If you spend your days at work daydreaming of something better, it could be time to start your own business. Common reasons people take this step include frustration of lack of opportunities in the workplace, the need for more money and wanting take control of life. Whatever drives you to launch your own enterprise, there are several things you must do if you want it to be a success.
The statistics for the failure of business start-ups in their first year aren't encouraging. As well as having the core skills for your chosen line of business, you'll need to learn everything from sales and marketing to bookkeeping in the early months. Eventually, you'll be able to hire people to help or outsource many tasks, but you must be prepared to multi-task in the launch phase of your business.
The following things will improve your chances of success and help you to build solid foundations of your enterprise.
1. Develop an entrepreneur mindset
Running a business is very different from being an employee. You must focus on activities that will generate profit, and think about the outcome of everything you do. Entrepreneurs aren't guaranteed a paycheck at the end of every month. You may be busy for the next few weeks, but how are you going to pay the bills next month?
2. Become a sales person
The thought of selling fills many people with fear, but that's often due to a lack of understanding. Selling isn't about being pushy and forcing someone to buy something they don't need. A good sales person listens to people and builds relationships. Ultimately you'll need to close a sale and confirm an order, but the process is one of understanding customer needs and finding ways to fulfil them.
3. Have a vision
Having a clear vision from the start will help you through the inevitable challenges you'll face when starting a business. Do you picture yourself as head of a multi-million dollar business with offices around the world, or do you simply want to work from home and replace your salary doing something you enjoy? A vision should be realistic, but it should also inspire you to get out of bed in the morning.
4. Be ready to make sacrifices
One of your reasons for launching an enterprise may be to spend more time with your family, but in the early months, the opposite may happen. Early mornings and late nights are often the norm for entrepreneurs. To guarantee success when you launch a business you may also have to make financial sacrifices. Family holidays and the luxuries of life may have to be put on hold for a year.
5. Develop technical skills
Modern businesses rely on computers and technology for everything from dealing with orders to managing stock. Many also use the Internet and social media for marketing and keeping in touch with customers. Having some technical skills will improve your efficiency and mean you won't have to pay people to carry out routine tasks you could do yourself.
6. Take professional advice
As a small business owner, you'll need to multi-task in the early days, but there are some things you must leave to the experts. For example, legal advice is important when it comes to supplier contracts, rental agreements and employment. Tax and insurance should also be left to professionals.
7. Enjoy yourself!
Launching an enterprise is hard work, but it should also be something you enjoy. Being in charge of your own destiny brings a sense of freedom and excitement, and you should take pride in what you do and celebrate your success.
Having realistic expectations about the first twelve months of launching a business is essential. If you focus on your end goal and are willing to learn new skills along the way, it should be an exciting journey.