Starting your own business? Insight into this life-changing decision
FINVERBUS Translations | DEC. 23, 2014, 3:30 PM
First and foremost, setting up your own business takes courage as you will have to give up the security of a regular employment contract; for business owners, tomorrow holds no guarantees. The first thing you should be aware of is that running a company is no normal job; it is more of a lifestyle. Should you want what most people consider a normal life, where you always work the same hours, with a fixed salary and a paid vacation, you might want to think twice before taking on the challenge of running your own business. If you are ready to take the plunge, here are some tips that will guide you down the right path, a path you hope to continue down the rest of your life.
Setting objectives and planning
Studies show that one of the main reasons a business fails is lack of planning, while accurate planning is often behind success. You need to do a lot of thinking before you actually start anything. This involves determining why you actually want to start a business. You have to ask yourself what you want to sell and to whom, how and where. Why should potential customers buy your products or services? Is there a need for them on the market?
Planning involves studying the market, choosing the location carefully, defining your strategies, doing feasibility studies and creating a competitive edge for your product or service. Focus on your weaknesses as much as on your strengths and define the identity of your company. Be realistic when defining your expectations and evaluating how much capital your start-up needs. You probably won’t have a queue of customers out front the day you open; it could take several years before your business actually starts running smoothly and before you make any profit.
To succeed, you should carefully evaluate whether your plan is realistic. Do you have the necessary resources to implement it and make your vision a reality? Besides the initial capital, this includes the relevant knowledge, business and management expertise in areas such as finance, purchasing, sales and human resources. Running a company requires multiple skills and good organisation; you might need to study and learn to improve in some of these areas to avoid failure. Remember: a well-organised company is effective and productive – both qualities of a successful company.
The right attitude and mindset
It is often the right mindset that makes the difference when it comes to establishing your market position and building your business over the years. This is a long-term commitment where you will face continuous challenges. To withstand the pressure, it is essential to have a firm belief or passion about what you are doing, not to mention mental stamina and good health. As a business owner, you are the leader of your company and ultimately the key to its success. It will be up to you to create a positive working environment and drive the company forward with vision, a strong focus and a positive attitude in order to make this life-changing decision and dream a reality.