Starting your own business could be the best thing you do today (or even tomorrow), but it’s not something you should do on a whim. There are some important questions you need to ask before you quit your day job and become self-employed. While we won’t be able to answer all of the questions we offer here – we’re not you so how could we? – we hope we can still instigate the thought process if you’re considering becoming your own boss.
Why do you want to start a business? If it’s because you’re unemployed and sick of working for ‘the man,’ then fair enough. However, you need more incentive than that. Running a business isn’t easy, and you will need passion and drive if you want to make a success of things. Many businesses fail within the first five years, so if you are in any way lacking in commitment, you may not make it.
What’s the big idea? By this, we mean what product or service are you hoping to sell? Is there a market for what you’re offering? Can you offer something unique? While your business won’t be completely original, you still need an idea that will fill existing gaps in the market to beat the competition. Undertake market research to ensure your idea is viable. Start to formulate a business plan. And ensure you have the skills and knowledge to carry your idea to fruition.
How will you fund your business? If you’re starting something small, such as a blog from your own bedroom, then you won’t need very much money at all. But if you need to see more properties outside of the home you live in, and if you need to hire staff, purchase specialist equipment, and cover various overheads, then you will need some money to get you started. Going to the bank is a good place to start, as they will be able to give you a business loan. Speaking to friends and family might also be useful, especially if they’re interested in supporting you. But continue your research online to ensure you have the money you need going forward.
Who can help you run your business? It’s unlikely that you will be able to do everything alone. For the tasks that you are weakest in, or for the things you simply won’t have time to do, you should consider outsourcing, or think about hiring a team to work alongside you. If going for the latter, you will need to know the intricacies of employment law, and if you are outsourcing, you should compare prices and research the relevant companies to ensure you are delegating to trustworthy firms.
What are you sacrificing? If you’re currently in employment, are you ready to leave the career path you are on to start out on your own? If you have a family, do you have a plan to manage your work-life balance? If you are on a steady income, are you ready to take a cut in pay until your business gets on its feet? Starting a business is a sacrifice, so are you ready to go forward? Consider your options carefully before making any hasty decisions.
As we said, starting your own business could be the best thing you do today. It could be life-changing and lead you on the road to personal fulfilment and riches. But you need to ask yourself the big questions, as this is one decision you don’t want to make lightly.