Have you been running your own business part time for a while and are now pondering if you could make it a full time thing?
Or perhaps you’ve been dabbling with the idea of starting your own business but haven't quite taken action yet and jumped right in.
Those who choose to run their own business do so for various reasons. Maybe it suits your family more, or perhaps you are following a dream. Whatever your reason is, deciding to take the plunge and start running your own business is a huge step - it takes confidence, funding and a robust plan of action!
Here are some important points to consider when making the decision to finally go for it and make the leap:
Starting an online business is hard work; you need to make sure you have the mindset and willingness to give it 100%.
If you are driven, enthusiastic and passionate about your business idea, then you should sit down and carefully think about what it takes to run your own business. You can’t just change your mind, or give up easily once you get started so any decision regarding the business needs to be made with care and consideration.
Running your own business is exhausting. Don't be under any illusions. You will be in charge of a company, a business and it will take far more effort than you initially think.
Even if you have chosen to run your own business to enjoy more family time or be more flexible with your hours, there will be compromises - you have to consider that during the early stages of your business, it is highly likely you will actually be putting A LOT MORE hours into it than your current job... and probably not getting paid for all those extra hours either.
You have to bare in mind that if it is a passion of yours, or a hobby that you love, that this is something you will be living, eating and breathing.
The hobby or passion will become work and some days you just won't feel like going to work but you'll have to anyway. So if you don’t think that you can handle that, or that you will get bored of the idea after a while, then perhaps the business is not the right fit for you.
However, if the idea of running a successful business around your subject and working hard for it excites you, then research well and take the next steps to launch it.
If you don't ooze passion for what you do, your competitors who love your subject matter will beat you hands down every time. You may like your idea now but can you live with it every day 24/7 for the next 10 years?
Ensure that you have done your business planning. Don't skip this step. You may feel overwhelmed at the planning stage, or perhaps you feel that you can just ‘wing it’- I assure you if this is a skip you’re willing to ditch, you will regret it.
Get some help if you need to, whether that’s through mentors or business coaches. Look for a business planning template to use to help guide you through the business plan.
An essential step to the business plan is when you really get to know and understand your ideal customer. What do they look like? What do they do for a job? How do they spend their time? What are their likes and dislikes? These are just a few of the questions you should be asking when you contemplate your audience.
However, the REALLY important question to make sure you answer honestly before you make the leap is - Would you enjoy serving those type of customers each and every day?
You have to genuinely love your customers if you want to deliver world class customer service.
The better you understand your ideal customer, the more accurately you can target your marketing messages directly to them and the more likely you will make those early sales you are hoping for.
No business can grow without cash. Think carefully about how you will afford to create the business you want. Who will support you, loans? Investors? Friendly backers or helpful volunteers? There are quite a few options out there to help support and fund your business at the start, but be sure to do your research.
Be truthful about how much you need to personally live on, to pay your food bills, and your household costs. Getting clear on money is a big part of making the move from start up, part time job or hobby to full time business.
When you apply for funding there will be plenty of forms involved, so ensure that you have completed your business plan and have your financial forecasts at the ready.
If you are passionate about your subject, and have the right mindset for growth, you will show up for your business as 100% dedicated and will work hard to make your business a success.
Take your time in honest reflection to check you have what it takes before you make the leap and then stick with your decision and go for it!