Do you dread Monday’s? Or hate working unsociable hours during the weekend or evenings? Maybe your current job doesn’t allow you to see your family as much as you would like. Or perhaps you’re in a position that you feel overqualified for. If you agree with any of these statements, you are not alone. There are thousands of people throughout the world who, for one reason or another, dislike their current job. While you could search for a different position elsewhere, there is another option. Starting your own business and becoming your own boss is easier than ever. All it takes is one fantastic idea, determination, and hard work. Startup companies crop up online almost daily as more and more people worldwide are becoming self-employed. The decision to work for yourself is never an easy one as you often lose the comfort of frequent pay and company benefits. But working for yourself gives you full control and can make you feel more fulfilled all round.
If you’ve had the idea for a business for a long time, now could be the ideal time to bring it to life. Whether you want to sell clothing or hire out your skills, follow this 5-step plan to see if it’s right for you.
Getting inspiration is a critical first step when you are creating your own business. It can provide you with the motivation and drive you need to push your idea forward while also informing you of things you need to avoid. Inspiration can come from many different sources; you just need to seek them out. You can go online and read about new startup Hampton Creek or listen to startup success stories at business events. You might want to connect with local business owners during networking evenings or via social media. The advice and guidance they give you will be invaluable. You can learn from their mistakes, ask them questions about how to get started and talk about how their companies have developed. It can also give you some insight into potential competitors that you may face later on. While it is not essential, it can be beneficial to get inspired by others. It can fill you with ideas while also showing the potential that your own business idea can have. While also showing you the hard work and commitment you need for it to be a success.
Gain some knowledge and experience
Not having any knowledge or experience of a particular industry can be catastrophic for your startup. So it’s essential that you gain as much as you can before you begin your startup. For instance, if you want to start a makeup and beauty business, you could work part-time at a beauty counter or in a salon. Or you could work in a call centre to gain experience for your computer repair business. Even volunteering in a charity shop can give you some insight into the clothing and retail industry. Doing this will show you how a similar business within the sector operates on a day to day basis. You can then learn what it’s strengths and weaknesses are and how to differentiate your business idea from theirs. It can also help you gain a larger and relevant skill set. Alternatively, you may find that the industry is not appealing as you first thought and that you need to change your idea altogether.
Do some market research
If you enjoy your work experience, you now need to start doing some market research. This will inform you whether or not your product or service is something that people need or want. Not doing this before you become your own boss can be a recipe for disaster. The sooner you do your market research, the better. You’ll need to look at your target market and how much they spend each month. You should also consider your possible competitors. No business idea is completely original, and there will be others out there with a similar idea aiming for the same customers as you. Finding out who they are and how you can stand apart is vital. Especially in the initial stages of developing your idea. This research will tell you whether or not it is worth pursuing. While some small businesses can contend with larger brands and stores, it can be difficult to compete.
Determine the costs
Now you have a better idea of your competitors and the market; you need to think about the costs of starting your business. Making a website and creating social media pages can be done cheaply and quickly. Whereas aspects such as buying products, renting a property and creating branding can be expensive. Talk to other business owners and shop around to find the best price for the items and services that are essential to your new business. This should help you get some approximate costs. You may find that you need to base your startup from home to keep costs down. Or you might need to gather funding or continue working full time to raise the money you need. You might also want to talk to a financial advisor for additional help and support.
Write a business plan
Combine all of the research, information and approximations you have gathered and put it into a detailed business plan. This can show you whether or not your business is going to succeed or not. You can see how all the elements, from your product prices to your target market, will work together. Don’t feel too disheartened if your plan doesn’t give you the outcome you desire the first time around. You might need to rethink a few elements to make it more viable and sustainable. It shouldn’t take long to see where your idea might need improvements. You can then take the necessary steps to make it even better.
In business, there is never any guarantee that a business will be successful. But doing substantial planning and preparation beforehand can increase it’s chances ten fold. Use this guide to start off the process and to see what a career working for yourself can be like.