How to Start a Business
Running your own small business can be one of the most rewarding and exciting things that you can undertake in your career. One of the greatest benefits of small business is that it gives you the option to work out your own balance of business and lifestyle. Your hours are your own and you can use them to your greatest benefit. At times you will be called upon to ‘dig deep’ and make sacrifices but there will also be time to enjoy your business and living your life.
But first there are a few decisions you will need to make.
- Are you ready to take the plunge?
- What kind of business do you want to undertake?
- How are you going to proceed?
Here are some steps that can help you on your way.
Know your own Strengths and Weaknesses
Choosing the right business can be confusing so a skills audit on yourself is a great starting point. Be honest, don’t undersell yourself and include everything you can think of. Make sure your list includes things like:
- Your education and qualifications
- Your work skills
- Your hobbies and interests
- What you are passionate about
Understanding the skills you already have and what you need to improve on will help you choose the right business. Remember that opportunities will always be available to assist you develop further skills along the way.
Follow your Passion
When you are making or selling a product or service that you love, your chances of making a sale are much greater if you believe in it yourself. Your passion and knowledge are instantly recognised by new and existing customers and your business has a better chance of carrying you forward for the long term.
New businesses require a lot of time and commitment in the early stages so if you are doing something that you really love it will make the whole process a lot easier.
Be Real About your Business Choice
Think seriously about your business idea, why you think you will be good at it and what makes it a good idea in the first place.
Ensure there is a place for it in the market. If it’s a new concept, who is going to buy your products or services and why? If there are other businesses offering the same thing will the competition be too great for you or do you have an angle that hasn’t been covered before?
Make sure that you know your product or service inside out and research as many similar businesses as you can. The internet is a great place to start. People love to write about things they are interested in and there are many sites and blogs that can tell you what others are doing and saying. This can help you understand and develop a successful niche business.
Check Out the Competition
Spend time checking out similar businesses in your local area. Be honest with yourself and make sure you know if someone else is already working in your chosen field. This doesn’t mean that you should be scared off though. It may be a good indication of a stable or a growing need within the community. Learn from them and understand what makes your business idea different or better, or whether you need to rethink your choices.
Stay on top of new information that could help you stand out from your competitors. Remember that making things bright and glossy attracts new customers but substance is the reason they stay. Ensure that what you offer is the best in the market and it is keeping up with new technology and trends.
Make a Balanced Work versus Life Plan
Being passionate about your small business ensures that you will enjoy the work you do but make sure the commitment required of you isn’t more that you can comfortably give. All new businesses require a lot of time and energy in the beginning but one of the main reasons for going into business is to have the option of balancing work and lifestyle.
Also ensure that the business you are going into suits your personality type and the kind of life you lead. If you enjoy people and being out in the community a retail operation may be just what you need. If you are a bit of a loner, you might prefer to do something that allows you to work from home.
Once you are comfortable with the business you have chosen and you are feeling secure in the knowledge that it is a workable option, you can start taking the first steps towards making your dream a reality.
Remember – there are other people running businesses successfully all over Australia.
YOU CAN TOO!!