So, you want to start a business? You and thousands of other entrepreneurs too, and when you do you’ll be part of the economic backbone of your country’s life. Maybe you’re not sure if your idea is really up to scratch, maybe you don’t really know how to go about setting up a business. Is this the right time, you might ask yourself?
Any time is a good time for a start-up. When the economy’s doing well people have money in the pockets, and why shouldn’t they spend some with you? In down times you could have more of a chance of getting noticed and even pick up some equipment at a bargain price. There are always two sides to every coin to don’t be put off.
When you do decide to get going, and you should because many people feel a mite intimidated and never get their business idea off the ground, do your research and do something that you are passionate about. If you’re only really doing something because it’s there but you’re not enthused, the chances are you’ll get bored, take your eye off the ball and the business struggles or goes under.
Enter the light bulb
You’ll have seen it in many cartoons and graphic pictures, the pensive person sitting with an illuminated light bulb over their head. It’s the light bulb moment you want to take advantage of – don’t let it be turned off. You don’t have to have the most original idea in the world, although you could, but many entrepreneurs look at how they could improve something that someone else is doing or if there’s room in the market for another business in a particular category.
Successful businesses thrive on good forward planning. You may have decided what your strengths and weaknesses are, what you like to do in your personal life (writing things down is a good way to get focused) and what you prefer not to do. Then do the same for your working life. What do you really enjoy? Are you an outward facing person who enjoys public speaking and meeting people? Or do you prefer to be more of a powerful engine in the back office?
When you’ve taken that time to really think through what kind of business you want to start it’s time to get down to the serious part of process – your business plan.
Planning for success
It’s easy once you’ve got the bit between the teeth to forge ahead as quickly as you can but hold back whilst you put your business plan together. It begins with research so you explore the market for what you want to do, which’s already in it (if anyone), exactly what those potential competitors are offering and what you can offer that’s different. This research will help set your marketing strategy.
In tandem with the research get to grips with writing your vision for the business, how it fits into the market sector you’re seeking to access and what your business goals are.
At all times you need to be thinking about your financial planning. How much money do you need to start with? Will you need finance and how will you access it? Think of overhead expenses such as utilities, whether or not you need premises, equipment and vehicles. If you’re starting a business from home, as many entrepreneurs do, you can cut some of those overheads considerably to start with. Draw up a budget that will also pay you, and others if involved, and make sure you know about tax laws and annual accounts.
Look at other successful entrepreneurs
You can learn a lot by studying other people’s success. An example of this would be the Greek shipping magnate Vangelis Marinakis who built a small family business into a worldwide operation. Successful entrepreneurs at the height of their powers usually have other interests, and for Marinakis it is as president of Greek soccer team Olympiakos. You’ll also have come across names such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs who also reached the pinnacle of success in the differing computer tech fields.
If you start up a business that is in a sector that you are enthusiastic about then have the confidence to pursue those dreams. You may not get everything right every time because that’s the nature of the beast, but with excellent planning and a good support network there’s no reason why you shouldn’t climb that mountain and put your flag on the top of it.