Be prepared!

When it comes to starting your own business, the best advice is to be prepared. It seems the Boy Scouts got it right with their mantra all that time ago!  

It is a rare occurrence for success to come without planning and hard work, and owning a business doesn’t necessarily automatically make you the boss. Well, technically it does, but what I mean is that owning your own business, especially when you’re getting it off the ground, tends to mean really long hours, and financial risk – usually your own finances at that. These two are just a couple of reasons that around two thirds of small businesses fold after two years, another is lack of planning or knowledge of what they’re getting into.  

To make sure you have the best chance of staying within that one third of business owners who do go on to run a long lasting company, there are a few basics to follow. Firstly, if you want to succeed it’s best to do what you love, and to do that you need to know what makes you passionate, or what you’re good at. Usually the two go hand in hand. If you’re doing the work because you enjoy it and it means something to you, you have a much higher chance of success. If you’re working only for the money, chances are your business may not last that long.  

Plan! Like I said at the start of this post, the best thing you can do if you want to run your own show is to plan.  Plan, plan, plan. Apart from the boy scouts touting the benefits of planning, there’s another age old saying that most of us are familiar with – failing to plan is planning to fail – or something along those lines at least. Write a business plan. It’s a necessity but few bother to do it. Be organised and realistic in your planning – do a market analysis, look at your competition, figure out if you’re going to run a corporation or partnership etc and do a financial projection! Be positive, aim for 3 years and assume you’ll make it out of the two thirds majority. 

Budget! I’m guessing that your ultimate goal will be to turn a profit in your own business, so budget to do that. If you’re not making a profit, you won’t be getting a salary. 

Don’t let your pride get in the way – ask for help. There are a lot of resources available for small business owners and people wanting to start their own business. Take advantage of it. Ask others who have succeeded how they did it, and whatever you do, be prepared for anything!    

Posted by George Tarbey on 05/11/2009 at 9:34 AM | Categories:

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