28 Sep Starting up: Tips to Start Your Own Business
There’s something that just sounds cool about being an entrepreneur. It conjures up visions of making your own hours, answering to no one but yourself, following a passion, and making a great fortune. And technically, all of that can be true if you start your own business. But most people know it’s a long road from an idea on a napkin to world domination (if that’s your kind of thing).
Here are things to consider before you start your own business:
Why bother? That’s not meant to be a dream killer question. But, really, why are you interested in starting your own business? A recent article has stated that there is a new business started every minute in America. That’s a lot of big ideas out there.
But most successful business founders will tell you that your inspiration has to be more than just money. Do you love to bake cakes? Have you been working for someone else’s plumbing company for years and think you could run your own company better? Does everyone tell you that you’re wasting your talent by not becoming an event planner?
Think about what makes the idea of being your own boss so alluring. If you get incredibly excited at building something new, of offering a product or service that is new or better than what’s out there, maybe you should be starting a start-up.
Are you the one? Even if you have a great business idea, do you have the right lifestyle and temperament to run your own business? Starting a business usually requires long hours – and unless you’re lucky enough to have a lot of cash – wearing a lot of hats. Are you in a position to put in twelve-hour days? Drop everything for an important customer?
And it’s more than just the hours – do you have the mental tolerance for the ups and downs of a new business? Do you have a tolerance for taking some risks? For the emotional strain of losing a big contract or dealing with an annoyed customer.
Do you understand the bottom line? There is no way to start your own business without some strong understanding of the economics of it. You need to be able to compute the start-up costs, like buying the necessary equipment, the initial inventory and any licenses to be able to operate.
And then there are ongoing costs like rent, salaries for employees (including yourself) and office supplies. You need to learn what is the right rate you can charge customers, and how much business you will need to make a profit. You can hire an accountant or bookkeeper to manage the finances, but you still need to be fluent in how your business will become and remain a going venture.
Will anyone care? In other words, you have a great idea, you are committed to the obligations you face when you start a new business and you get the dollars and cents of it. But, what makes it compelling in the market? What are you offering that is better, faster, or cooler than the next guy?
It’s a tough world out there. You not only have to have a product that can compete, you need to be able to communicate that to the world of buyers. So you need to be sure that you are starting something that will help you stand out.
If you start your own business, you are beginning a great adventure.
At least you might want to think of it that way. When you start your own business, you have to think of two paths – the day to day, and the big picture. A great adventure is exciting and inspiring, when you think of it in the abstract.
But you have to build that dream with hard work and daily goal setting to make the bigger vision a reality. It’s not for everyone, but if it’s for you, it could yield the rewards of a lifetime – not just financially, but the satisfaction of creating your own destiny.