Everyone has a few good ideas for a business before they actually start one but do they really think about it clearly?
I was wondering how many people really prepare the other day and how many actually think about what they are letting themselves in for. Entrepreneurship at times of financial crisis actually seems to blossom and that is because for many of us it is the only time when getting a new job seems fraught with difficulty or impossible.
It may be that we are made redundant and now is the best time to take that leap of faith and do what we really want to; it may be that our work is turning into a nightmare because of pressure and so we want to jump ship before it sinks with us on it; it might just be that we are tired of being unemployed and want to really put our talents to work.
So here are a few things to consider.
1. Is this something that you are passionate about? The great Steve Jobs talks about his passion becoming his job and how he found this so rewarding in his Stanford address which everyone ought to see at least once. He describes pursuing dreams and seeing opportunity in adversity here is the link.
2. Will you need start up capital? How will you survive financially and have you done some outline plans to ensure you have some money to actually live on whilst your business is set up. Are there any things you need capital for such as equipment, infrastructure?
3. Who are your main competitors and why are you any better? Understanding how you will win customers and what your unique selling point will be is key to actually winning business.
4. How will you get customers? It seems rather silly but recently someone contacted a friend of mine by email from a new business she had set up using data from her old organisation. This is a complete no no and falls foul of the data protection act. Getting clients is key to making your business profitable and you need to consider whether you will need marketing or how you will market yourself, network and find clients.
5. Do you need an office? It seems silly but I ran one business which would have been profitable much sooner if we had dispensed with an office and run it out of hotel lobbies (great meeting places) and home.
6. Will I need an accountant? It may seem silly but I have often thought about sorting my spreadsheets and expenses after I got on with the job in hand and then spent fruitless hours sorting out my cash flow projections and expense claims.
7. What insurance do I need? Have a look at this previous blog and see what I mean about taking risks when you start a business.
8. Ensure you have a support system in place. Sounds self explanatory but running your own business can be a lonely place so look for networks and see this previous blog for ideas on the kinds of support which CBPartners offer free.
9. Try to keep learning. Again it sounds simple but if you are paying for education make sure you learn what you need to and broaden your skill set. You can keep costs down by doing more yourself.
10. Lastly enjoy the experience of being your own boss. I suspect you will never work harder in your life but actually you will also gain the most, learn the most and follow your dreams and how many of us can say we do that every day?
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