If you’ve already thought about the reasons you shouldn’t start a business, and haven’t been deterred, you’re probably mentally ready to take the plunge. But here are a few things to consider before going full-time as a small business owner.
1. Get Your Finances Straight
You know you need money to start a business, but have you calculated how much you’ll need? Ideally, you’ll have enough saved to pay for your first a year of expenses, which include:
- Startup costs (equipment, rental, utilities)
- Overhead (salaries, office rent)
- Your salary
If you have a healthy bank account and can afford all of these, kudos to you. Otherwise, you’ll need to look at other financing options, like taking out a small business loan or finding investors. If you’re ready to start your business, but don’t have the capital, consider continuing to work at your day job while you slowly grow your business until you can quit to run it full time.
2. Identify Your Product or Services
To be an entrepreneur, you need to have passion for what you want to sell. That could be pools, or software, or consulting services. Whatever it is, be prepared to love it for the foreseeable future. And find a niche. The more you can differentiate yourself from your competition, the more likely you are to succeed. Ask yourself:
- What makes my product better than the others?
- What needs are not being addressed by my competitors?
- How can I market this in a unique way?
3. Hire Smart People
Realistically, you may not be ready to hire employees for a while if you’re just starting out, but have it in your head from the start that you will hire smart people as soon as you can afford to, and you will delegate to them. You will inevitably try to do everything yourself to save money, but trust me: you’re better off having people more competent than you handling the tasks you’re not great at.
4. Learn. Every Single Day
The great thing about the Internet is that it gives you instant access to knowledge. With blogs, webinars and social media, you’ll never be able to complain that you didn’t know about an industry trend or new tool that could grow your business. But it’s up to you to dedicate time each day to learning. Attend industry conferences. Subscribe to blogs. Read. Watch videos. Learn.
5. Know that It’s a Long Road
If you want to start a business because you dream of wealth and lazy days by the pool, you’re in for a rude awakening. Entrepreneurship is about caring enough about something to take the time – often years – to see it culminate into your dream. It can’t be about the money, at least not initially. Running a business has to be about passion and dedication. The money will come later.
Photo: Stock.xchng user ambrosjo. Royalty free.