Starting your own business is an exciting time but there are several things you should consider deeply before making the leap into the unknown.
There are number of life events that are widely accepted as transformative – having children, moving to a new house, getting married, moving to a new country, starting a new job or starting your own business. A life transforming event is defined as one that encompasses your entire being for a period of time – it is your primary focus. These events are joyful but can also be extremely demanding. Unless out of absolute necessity it is not advisable to try and take on too many transformative events at the same time. If you have just moved house and are about to get married throwing in the pressure of starting your own business may not be the best move. If you have a great idea for a product or service, going into a holding pattern for a few months while other areas in your life settle down might be a good approach. To build a successful business it needs to be sustainable. It can be frustrating to wait but taking that step back for a few months, so you can give your undertaking your entire focus will help you succeed in the long term.
You can’t do it all yourself
One of the big mistakes that most entrepreneurs make starting out is trying to do too much themselves. Of course, you have to balance your costs, so you don’t want to spend a small fortune getting expert advice, but you simply cannot become an SME in every aspect of your business in a few months. Marketing , legal, cash flow, supply chain, branding is all needed to progress your great idea to the next stage. No matter how much you try and learn yourself about these aspects of your business you cannot condense a 6-year university degree into 6 weeks. Experts will think of things you haven’t thought of and can advise you against making crucial errors which could derail your undertaking before it gets underway. Think of the cost of good advice as an investment with a clear ROI rather than a sunk cost.
Finance & Funding
Accessing finance is probably the biggest challenge every entrepreneur faces. There is a huge array of funding options available but at what cost to you? Some people start their own business to take control of their own professional lives -to literally be their own boss – but they make the mistake of taking the first investment offer they get. They then realize what is involved in the investment i.e. the strings attached. Not every offer of investment is a good one and some can be extremely punitive. Balancing your books is absolutely crucial but not just once your business is underway. You need to plan your finances before you start trading. Even if you get customers from day one you may not get paid for 90 days- or even longer-and unless you have put enough cash away to pay your mortgage etc. then you will be back looking for a job before you know it. It is very rare, but a client of ours took on a large order for reputable chain on standard payment terms only for the chain to go out of business 2 weeks before payment was due. Separating your personal and business finances and having a contingency is crucial if you are to realize your dream.
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