More people than ever before are starting their own business. Even though global companies like Amazon dominate a wide range of market places, it seems like almost everyone is starting a brick and mortar or e-commerce store. Those that aren’t are starting businesses as freelancers, consultants, influencers, photographers or dog walkers. You probably know at least a few people that have given up their jobs to go it alone, and you might be eager to do the same.
But, many of these businesses fail. Many small business owners and sole traders rush in. They see everyone else doing it and they long to follow. They want to make money for themselves, building a business, doing it their own way and making money for themselves. They fail to plan and prepare, and even if the launch goes well, many of them struggle to grow and make enough money. They stagnate, and after a short time, they have to give up to cut their losses.
If you want to turn your idea or talent into a business that grows and develops over time, it’s worth taking your time to ask yourself these questions first.
Is Your Idea Any Good?
One massive problem many people have is that they assume that because they are good at something, other people will want to pay for it. This, unfortunately, isn’t always the case. If it were, we’d all be making money from our hobbies and interests. Businesses that do well are often less glamorous. Cleaners, dog walkers, window cleaners and other people that offer a service that other people don’t like doing, often make money consistently.
Whether you want to offer a product or service, take the time to do some market research. Look at who else provides the same thing, and ask yourself if your business would be better, different or cheaper? If not, can you expect to do well?
How Will You Fund Your Business?
There are many businesses that you can start with very little cash. But, whatever your startup costs, you also need to budget for things like marketing, website development, staffing, and any loss of income you face while you get going. Do you plan to use your savings? Do you need investment? Will deals like semi truck financing help? The key to understanding what funding you need is a financial forecast and business plan. Without these, it’s almost impossible to know what you need.
Are You Committed?
You might think that if everyone is doing it, it must be easy. You might look forward to setting your own hours and working around your family. But, starting a business is tough. If you want to make it work you need to put in the hours, and the commitment. You need to be prepared to give up your evenings and weekends and give your business your all. To do well, it helps to have a strong support network and an understanding family. Ask yourself if you are willing to give your all and if you’ve got people around to help.