It is true that being in business for yourself can be extremely exciting and rewarding. Seeing your idea grow into a successful business can give you a high like nothing else can. And if you are really passionate about your idea and your business, then it can make your entire life worthwhile. However, as rewarding as business can be, it also comes with a lot of headaches and stresses. Hence, unless you can be sure of being able to deal with the ups as well as the downside of business, you should not start any kind of business. In fact, even though you may have a great idea that could be very profitable, you may not be cut out to run a business at all. Therefore, before you embark on your business journey, you need to be absolutely sure that you are prepared to start a new business.
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How to make your business journey a success
A good business idea may be the place to start but it is not the only thing you need for a successful business. Hence, before you go and fire your boss and start looking for an office for your new business, you need to ask yourself some important questions. The answers to these questions will determine whether you are prepared to start a business or not.
Do you have what it takes to run a business and make it successful?
Most people believe that they can manage a business on their own and all they need is a good idea or the required talent. For example, a hair stylist who was the leading stylist at a salon felt that it would be more profitable to open his own salon rather than work for someone else. After all, most of the customers came into the salon because of him. But, when he did open up his new business, he realised that he hardly got any time to cater to his clients as all his time was spent in managing the business end of things. He ended up making a lot less money from his salon than he did while simply working at one. Thus, as you can see from this example, you need to have leadership skills and entrepreneurship qualities if you want to make your business a success. Also, you need to be willing to spend long hours trying to make your business work, which may not leave you any time for yourself or for your family. Unless you are prepared to make these sacrifices, you should not plan to start your own business.
Is your business idea really feasible?
Assessing the feasibility and profitability of your business idea is vital to the success of any business. Do you have a unique product or service that fulfils an important need in the market? Has your research indicated that there is a huge demand for what you are planning to offer? Can you set a competitive price for your product and yet reap good profits? The answers to these questions will help you to assess your business idea and whether you should get into business with that particular idea or not.
Do you have the means to raise the necessary capital for your business?
This is an important question that needs to be answered and only then should you even think about starting a business. There are several ways to raise finance for a new business but unless you are 100% sure that you can get the required funding, you should not make any other business plans. Many new entrepreneurs make the mistake of starting a new business with little money in their pockets. While that may hold you in good stead if your business idea is really unique and takes off immediately, more often than not it will be a reason for failure in business. Hence, being prepared financially is paramount for succeeding in business.
Do you have your team in place?
It is practically impossible to run any kind of business alone. Even if you have a small business or a sole proprietorship, you will still require a team of experts who can assist you in making the business a success. If you are confident of handling the sales and administrative work on your own, you will still need a qualified accountant who can help you with the various records that you need to maintain for taxation purposes. Also, you may need the services of a business lawyer who can explain all the legal aspects of the business to you. Hence, without having such a team in place, you should reconsider starting your own business. It is not necessary to have these experts on your payroll. You can simply hire their services as and when you need to, but that can happen only if you have identified these experts who can be key to business success.
Once you have analysed all these points and have the necessary elements in place, only then can you consider yourself as being prepared to start your own business and watch it succeed.
How to ensure a successful start to your business
A brilliant idea can be turned into a very successful business but it has to get off the ground in the right manner. If you do not start off in the correct way, it may be quite difficult to achieve business success. Yes, a great idea or product is the first step towards a profitable business, but you also have to put in a lot of planning, effort and hard work to see your idea through. Creating the right business environment, following all government rules and regulations, financing your business and having the right marketing strategy in place – all these factors have to be carefully planned out before you can turn your idea into a roaring success.
Steps for a successful business start-up
Building a new business can seem like a daunting task, but if you use the following tips to help, you can be successful from the beginning:
- Creating a business plan: If you want to minimise the risk of failure, you need to start your business with a concrete business plan in place. The business plan does not need to be too detailed and long winded, but should set out your business goals and targets clearly. You should also have a plan for the growth of your business and the actions that you need to take to ensure continued success. It is best to create the business plan with insights from your key team members so that everyone concerned knows the road map and sticks to the business plan. Do not be too liberal with your sales forecasts, but try to keep them as realistic as possible. Your business plan should also include details about your products or services and the competitors that you are likely to be up against. Your strategies to sell amidst such competition should be outlined in the plan as well.
- Creating your business identity: Once you have created the business plan and researched the feasibility and profitability of your idea, it is time to create your business identity. You need to figure out what type of business structure you will use such as sole proprietorship, partnership, or a limited company. You then need to give a name to your business and get your business registered with the appropriate authorities. At this stage, you will have to complete all legal formalities required to start your business. This includes registering an Australian Business Number (ABN) for taxation purposes, registering for GST, as well as other types of business registrations such as PAYG, work cover, FBT, superannuation and Payroll Taxes; whatever applies to your particular business.
- Short-listing avenues for business finance: Finding the money for your business idea is one of the main tasks that you need to accomplish so that you can start your business on the right foot. Without adequate capital, you will find it extremely difficult to run your business, let alone make it a success. You can either fund your business through personal investment, or take on a partner who brings the required funds to the table. There are various other business financing options available to you in terms of banks, financial institutions, venture capitalists, small business lenders and of course friends and family. However, if you are planning to approach a financial institution for a business loan, your financial needs should be clearly outlined in your business plan. You will need to show the authorities the feasibility of your business idea as well as the return on investment projections. You will also need to be clear about the amount of loan you need and what that money will be used towards. Your repayment plan should also be clear and detailed. All this will help you to get the much needed funds that can turn your business idea into a huge success.
- Adopting the right marketing strategies: Marketing and advertising are the core activities that determine the success of any business. Without making the buying public aware about your products, there is no way to sell them. Hence, to start your business in the right manner, you should have a great marketing plan. You should research your target audience and your marketing strategies should be directed towards them. The medium that you chose for your marketing and advertising activities will also depend on your target audience. For instance, if you have a product that is geared towards teenagers, you do not want to be advertising in newspapers. Rather, the internet could be the best medium for advertising towards such a target audience. Hence, with the right marketing plan in place, you can ensure that your business gets the great start that it needs.
- Having the mindset of an entrepreneur: Finally, one of the main things that will help you to make your business a success is having the mindset of an entrepreneur. You need to be committed to your business and be willing to take calculated risks to ensure that your business reaches the heights that you have dreamed of. Not only will you have to learn how to handle the stress of running a business, but you will also need to learn how to handle its successes. With the right business attitude in place, you can ensure a great start to any business.