Starting a business can be exciting and liberating, casting off the shackles of having to justify your holiday days off and finally becoming your own boss; however, starting your own business is scary too. There are 101 things to think about (and do) before starting your own business, 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?
1. Do you know yourself?
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.
2. Do you have a soild business plan?
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 in place before starting.
3. Have you done your research?
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.
4. Have you asked? Asked? Asked?
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.
5. Do you know your knowledge 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 would never find me doing my own business accounts. I suck at accountancy! Learn what you are not good at and save yourself a headache. You will have to be brutally honest but if you don’t plug in those gaps that could be your undoing.
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?