Many of us dream about starting our own business, but with so many ingredients needed for a recipe to success, it can be tough knowing just where to begin.
You’ve probably already read a few books about the key steps to business success. Perhaps you’ve even doodled a logo and cautiously googled how to put together a business plan – all necessary steps in a long list of things to do. However, when it comes to business there’s always more to be done.
Taxation law, market research, insurance loopholes, liquidity, cash flow, and profitability ratios can all be daunting expressions for prospective business owners. But don’t fret! Learning more about these terms can give you a real advantage and help you avoid the pitfalls others have faced before you.
There are plenty of people out there still feeling sheepish about failed business endeavours after rushing in unprepared. Who wants to admit they forgot to apply for a trademark and had to change their business name? Or how about that over-ordered stock sitting in the garage for two years?
The good news is that these (common) problems can be avoided with preparation and research. So if you are thinking of starting your own business, brush aside the impatience and get real by doing it the smart way!
Nail the basics
Yes, it’s time-consuming to compile lists of what needs to be covered and even harder to put it into practice, but highly advisable nonetheless.
TIP: Once you have created your list, prioritise the order based on deadlines and how valuable these elements are to your business. Be honest with yourself and if you’re unsure how to tackle anything, highlight it and do further research before moving on.
Study is a smart way to start
You may have all the ideas, but succeeding in business also relies on a whole bunch of practicalities from balancing the books through to clever marketing strategies. If you need to learn new skills, brush up on techniques to have an edge on your competitor or get certified in a new industry, study is the way to go.
TIP: Whether you’re looking to fill the gaps in your business skill-set or enhance your entrepreneurial flair, there are a variety of small business courses around (and most of them can be studied online in your own time).
Define the new you
Don’t overstretch yourself by promising everything to everyone from the very beginning and not being able to deliver. Pinpoint your own niche area and stick to it. Do it very well and then expand down the track if you feel that’s the right direction to take.
TIP: Check out your competitors and try to offer something they don’t, so you have a point of difference that will turn heads in your direction.
Take delight in the detail
Analyse everything! From parking problems at your store location to your eco-footprint, all details count.
TIP: No matter how small, make sure you’ve thought it through. Have you trained your staff to answer the phone professionally and consistently? Add it to the list.
Side salad or the big meal deal?
Should you start out small with your own business on the side while you continue with your day job, or is it better to step away from your current career and dive in head first? Sorry – there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for this one! Only you will know the best approach for your current family and financial circumstances.
TIP: Thoroughly compare all options and take time to talk things through with those who might be impacted by your decisions, as well as financial professionals.
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