time and effort to establishing a company and then growing and developing it. You might not see any financial rewards or enjoy a day off for months, even years. If you’re not willing or able to commit to months of hard work, going it alone may not be the best option for you. If you’re passionate about an idea, and you have the means to do so, it may be worth exploring options like hiring a manager. If you want to open a salon or a store, for example, but you don’t have the time or the energy to be involved in the day to day running of the business, this could provide a solution.
Life can be stressful enough without signing up to managing teams of people, balancing the books and trying to keep a roof over your head. Creating a new business and getting it to the point where it’s making money and attracting plenty of customers can be incredibly stressful. If you don’t want to risk upsetting the apple cart, it’s a good idea to explore all the options open to you. If you want to work for yourself, for example, but you don’t want the stress of setting up a new business, have you thought about freelancing?
In business, passion goes a long way. Yes, you need business acumen and the ability to make sound judgments, but it also really helps if you love what you do, and you believe in the products or services you’re selling. Whether you’re pitching to buyers or you’re looking to make a sale to a customer, your aim is to persuade that person or group of people that your brand is the best choice. If you’re not passionate about the venture, you’re going to find it very difficult to convince others to take an interest in it. If you really believe that your business idea is brilliant, and you have confidence in yourself and the people around you, your chances of success will be a lot higher.
Are you thinking about starting your own business? For many people, this is the best decision they ever make, but running and managing a company is not always plain sailing. There’s a lot to think about before taking that step, and it’s wise to consider how pursuing this avenue will affect you both in the short and long-term. Have you got the time and the energy to endure long days? Are you passionate about what you want to do? Have you got enough money to get started and stay afloat? Can you cope with stress? Ask yourself these questions before you make a decision.
Photo by Ella Jardim