Over the past several years many of us have decided to try our hands at starting our own businesses. There are many benefits for those who choose this path including being in control of when they work and what they do. There is a freedom that someone finds when they work for themselves that they can not get in other more traditional 9 to 5 work environments. Taking a chance on starting your own business should never be done before really thinking through all aspects of owning a business.
If you are thinking about starting a business here are a few things that you should think about.
If you want to start your own business the first step is to explore what you have to offer others. You can start a business that provides tangible goods like gadgets, antique furniture, or art or intangible goods like physical or virtual services. Everyone has something they are great at making or doing which can be turned into a business but in the end it all comes down to what you can share with others that has a monetary value for them. Think about how you can add value to others or provide something in a quicker or better way. Also think about what scale might work for you. In general when you are starting out with your first business it is useful to start small but have an idea that can scale up. If you are struggling to create a business plan consider asking a small business owner you know for a cup of tea and a chat to ask for advice. Such individuals will be able to help you avoid common pitfalls.
The next step is to think about the start up costs of your business. These costs will vary dramatically depending what type of business you are starting. For example if you are starting a brick and mortar store you will have to think in terms of rent, stock, employees, insurance etc. If on the other hand you are providing a virtual service you will think about costs such as website hosting, computer programs, your computer or web camera etc. No matter what type of business you are developing there will be costs and it is important to understand these costs so you won’t find yourself part of the way through and have to give up your dream because you ran out of liquid assets. Often when a business fails to get off the ground it is because the owner did not think through all the costs they would have.
Finally think about how you are going to finance all your start up costs, and handle your debts. Think in terms of the money you already have access to such savings. Think in terms of money you might be able to raise from friends or family. Think in terms of the possibilities of taking out a loan from a bank to pay your start up costs. In addition you will have to think about issues such as taxes and formally filing your business with the IRS. When thinking about pathways to such money it is important to understand how long it is likely to take before you start turning a profit.Many of us dream of saying goodbye to our jobs and begin working for ourselves. This dream can be brought to life if we put in the effort to think about what value we can give others, what our start up costs are likely to be, and where we might be able to secure funding for our business. Starting a business will never be easy but the effort is well worth it for the freedom we can gain from the experience.