The answer might surprise you!
Starting a business is exciting, but it’s also challenging and sometimes scary.
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and worrying you aren’t qualified for the business world, try not to worry. It is possible to turn a dream into a successful business; and while there’s a lot to consider when starting a business, the good news is that anyone can do it!
You don’t need a business degree to start your own business. However, it does help to have some skills – or people on your team with the skills – in financial management, marketing, sales and customer service, communication and negotiation, networking, planning, and problem-solving.
Having confidence in yourself and in your product or service is one of the big factors that will lead to a successful business. Your passion and drive will keep you focused!
If you’re considering starting your own business but not sure if it’s the right pathway for you, here’s some things to consider:
Are you ready?
Going into business for yourself is a big change. It will impact your lifestyle both personally and professionally and will impact your finances, sometimes for months or years as your business develops. It’s important to consider whether you are ready to take on these changes in your life.
Will the business work?
There’s no guarantee that any business idea will work; before you start, it’s a good idea to do some market research. Look at your competitors, assess your industry to determine how you will fit in, and most importantly: look at all your findings with an unbiased view. There’s no point in trying something if it’s clearly not going to work.
Build your business plan
Building a business plan is a lot of work and will take time; however once you have a strong business plan in place, you will know exactly what you are doing in moving forward. Your business plan will also include determining your business structure, identifying legal obligations including licenses and permits, and building your support network. Whether you are going at it alone or hiring staff will all make up part of your business plan. Your support network may also include a lawyer and an accountant.
Work out your finances
Probably one of the most important considerations when it comes to starting a business is the financial side. The first step is whether you can afford to start the business and where will you get the money for start-up costs. An important part of running a small business is understanding how to set up and manage your finances. You will then need to consider how you will afford to live for the first few months/years while your business grows to a point that it makes a profit.
If you are considering obtaining finance you will need to complete some financial forecasts beforehand to provide to your financial institution or investors.
Marketing your business is vital and also needs a plan of its own. There’s no point in having a great idea and product if nobody knows about it. It’s a good idea to speak to a marketing professional for ideas on how to launch your business into the marketplace, and how to continually advertise to keep up awareness.
If you are ready to start your own business, consider a short course in Business Management to give you a head start.