Entrepreneurs are the foundation stones of the business world. Without people willing to take a risk, there would be no Facebook, Barclays Bank or Marks & Spencer. All businesses have to start somewhere and in most cases they begin life as a simple idea. Anyone can build a business, but not everyone has what it takes to make a success of their embryonic dreams. Of course you might not have any desire to be an entrepreneur, but if you do have visions of becoming the CEO of ‘Me Ltd’, here’s a quick guide to help you decide whether you are ready to take that step.
Do You Have a Great Idea?
The one thing all successful businesses have in common is a great idea. You don’t necessarily need to reinvent the wheel, but you do need to have a different angle on things.
As long as you have potential customers, your business has the potential to be a success. To figure this out, conduct some feasibility studies and carry out market research. If other businesses are already doing the exact same thing, you will struggle to make money unless you cut your margins to the bone.
Talk to family and friends. If they are not supportive of your ideas, ask yourself why.
Are You Ready to Work Hard?
Running a new business means a lot of blood, sweat and tears. You have to be ready to work ridiculous hours for very little return in the early days. Success is unlikely to happen overnight, so get ready to knuckle down and do some grafting.
Have You Done Your Homework?
It would be foolish to start a business without working out the details in advance. You need to consider what your unique selling point is, think about the potential problems you are likely to face, and a host of other issues.
All successful entrepreneurs have a rock solid business plan. They know from the outset what their goals are and how they intend on reaching them. You will be faced with many hurdles in the early days of starting your business, so be prepared and have contingency plans in place so you are ready to face whatever comes your way.
Can You Fund Your New Business?
You can’t start a business without some capital. Depending on how much you need, be willing to plunder your savings, approach your bank, or ask friends and family to help out. And remember, unless you maintain a positive cash flow, the business is doomed.
Where Will Your Business Be Based?
Many entrepreneurs start by working from home. This is actually an excellent idea as your start-up costs will be minimal. However, if the business proves to be successful, be prepared to open a virtual office or move into a pre-existing business unit. Both will give your new business extra credibility.
Starting a business is a minefield of legal and financial issues. If you have a great idea but no idea of where to begin, talk to a small business advisor and find out what your options are.