Are you thinking of starting your business? If so, join the millions of people who at one point or the other in their lives have considered whether or not to start a business. The thought of having a successful business, being your boss or doing something you are really passionate about sounds very appealing, right? And these, amongst other reasons are why people leave their jobs and decide to start their own thing. The familiar question is; do I take the leap? And if so, when and how do I take the leap?
One of the greatest challenges for some people in starting a business is the challenge of leaving the security of a paid job. For some it is the issue of choosing the right idea to turn into a successful business. Well, these two challenges can be easily overcome.
First and foremost before venturing into you own business, undertake some research on how viable the business idea(s) is. Are there potential customers? And what is the potential ROI (return on investment)? I’m sure you’d agree with me that it is not very wise to invest your time and money into a business that doesn’t seem viable on paper, or give up your job to start a business based on a whim. However, many people do.
Secondly, an approach to starting a business without giving up your Job is to actually undertake a pilot while still working. And believe me, doing this will require the skill of being able to multitask. To undertake a pilot means doing some test marketing in order to test the market or gauge how responsive people are to your product /service. This will enable you make better decisions on the idea and what to do next. I’ve got to warn you though that this could prove to be hard work juggling a business with your fulltime job, most especially if you have a family to take care of. It requires time management, focus, perseverance and more. These are only some of the requirements you will need both in the short and long run if you want to have your own business. So, as opposed to immediately taking a leap, consider taking long steady strides.
Having looked at your business idea and undertaken some research, you may decide the business idea is viable and you’d like to take that leap into the business world. There are a few basic things that you’d need to do in order to take off. I very much believe in building solid foundations that will allow one to build much taller and weatherproof buildings. And to build a solid foundation you need to get either some business advice or coaching and write a plan.
The word ‘Business Plan’ seems to be such a dreaded word, many people think of it as long-winded and unnecessary. However, I promise you that it is one thing that will need doing either now or later for a more successful business, better now than later I say. Planning and building the concept in your head is not enough, pen it down on paper. The saying goes, “Write the vision and make it plain, that those who is it may run with it” and that includes you, your potential business partner or financiers. Writing the plan takes you through the process of developing and refining your idea, it is also very much needed if you plan on raising capital externally. Please note that it is not enough to just write a business plan for the intention of raising capital, you should also use it as a blueprint for successfully managing your business.
Another challenge often faced in starting a business is Capital. Sometimes, the bigger the idea, the bigger the capital required. Don’t let this hinder you if raising capital seems to be your own challenge. Instead, think out-of-the box in identifying ways to raise the capital required. Look for avenues to cut back on the initial capital required, some ways of cutting back on capital includes; offering trade by batter or buying second-hand instead of new.
The following options are available to you and all except for personal savings will require a sound Business Plan; Personal savings, Friends & Family, Bank loan, Government Initiatives, Private Investors and Venture Capitalists.
Having researched the idea, written a ‘Plan’ and raised the required finance, you are all set to take off. Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained. Take the leap if you feel very strongly about it, but plan and prepare for it.
Please refer to past articles on fundamentals such as ‘Research’, ‘Writing a Business Plan’ and ‘Raising Finance’ that will help you prepare for starting your business.