Should You Start Your Own Business?

The media is awash with motivational, success stories of entrepreneurs who have made the big time and all seemingly with nothing more than a kitchen table, a computer and, of course, an internet connection. However, there is an equal number of reports of the high number of startups that fail within the first five years and the tough economic market that prevails. There seems to be no middle ground.  If you are considering starting your own business, it’s understandable if you feel intimidated by the many stories that circulate, so to help you, here’s a guide to getting started.

  • Self-evaluation: what’s your motivation?

 Answer this question honestly:

Why do you want to start your own business?

Your answer will shape what kind of business you should pursue. If it is purely an economic reason, you may be better placed to ask your current employer for a rise. If you identify that you want more freedom, perhaps a new, flexible line of employment is the answer. After all, running your own business is both hard work and time-consuming, especially in the early years. Understand clearly what motivates you so that you can create a business that plays to these strengths.

Think about the skills that you have: can you transfer them into your new business, and where may you need additional help if you have weak spots in your skill set? You need to honest about your capabilities from the start. 

  • Evaluate your business idea

If you already have spotted a gap in the market that you want to exploit, you need to evaluate your idea beyond the initial tagline. There are essentially three types of new business:

  1. A remedy – are you providing a fix to an ongoing problem? Is your business going to provide a solution to a customer’s problem? 
  2. A new outlook – are you providing an innovative approach to an industry? 
  3. A better and cheaper product/service – are you providing a more efficient product and service for a better price? 

Each new business type, although different, requires you to understand the same information:

  • What are the benefits of your services or products?
  • Who are your target customers?
  • Who are your competitors?

Thorough market research will not only confirm your business idea’s viability but will help to shape your business plan and future marketing strategies. There are many online resources which you can take advantage of to help you learn marketing and business best practices. The hard work, dedication, and time that you put in now will pay dividends in the future.

  • Write a business plan

A business without a realistic, achievable plan is like a sailing boat without a rudder; it helps you to manage and control the direction that you are taking your business in so that each decision you make will be the best for the company. Your business plan needs to define your goals and the objectives that need to be completed to achieve them. Include the ways and the methods that you will use to track your progress, the execution, and marketing strategies, your financial plan and forecast figures.

Starting a business is no easy walk in the park, but by devoting time to fully understand your motivations and the industry in which you are entering, the customers, best practice and the competitors, you will be better set to make a success of it. 

1 thought on “Should You Start Your Own Business?”

  1. Pingback: Guide to Entrepreneurs: When You're Tired It's OK to Rest, but Not to Quit | Entrepreneur Podcast Network - EPN

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