What Do You Need to Start Your Own Business?

start a business

Credit: Rain Rabbit

People start new businesses for a plethora of reasons – they see a gap in the market, they have a skill they want to share, or they spend their days inside a grey cubicle daydreaming and looking up articles like this one (hi guys!). The reasons for starting your own business can be romantic, or practical, or born from a need, but they all have the same needs. Here are some things you should consider before starting your own business:

How will you get paid?

One of the main reasons that people avoid taking the plunge into a rewarding career of self-employment is that they’re scared it’s financially risky. Sure your cubicle is grey, and Silvia from accounting keeps stealing your tuna sandwiches, but the money is stable and the hours are regular. Starting your own business, especially in the initial stages, can require long hours and you may have to run at a loss for some time. Sure you need to answer the question of how you can afford start up capital, but you also need to answer if you can eat. Run the numbers to see if you need to keep that cubicle job for a bit longer, maybe you could even investigate moving down to part time.

How thick is my skin?

If you’re starting a business you are your number one critic and cheerleader. It’s an interesting dynamic, but one that you have to maintain. You’ll have to deal with external criticisms and pick yourself up time and time again. Can you be your own cheerleader? Can you create a stable support network? And put simply, do you have (or can you grow) a thick skin to deal with the challenges awaiting you?

Can I defend my idea?

One of the greatest exercises when you need to make an argument is to let someone read your idea, and then ask them to tear it apart. Get them to be brutal! If you can’t defend your idea to your friend or loved one, how can you expect to defend it to the masses? The worst case scenario is that you find holes in your business idea and you head back to the drawing board to plug them, best case scenario is that you have questions thrown at you that you hadn’t yet considered.

Do I have a business goal and a business plan?

Imagine hopping off the plane and getting into a cab. The driver turns around and asks “where would you like to go?” If you respond with “well I’m thinking somewhere sunny, where I can make money, and I like the colour red” you’re going to spend a silly amount of time and money being driven around the city. It’s the same with your business – you need to have a really clear idea of where you want your business to go (your business goals), and how you’re going to get there (your business plan).

An easy way to work this is from the top down, so outline some clear, measurable goals and then work out the the business plan to achieve those goals. If this exercise results in a business plan that is unachievable or even too easy, you may need to tweak your goals.

How will people find me?

Customers are your number one concern when starting a business. If you don’t have a customers, you don’t have a business. If would-be customers can’t find you, they never even get the chance to become customers. While there are innovative ways to market to and reach your audience, a website and phone number are essential for any business – especially a new one!

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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