If you think you’ve got an idea for a business, some entrepreneurial flair to make things happen, and the passion and determination to take charge of your own destiny, then you might be ready to start taking the first steps to make your dream a reality.
Here’s some of the things that you should probably think about as you work through that process.
Are the economic conditions right to start a business?
There’s an old business truism that: ‘A rising tide lifts all boats.’ If the economy is doing well, then all businesses will probably look like they’re doing well, and this could be disguising underlying weaknesses. A weak economy shouldn’t put you off from starting a business, but it might mean that your business needs to operating as efficiently as possible in order to thrive.
What business should you start?
You need to focus your business on something that you know, the skills that you have, and the customer needs that you know that you can meet.
What tools and equipment do I need?
Don’t over-invest at the early stages of your business. Most things that you’ll need to know you’ll be able to tackle with little more than a laptop and a phone.
How do I secure the funding that I need?
You’ll need to be prepared to sink all of your savings into your business. Financial institutions will be able to offer basic overdraft and credit facilities, but they’ll want to see that you have put your money at risk first. Angel investors are an option if you’ve got a robust business plan, but you may need to go it alone until you’re able to demonstrate that your business has potential. If your personal credit history isn’t that strong then you might need a financial institution that specialises in business loans for bad credit, or find someone prepared to guarantee the line of credit for you.
How do I let people know about my business?
Everyone is a marketing expert, and you may feel that you need a complicated marketing plan or be spending a lot of money on social media. The people that need to know about your business are your target customers. Start by understanding who you are trying to sell to, and then work out how best to reach them with your message.