So, you want to start your own business. You have had a great idea and now you are itching to put your plans into action. You will know that there is a list of things you need to do to start a business. You will have to open a business bank account. Write a business plan. And, you will need to think of a business name.
But, none of these things will guarantee that you are ready to be an entrepreneur. None of these things will ensure that your business is a success. What you need to do first is to examine your own motives for running a business. You must also check that your business idea is viable.
Here is a list key points you need to consider before you leap headfirst into starting up a business.
1. Understand Your Motivation
The first point to consider is why you want to start your own business. Starting a business is a big step. You will be risking your own money. You will no longer have the security of a regular paycheck. Are you willing to put in the hours that running your own business demands? Make sure that you are going into this with your eyes wide open. Make sure you are starting a business for the right reasons. Running your own business can be very rewarding. But it can also be a very stressful experience.
2. Make Sure That You Have the Skills to Succeed
Spotting a business opportunity is one thing. Having the skills to succeed in that business is quite another. Make sure that you have the skills needed to operate a business in the market sector that you have chosen. Or, complete the relevant training before you start your business. There may be a demand for a roofing business in your town. But, fixing a few loose shingles on your roof at home does not qualify you to be a roofer. In my business, DiversyFund, I was able to leverage my investment experience with a change in regulations to break the barriers between Wall Street and the Main Street investor looking for alternative investment opportunities.
3. Make Sure That You Have the Passion to Succeed
You will need a lot of drive and personal discipline to make a business succeed. You will need to be passionate about success, and you will need to enjoy what you are doing. Running a business takes a lot more determination than getting to work on time. It’s not something that you can go into half-heartedly. I hit the ground running early, and I’m going strong til late at night because I believe in the importance of helping everyday people achieve true wealth through measures that used to only be available to the very wealthy.
4. Make Sure There Is a Demand for Your Product
Your business idea might sound great to you, but have you checked to see what other people think about it? Is there a demand for your product? How much will people be willing to pay for what you are offering? Take your idea to your target market and ask for feedback. Don’t rely on your own enthusiasm and the encouragement of a family and friends alone. You need to be sure that people will buy your product at a price that makes the business profitable.
5. Check Out the Competition
Do your market research before you spend any money on your new business. Find out who your competition will be. Investigate the products that your competition sells. And, find out how much your competitors charge for their products. Competing with established businesses can be tough for a start-up business. So, think about how you will differentiate your offering from the competition.
6. Think about the Logistics of Your Business
Running a business entails much more than selling a product. You will need to make plans for how you will manage the day to day running of your new enterprise. There are lots of questions that you will need answers to. How will you deliver your products, and how much will delivery cost? Will you need to rent office space? Who will raise invoices and do the bookkeeping? Who will answer the phone? Look at every aspect of what your business will entail and cost everything. You don’t want to get any nasty surprises once you have begun trading.
7. Get Advice
Successful entrepreneurs don’t succeed alone. They take advice from experts and they listen to their mentors and peers. Join local business groups. Run your ideas past other people who you know who have their own business. Use an accountant to help you with the financial aspects of your business. Don’t go it alone. There are lots of people out there who have knowledge and experience that you can learn from.
8. Be Open to a Change of Direction
As an entrepreneur, you may start out with one idea and then change course. You might start out with the ambition of opening a physical store, for example. But then, you might discover that an e-commerce business would be more profitable. Don’t get too fixated on your original business idea. Consider other options and other directions that you could take. Don’t be afraid to accept that your original concept wasn’t as sound as you first thought it was.
9. Start Off Small
Start your business on a small scale first. Test out your ideas before you commit too much to the business. Contrary to popular belief, successful entrepreneurs are not irresponsible risk-takers. Yes, you must speculate to accumulate. But you should only take big risks when you are sure that the odds are stacked in your favor.
10. Consider Your Personal Commitments
Set out to win, but have an exit plan if things don’t work out. Make sure that you have the means to take care of your personal needs and your family if your business fails. No one wants to think about their business failing, but you must be realistic. Remember; even the most daring of test pilots have a parachute!
The mechanics of setting up a business are straightforward. Writing a business plan is not beyond the capabilities of most people. Before you get to that stage, though, you must make sure that your business idea is realistic. And you must be certain that you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Then, you can begin the detailed planning of your new future.
Craig Cecilio is the CEO and Founder of DiversyFund, Husband, and Father to three daughters. Craig’s mission is to break down the barriers that keep most Americans from investing like the wealthiest 1%.