Could you start your own business?
If you start your own business you will find it very exciting and rewarding but can be rather daunting. It can also be a very risky thing to do, so you need to make sure you understand the challenges presented before taking the plunge and launching your business venture.
We hold workshops that take you through each of the steps from exploring whether being your own boss is for you, money management, business planning, access to funding, sales and marketing and using social media to promote your business digitally. Some of these workshops are funded and you could be eligible, more than likely you will be, get in touch with us to find out more. Alternatively, we provide business support on a 1-2-1 basis, most of our clients see us once a month and continue to do so for business advice in most areas of your business.
It is not enough just to have a good, viable idea. You also need to have the right skills and temperament to make a success of the opportunity. To get your new business off the ground, there is a mountain of tasks to complete, research to carry out, things to do and people to contact. You need a thorough understanding of the information you need to find and the contacts you need to make, in order to pull your start-up plan together. You may already have done a lot of the groundwork, or you may be right at the beginning of your quest to get your new business started.
Whatever your personal starting point, there are some fundamental issues you need to assess relating to your business idea, your personal aims and your own business ability.
Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself.
- Do you have the necessary capital and financial resources to start your business, to finance the purchase of any stock and equipment, and to pay your general living expenses while you go through the start-up phase?
- Can you afford, and do you really want, to risk these resources? This might be a loan, a mortgage on your house or relying on someone else…what if your business failed?
- Do you have the commitment and self-discipline to get through potential hard times? There will be times when customer demands may be very heavy, are you prepared to do whatever it takes to make your customers happy?
- Are you confident that you will be able to negotiate with suppliers to get the deal, provide outstanding customer service (at all times), think clearly under pressure and take criticism without getting upset?
- Are you familiar enough with the level of demand for your product or service, do you understand whether your sector is in growth or decline? Do you have the resources to access the correct information to ensure you keep up to date with technology?
- Do you have the determination to carry on when demand is low?
There are no specific answers to these questions, but very important for you to consider seriously.
There is no single ‘type’ of person who becomes a sole trader or small business owner, but there are some characteristics which successful ‘entrepreneurs’ often have in common such as:
- Well organised and responsible (good at getting things done)
- Extrovert and confident
- Able to communicate and get their point across.
- Sociable, with the ability to take leadership.
- Single-minded, but able to take advice.
- Flexible and adaptable.
- Quick to take opportunities and ready to take calculated risks.
- Hard-working, committed and determined.
- Tough-skinned (able to handle a failure)
- Individualistic and not afraid to stand out from the crowd.
- Creative and imaginative (always coming up with new ideas for the business)
This list is not necessarily exhaustive, and you do not need to have all these characteristics to be a success at running your own business. The key is to develop and grow your own skills and characteristics as you gain more experience.