Once you’ve thought of that brilliant business idea, it can be a very exciting period in planning the launch of your very own enterprise. You get to be your own boss, choose your own working hours and you’re obviously doing something you love, it’s a dream scenario!
We have a huge amount of respect for those individuals who want to leave their own mark and legacy on the world. It takes a whole lot of courage to leave your full time and stable job to start your own business, with very little experience. Having said that it is important to set the feeling of freedom and euphoria aside for a moment to examine and think about practicalities to take into consideration before going solo. Here we present 5 things to know before starting your very own business.
Take a step back and spend some time assessing and evaluating yourself. Are you able to make tough decisions, negotiate and, most importantly, sell? Never think that you can build your business and customers will automatically come. Set aside a good portion of your budget for marketing activities in order to raise the online profile of your business. If there’s one thing that should sink into your head and permanently engrave itself it is that you are ultimately responsible for your business, no passing the blame, the buck stops at you, regardless of what happens. Essentially, there are certain personality requirements that you should fit into, if you don’t have them, don’t worry, they can be learnt through practice and experience. Consider talking to business owners in your friend and family circle, joining a small business association and having a mentor, all can be very valuable
Know that you own the business 24/7, 365 days
Ask anyone and they’ll tell you it’s obvious. But there’s one thing knowing something and another thing experiencing it. You own the business, thus you have to make some initial sacrifices and others that are permanent. Initial sacrifices include not taking a salary and reinvesting everything back into the business and being unable to take a vacation. Permanent sacrifices are those adaptations you have to make as a business owner such as long and awkward business hours, working weekends and managing staff. It is important to remember that you are not only an employee, but the captain of the ship!
Know your numbers
Arguably the most important aspect. You cannot be running a business on a daily basis without knowing how much you need to sell to break even and what your fixed and variable costs are. Taking a step back you need to know your start-up capital, which is a one-off investment that needs to be made into your business to get it up and running. Many people underestimate this aspect and/or do not perform enough research. This is pivotal, how can you raise funds if you don’t know the quantity to raise? If you’re good at networking, try and wangle some financial advice!
Know your industry and competition
Obviously you cannot guarantee whether your business will be successful, but it is through extensive and thorough research you gauge the likelihood of success and what you’re up against. Research your industry, understand its current landscape and how competitive it is, the chances of success for a new entrant and so forth. Additionally, take a look at your competition and their activities, especially their marketing efforts as it is through marketing that an organisation gets customers to its doorstep. This will help you find a niche (a gap in the market) and means for a competitive advantage.
Know your marketing
You know your products well, you know they’re amazing and that they’re value for price and quality, but this does not mean your customers will know! Invest a large proportion of your time creating a marketing strategy including the broad aspects such as branding and website design as well as a strategy for daily marketing activities. In the present day you have so many resources. Social media is cheap, easy to set up and you can reach a wide, almost worldwide, audience. Blogging is also a great tool to position yourself as an expert in your industry and develop that confidence and trust within your target audience. That reminds us, before you even begin a marketing strategy, ensure you’ve set aside a flexible budget and have identified a target audience. Not having a target audience is like trying to travel to a destination blindfolded and without a map! There is a huge potential to exploit and use marketing to your advantage. To ensure you’re doing the right things in your marketing expeditions, contact us and arrange your free digital marketing consultation where we’ll provide you with expert guidance on embarking in the world of marketing and digital marketing.