Do You Want To Start A Business?

Starting a business is often seen as a good way to enjoy the freedom of making your own decisions. But how do you begin?

Finding freedom

People are often attracted to work for themselves because it provides an opportunity to be your own boss. But to succeed you need to be clear about what you offer and the demand for such offerings. It is easy to be convinced that what you offer is valuable but more difficult to convince customers. One way to understand the challenge is to talk to other entrepreneurs and customers to get their insights.

Another useful exercise is to ask yourself a number of questions: am I willing to work hard to make the business work? Am I committed to turning the idea into something customers will buy? Am I driven enough to make it work? Am I resilient enough to deal with setbacks? Am I good at setting and achieving goals on a daily basis?

Getting an idea for any new business can come from identifying a gap in the market or creating a whole new market. It can be triggered by something you’ve experienced or a skill you’ve developed over the years. You may not yet know the type of business you want to start. But once you begin to think in this way, ideas will flow until you find the right one.

Write it down

It is also important to write a business plan to detail how the business will operate. This will capture what you need to do and make the venture more practical and real. The plan should include the purpose and vision of the business and its practical objectives and short-term goals. It can be used to raise finance in the early stages and later if you need to attract investment. Practical issues like the business structure, name and location will be decided, as will the need to ensure you don’t underestimate costs or overestimate income in the early stages.

Finding customers is of course vital and the starting point is to understand the market in which you operate. Building a reputation is one way to get yourself known and ensure customers find you. Using personal contacts, building networks and mastering digital and social media provide good and low cost solutions. Developing a web site or web presence is important too but it is equally important to carefully manage its scale and cost. You will need to employ staff and make the right decisions about who to recruit and when. Trying to do everything on your own may not be possible as the demands of running a business are many. One of the most useful skills, therefore, is the ability to prioritise what needs to be done, when and by whom.

So, before starting a business take time to ask a number of searching questions and write a business plan; for therein lie the answers you seek.