There are 101 things to think about (and do) before starting your own business. Before you move onto looking into the realms of choosing a name and logo, you will have to take a cold, hard look at yourself to see if you can hack it! Starting a business is no mean feat, requiring countless hours of hard work, but the benefits of a successful business can be enormous. Fancy the challenge?
The phrase “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is never more apt than when starting a new business. Create a business plan, it will help you gain a firm direction for your business and it could also tell you whether your idea is viable or not. I’m not saying there aren’t successful businesses that didn’t start without a business plan, there are, but for me I would always have one.
Do you like relaxing at the weekend with friends? Going on city breaks when the moment takes you? Excellent…well get ready to give that up! Not forever but while you get started. You will have to work extremely hard; if you can’t hack that, then running your own business isn’t really for you.
Get yourself a business bank account; separate all your business finances and your personal ones. If you are self-funding your business this can easily catch you out. From day one, even in its infancy, keep everything separate. It will make it easier for your accountant, the tax man and you.
Doing a business plan should make you research the market but research as much as you can about everything to do with your new venture; research network groups, website builders, social networks, CRM systems, materials, postage costs, rent, anything and everything that could help or hinder you and your new business.
Fill the Gaps
You know what you are good at. As an example I fall on the creative spectrum, and while I can pivot table my way around excel you will never find me doing my own business accounts. I suck at accountancy! If you do too spare yourself a lot of headache and get your own business accountant; it works the other way too, if creative isn’t your strong point, hire someone to do it for you. Plug in those gaps that could be your undoing.
Ask! Ask! Ask!
Talk to everyone you can! From close friends and family to mentors and colleagues; try to get opinions from peers, other business owners and even competitors. Some great ideas will come out of asking others for advice, maybe some you haven’t even thought of yourself, but make sure the feedback is honest.
It’s all a bit much, right? A lot to do before you even get your idea off the ground, but don’t be disheartened. Keep your dream and vision at the forefront of you mind and always aim for it. If you need motivation just think about asking Mark Zuckerberg if he regrets starting a business. Now what do you think he would say?