Setting up a business is not an easy task. Willpower, persistence, creativity and money are all fundamental but there is much more to it then that! The key is to devise a plan and get started.
Here are 10 steps to starting your own business and living the dream of entrepreneurship:
1. Meet up with other entrepreneurs. There are regular entrepreneurship meetings in all major cities where you make connections with potential customers and partners, as well as hear stories about successes to copy, and failures to avoid.
2. Plan out your business strategies. Through traditional lines, as well as through the increasingly vital online space. Check out what your competitors are doing and observing the current market can reap dividends. Your business needs to carve out its ‘Niche’- The thing that makes your business special and stand out from the crowd. Why does a customer want to give you their money, rather than someone else?
3. Don’t be alone! Search for the ideal partner, preferably someone who has complementary skills and with whom you can share the tasks. Be clear what your expectations are with the business and the partnership. But Remember! Your partner will expect to profit too, and any relationship will need to be beneficial to both parties.
4. Organise your financies. You must make a forecast of your business’s cash flow. A good rule is to be pessimistic about potential revenue and expenditures. There will always be hidden costs and bills you haven’t accounted for. Many businesses have failed for the want of a relatively small amount of money while they were getting started. Don’t expect to make money instantly, the start of your business will be getting your name out and building a good reputation for yourself.
5. Prepare yourself psychologically. Setting up a business is hard. Having a mentor or two to speak to can be beneficial. They can provide anecdotes about their own business ventures. One or two meetings with a mentor during the planning stages of your business can be highly valuable.
6. Budget your time. Before starting a business, it is important to talk with friends and family to have a sincere conversation so that everyone understands that this will be a “different time”. Listen to their concerns too, as all too often family can know you better than you know yourself.
7. Know your customer! It is important to interact with your consumer, especially in the first six months. Go to trade shows, social media groups and pages related to your business or that interests your customer. Build up a good outward face that a customer wants to deal with.
8. Hire good professionals and supplies. You will need help in some areas which you have less knowledge or less time to work on with. OceanConnects help you with your inbound calls, lead generation and social media management. So you can take care of your core business while we handle your customer service, calls and give you support to your sales. It’s also a cost saving solution, as you won’t need costs with full-time employees at a time when revenue may be limited.
9. Check the law requirements. Before you start operating obtain the required operating licenses, authorizations and public documents. Earmark plenty of time for this! Bureaucracy and red tape can delay even the simplest of tasks and leave you waiting for weeks on end.
10. Be inspired! Seek constant inspiration to be a good entrepreneur. Read up on large companies and entrepreneurs that you admire. After all, if they are successful, they must be doing something right! At the same time, never try to simply be a pale imitation of a more successful company. Make yourself unique! NB: Make yourself unique in a good way, being the only baker in the shop with stale bread is certainly unique, but it’s not going to sell loaves.