Starting your own Business in 2019 – 5 Key Steps:
Believe me there will most certainly be ups and downs, times you will feel on top of the world oozing in confidence and you’ll also be down in the dumps struggling to conjure up any enthusiasm – A roller coaster ride.
Anybody that starts their own business deserves praise in my eyes and those who are successful at their own business and especially those who have gone on to employ others, well I’ll take my hat off to them as I know how hard it can be.
Be prepared: You have to be to a degree physically prepared though mostly I would say mentally prepared. It will be no easy ride, it will require your time, dedication, perseverance, patience and a certain refusal to give up – You will be tested along the way to include having doubters (these may be people you love and know well) including those willing to plot your downfall especially as they see you succeeding.
Can you afford to start your own business also needs to be asked, are you prepared to suffer a period of time that you may not bring in income and most likely have to speculate to accumulate? Are you looking for short term gain (not probably a wise choice generally to start your own business if so) or is a mid term and longer a plan you can take on? Does your lifestyle permit you the time to start and run your own business?
Ask yourself ‘Am I prepared to suffer in order to be successful or will trying to succeed all too easily break me? Am I self motivated enough? Am I prepared to make the necessary sacrifices to potentially include losing some of those that are close to me in order to win at business?‘
Important: Think very seriously if you are contemplating leaving a paid for job in order to start your own business.
What Business should I go for? So you have decided that you want to go in to business for yourself – This is great that you have come this far and though the negatives listed above may sound daunting, if you have good friends and loving family members then there is no reason you can not rely on others to help you along your way. The question now to ask yourself is ‘what line of business do I want to be in?‘.
Sometimes it will be a natural answer to this such as your parents are already running their own business and you want to come on board and other times you are literally sitting there with a pencil and a blank piece of paper struggling for ideas… For sure, if you are not entirely sure of what you want to do and at this stage you are still not conclusive in your mind then you seriously need to take a step back and re-visit the idea again in a few months time. It is important for anyone looking to start their own business to at least have an inkling of what they would like to do or have seen a gap in the market to explore.
Some people will explore a business that interests them, it may have something to do with their skill set, their family past (re-establishing a past business), family assets (ie farming land), hobby or a subject that interests them. There will also be many people in a business that the subject might not be of particular interest though their research says they could become successful within it.
Remember that success does not always mean the same thing to all people. Some people see success purely as financial ie earning lots of money whereas others see the word simply meaning they have achieved a goal such as getting their product on the shelf at a supermarket.
There are also other choices to be made at this stage such as should you go for a franchise or build your business up independently, are you looking to offer a product or service, are you looking to sell to consumers / businesses or both etc. There is also the likes of should you be a sole trader or within a partnership, take on board investors, opt for a business loan and more to think about!
Research time: Once you have a business you wish to pursue you will now need to spend time researching. Now I will state here that I never particularly went in to too much detail with regards to research, yes I would have a quick overview on the size of the market and the potential demand for the service I created, but I did not want to spend too much time digging up negatives that would put me off – That is just my approach. I always started businesses from scratch, they all required little to no start up costs so what worked for me will of course not necessarily work for a new business such as a restaurant / hotel / limousine hire etc that requires an initial big investment and big risk.
Research is of course good and many will say you will be foolish not to thoroughly research your business idea prior to starting. The more money it costs you to set up your business the more you should research from simple online nosing about to paying for data / surveys etc.
In most occasions it will pay to do research before you start your business no matter how fantastic it sounds, though as I’d like to say that sometimes you can do too much research and not get things off the ground or miss the boat as such!
Put together a Business Plan: Part of your business plan will have been obtained from your prior research such as size of market, your likely costs and profits. Ideally you would get together all details to formulate a plan for:
- What is the purpose of your business and who will it serve?
- How will my business serve my customers – Does it solve something, make something better, service something etc.
- What competition will I have and how good / big are they – How will my business compete such as in quality / time / price etc?
- The future for my business ie financial figures for years 1 to 3 or 1 to 5 etc.
There are many business plan packages online you can download to give you a how to do your own solution. Your business plan can be long and in-depth or simply a page or two.
Just to throw a spanner in the works, for each business I have set up I have never had a business plan – I have failed at a few, sold a few and continue to earn money from my others.
Take care of the finer details: Any person who runs their own business will tell you that there is a lot of paperwork to take care of from tax returns to domain name renewals. Many will be online only and some will require physical form filling in and posting by mail – Many of these will cost you a fee also.
There will be special care and attention required when it comes to copyrights, registrations, trademarks, patents and other important legal documents that protect yourself and your business – Hygiene licences, street trading licences and even if you wish to be a scrap metal dealer there will be a licence that you are required to have!
As you start to earn and your business grows you will be liable and responsible to it including protecting your employees.