If you are frustrated with your day job, you have probably considered going it alone and launching your own business. The appeal of doing things on your terms, and only needing to answer to yourself certainly makes it an attractive prospect. So it is easy to see why for many people, being a business owner is a dream that they would love to turn into a reality.
Many would-be business owners never take the plunge and set up on their own as they are cautious about walking away from a steady job. Feeling apprehensive about launching a business is entirely understandable, as no business venture is entirely risk-free. However, there are lower-risk ways to start a small business and take your first steps towards self-employment.
Planning is an essential part of running a successful business and is necessary to foresee any potential problems that may arise further down the line.
Writing a robust business plan is the first step towards making your business dreams a reality.
Writing a business plan is essential for many reasons. A business plan will help you to clarify exactly what you want from your business, and precisely what it will offer. Your business plan will also help you drill down into the exact details you need to start your company. This includes things such as equipment and stock, and how much all of this will cost.
You should never start a business without first conducting lots of research into the current market. Knowing who your competitors are and how your business will stack up against them is crucial. Start thinking about how you will differentiate your offering from theirs (your USP).
A carefully written, comprehensive business plan, combined with some in-depth market research is critical. These should enable you to have a firm idea of the direction your business will take, and precisely what will be involved in setting it up.
Don’t Be All or Nothing
One of the reasons that many new small businesses struggle to stay afloat is because an all or nothing approach has been taken in setting them up. Excited by their new business venture, the business owner may have taken out large loans to cover the costs of expensive state of the art equipment. They may have packed their secure, employed job in many months before the new business was even ready to launch. Getting in too deep too quickly can make your life as a business owner much more stressful, and puts you in a vulnerable position.
Being too cautious can bring its problems, but staking everything on your new business, is sure to bring more issues your way.
Taking smaller steps can help to minimise the risk involved and will leave you less vulnerable to any setbacks you may encounter.
You may want to start your business up as a side hustle alongside your regular job before launching yourself into being a full-time entrepreneur. Working your business as a side hustle to start with means that you will still be receiving a steady income. You can then test out your business idea, and see how it works with minimum risk. This allows you to refine and perfect your business before committing to it as your primary source of income.
As your plans for running a business start to come together, you may be tempted to commit yourself to large business premises to showcase your new venture. Think carefully before you commit yourself to anything, especially if it is a long term agreement. If you can, you may want to run the business from home for a little while, especially while you are still getting established. Another great option is to choose a portable office to work in such as those from foxtransportables.com.au this way you will have impressive business premises, that offers the flexibility of being portable. Therefore, you can potentially move the building to the most convenient location for your business, once you have figured out where that is.
This flexible approach can also be applied to your staffing. You may reach a point where you cannot handle the amount of work that is coming into you. This is a fantastic position to be in, but of course, employing staff is a big commitment. When you make a move from being a sole-trader to an employer, there are many things to consider, such as holiday pay, sick leave, pension contributions, benefits packages, and more. Navigating your way through the extra admin involved in being an employer, and the expense involved is enough to put some small business owners off recruiting additional staff. An alternative solution that may work for you is to outsource some of your work to a virtual assistant. Many business owners choose to outsource the most time-consuming jobs to a virtual assistant, for example, data entry or monitoring your email account. Doing this will free up your time to focus on tackling all of the work that is coming in.
Taking a flexible approach can help to reduce some of the potentially largest financial costs of running your business. A flexible approach also means that you can be more responsive to the market and adapt your business as necessary to meet demand.
Just as writing a business plan is crucial, so is checking your progress regularly. Monitoring your business’ development and keeping track of your accounts is vital to reducing the risks involved in running a company. Spotting issues early on means that you can take a proactive approach to resolving them, rather than needing to resort to panic measures at the last minute.
Keeping up to date with what your competitors are doing is essential so that you can ensure that you are not left behind.
Taking a calm and considered approach to running a business will give you the foresight needed to spot opportunities for further success when they arise. It will also help you to cement your business’ reputation as a well-established and reputable company.