Starting your own business is one of the most exciting and terrifying things you can possibly do. You’re striking out entirely on your own, shedding the confines of traditional employment structures and knuckling down to start changing the world. That’s never going to feel anything less than exhilarating, but there are plenty of pitfalls you need to be careful to avoid.
If starting your own business was easy, then everyone would do it, and everyone would be the sort of person who could embark on that venture. The truth is that not everyone is cut out for this type of work. If that’s you, you could save valuable time and energy by not trying to start your own business if you don’t feel confident it’ll succeed down the line. Here are 5 things you should consider before starting your own business.
Your personal finances
Are your personal finances in order? Do you feel like you could weather a few uncomfortable storms? Starting your own business can be a very rocky time indeed, especially during the first few uncertain months when you’re trying to drum up custom with very little to your name. As such, you should ensure your personal finances are in order before you even begin planning. If your business hits the rocks and you’re struggling for money, you need to know that you can survive for long enough to implement strategies and get back on track. If you do examine the state of your finances and you find you’re not too confident in your fiscal stability, don’t worry. That doesn’t need to be the end of your dream. There are plenty of companies who will help you to get a secure, affordable loan so you can get on with the business of starting, well, a business. Don’t let your personal finances get in the way of your dream.
Before starting a business, it pays to figure out whether you’re the kind of person who can set tasks for yourself and complete them. You are the architect of your business, and so you’re the only person who’s answerable for it. You may have staff, but even they will look to you for guidance and direction. Ask yourself a very simple question: am I self-motivated? Am I the kind of person who can easily delegate tasks and keep on top of things without letting avalanches of to-do lists bog me down? If so, then you’re definitely on track to start your business. Self-motivation and a drive to succeed are two of the most important factors in a small business owner. Before you embark on your business venture, make sure you’re in the right mindset, and that you won’t simply give up when everything gets too much.
This could be the cornerstone of your business. Is your idea actually going to succeed? Do you have the right market research behind you? Have you pinpointed a demographic and constructed marketing campaigns around selling your product to those people? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you need to pack up your business idea right now and go back to the drawing board. Although many businesses have succeeded in selling ideas that aren’t particularly original (there’s nothing new under the sun, after all), no business has ever succeeded long-term in selling an idea that doesn’t work. Don’t set up business structures without absolute confidence that the idea you have for your company is a good one, and – most importantly of all – that you personally believe in it.
This is linked to your ability to self-motivate, but they could be two distinct entities. Are you the right kind of person to start a small business? In order to be a business owner, you’ll need to exhibit a number of personality traits. You need to be willing to take criticism on board without letting it personally offend you. You need to be optimistic in the face of potential disaster. You need to be confident, but not arrogant, and you can’t let your ego dictate the direction of your business. You need to be proud enough to believe in your idea and sell it to non-believers, but you need to be humble enough to accept when something hasn’t worked. These are just some of the personality traits small business owners need, so ask yourself if you think these characteristics honestly describe you.
Your brand identity
Do you have a solid brand identity worked out for your business? You could have the greatest idea in the world, but without a clear image and way to sell the product your idea will fall flat. Before you start your business, ensure that you know not only what your idea is but also how you’re going to present it to the world. Your market research will help you no end in determining this. What does your chosen demographic like in a business? What don’t they like? What do they respond to best in terms of branding and advertising decisions? All of these things will help you construct a lasting brand identity that stays in people’s heads and makes you the go-to option for anyone looking for your product.