The Do's And Don'ts Of Starting Your Own Business
Are you thinking about starting your own business?
There are all kinds of reasons why you should.
You can become your own boss, for starters, so there will be no more ‘answering to the man.'
Through wisdom and perseverance, you can also start a business that has the capacity to grow. Providing you make a sizeable profit, you will then have the opportunity to save more money for your nest egg.
These are just two of the reasons why you might start your own business, but as you can see from the linked article, there are many other reasons to consider the possibility.
But here's the thing.
While there is the chance that you could become a successful business owner, it's also important to note that mistakes can be made. Running a business isn't easy so it's not something to plunge into without a bit of forethought and planning. For this reason, you should consider our do's and don'ts below. We haven't covered every facet of starting a business, but we do have some guidelines if you're thinking about starting out on your own.
DO…Come up with a business idea you're excited about
You will be spending an awful lot of time, money, and emotional energy on your business, so it does need to be something you're excited about. If you do something that you love, you will have an incentive to overcome the challenges that lie in your way. You will have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. And you will improve your quality of life by the happiness and joy that you feel when working.
So, while there are all kinds of things you should consider when coming up with a business idea, let passion be at the forefront of your mind when you're working on your business plan.
DON'T…Start out on your own without getting advice first
Starting a business isn't easy and there are many pitfalls you will encounter. However, with the right advice at the beginning, you will avoid many of the challenges that would otherwise come your way.
It's worth speaking to an accountant, for example, for advice on budgeting and taxes. It's also worth speaking to a lawyer, as there are a myriad of business laws that you will need to adhere to. And if you are friendly with other entrepreneurs, you should speak to them too. They will give you their own list of do's and don'ts based on their experiences, so it's worth listening to everything they have to say.
So, here's the thing. While you will have a lot of skills, never assume you know all there is to know about running a business. In the early days, your knowledge will likely be minimal. While you can educate yourself with business courses and books written by famous entrepreneurs, it is also in your best interests to speak to the people who can help you on your way.
DO… Start A Business That People Will Be Interested In
Give the people what they want! When it comes to business, those are words that you need to live by. You need to consider that phrase when you're making headway with your business, and you need to heed those words when you're coming up with your startup idea.
Ask yourself: What kind of business will people be interested in? While you should always do something you are passionate about, you should also remember that consumers need to be passionate about it too. So, think about the industries that are currently flourishing. As we discuss further down, you should still find your own niche. But you should also start a business within an industry that guarantees you some level of success.
So, what businesses are people interested in?
Well, those that offer practical services for one. People will always need a builder, plumber, and other types of trade professional, so this could be something you consider.
People are also interested in their well-being. The health and fitness industry is booming right now so this could be something you get into. Learn from the example of The Beachbody Company who are currently doing much to innovate in this field.
And what about food? People will always need to eat, so could you offer a takeaway service? Or a food truck?
These are just a few examples but commit to a Google search to find out other business types that are enduringly popular.
DON'T… Start a business that is a copy of others in your area
It's very hard to come up with a completely original business idea, especially when you're trying to move into popular industries. So, don't be afraid to run a business that is on-trend and in line with what other entrepreneurs are offering. But on the flip side of that, don't just copy what other businesses are doing. For one, you could find yourself in very hot water if you come close to breaching copyright laws. And two, you could struggle to grow your business if you have a lot of direct competition.
So, no matter what industry you enter, try to find your own niche.
If you were to start a food business, for example, you could offer a menu of food that is different from what similar businesses are offering. You could do more to cater to people with food intolerances, for example, or you could sell a wider range of international cuisine.
If you were to start a business within the building trade, you could market yourself as a ‘green builder' using sustainable materials within your business.
These are just two examples but you get the point. Do what you can to be different, while still appealing to the needs of the people in your community.
Do… Spend time researching the competition
When you have decided on your business idea, you should check out the competition. Going back to our last point, this is something you should do when deciding on your niche. It's also something you should do when trying to avoid accusations of ‘copying.'
Spending time in research will also give you the incentive to be better than others. And by better, we are talking about such things as better products, better pricing, and better customer service. When consumers know your business has more to offer than your nearest rivals, you will see an upsurge in sales.
So, browse the websites of your competition. Call them and pretend to be a customer. Read the reviews that have been written about them online, be they good or bad. And follow the advice here when researching your competitors.
To stand out in business and become a success, you should never take the competition for granted. So, research your rivals at the beginning of your startup journey, and continue to do so after making headway, as the competition will be keeping an eye on what you are doing too.
DON'T… Waste your money on things you don't need
Before starting your business, you should do what you can to raise as much money as you can. Check out these funding options and look for others online. When you have raised your startup capital, you will be in a position to get your business off the ground, with the people and equipment you need to get going.
But especially in those early days of business when you're barely making a profit, you need to operate financial wisdom. Now is not the time to go mad and spend money on anything your business doesn't need, as savings do need to be made. So, think twice before buying expensive vending machines and flashy pieces of equipment that will barely be used in your business. Think twice before hiring more people than you practically need. Budget your finances carefully and focus on the essentials first.
DO…Make savings where you can
Business failure is often attributed to financial troubles, so this is why you need to curb your spending. But even when considering the essentials your business needs, you should still look for ways to make savings. You could hire people part-time rather than full-time, for example, or you could outsource tasks to freelancers and other businesses instead of hiring at all. You can check out Dormzi.com if you're interested in hiring talented freelancers at affordable prices. You wouldn't have to spend money on salaries and other employee benefits this way.
When buying equipment, you could rent anything that wouldn't be needed regularly, and you could buy second-hand equipment when considering what you do need. When promoting your business, you could consider low-cost marketing ideas instead of blowing your finances on an extravagant marketing push. And you could shop around suppliers and utility companies too, being sure to opt for those won't cost you more than you can afford.
There will be a time when you can spend more money, but go steady early on. You will then have more money to put into an emergency fund, which will be vital should you ever experience a lack of funds coming in.
There is much more to be said about starting a business but look around our website for other useful articles. By committing to research first, you will educate yourself, and improve your chances of success with your new business!