Do you have an incredible idea that you could morph into a money making business? They say that everyone has the capability to do two things in life: write a book and set up their own startup. While there are thousands of debut novels languishing in the ether with only the opening chapter having been completed, you need to ensure that you don’t become one of those individuals who has professional regrets. If you are feeling stuck in a rut in your job, you are lacking challenge in your professional life, or you feel like you have achieved everything that you can in your current career, why not consider taking the startup plunge and create your own company.
Your idea might be related to your current field. If you work in the finance industry, you might have a unique idea to provide consultancy services or taxation advice to a niche market. On the other hand, your business idea may be outside of your comfort zone. Perhaps you’ve invented something, and you’re looking to get a patent. Maybe you have always had a dream to follow your passion for all things culinary, and you’re eager to set up your own home baking business, or you are eager to launch your own eatery. Whatever it is that you strive to achieve professionally, it’s time to get serious. There’s never been a better time to turn your business dream into a reality. Rather than being one of those people who is forever talking about ideas, become more proactive and launch your startup idea. Take a look at why you should start taking your business ideas more seriously and how you could soon be a fully fledged entrepreneur.
It seems obvious, but you need to hone a plan to ensure that your business is financially viable. Having a business plan means creating a document or file that includes financial projections for at least the first two years of trading, lists of suppliers, funding options and a clear business vision. This should be a two sentence maximum edict succinctly describing your business and its aims for the future. With this plan, you can then approach bank managers, business angels, and crowdfunding opportunities.
When you are seeking ways to fund your business, having your business vision honed and some accurate figures for the future detailed in your document, makes you a more attractive financial proposition for investors. Remember, the bank manager or business angel that you pitch to will not only be investing in your business , but they will also be focusing on you. Dress smartly, exude confidence and enthusiastically regale your potential investors with why your business venture idea is worthy of their time and money.
Business angels are well worthy of your consideration. Take a look at local business directories and get in touch with experts in your chosen industry. With any luck, they will be willing to listen to your proposal and may even invest some of their own money in return for a small stake in your newly formed startup. Not only do you gain the financial support you require, but you also have a critical friend, listening ear and priceless new contacts and advice.
Before you waltz into your boss’s office and triumphantly hand in your resignation, you need to focus on researching your potential business idea. While you might think that you have the best product since sliced bread, entrepreneurs have a tendency to be a little subjective. Your idea is your baby, and rightly so. But you also need to be humble enough to know when to tweak, change or alter your ideas to make it more appropriate to your target market. The easiest way to do this is to conduct some effective and thorough market research.
You could choose to gather together a sample of your chosen demographic to conduct surveys, practical sessions or product demonstrations. Listen to their feedback and don’t just pay lip service to it. Make it actionable otherwise there is no point in conducting the research in the first place. By listening to your market, you will be able to hone your invention, product or service to make it more appealing to your chosen demographic.
While you might think that working from home means setting up as a sole trader, there may be other more suitable options. If you have done some number crunching and you foresee decent profits during your first year of trading you might want to consider alternative company formation options. Think about how to start an LLC to try and mitigate your tax implications and make your business more economically efficient. By becoming a limited liability company from the get-go, you might be saving your business venture money. While you may need more financial advice and the process is a little more complex than simply working for yourself and being self employed, you will never run the risk of being double taxed.
Another consideration for your company is staffing and premises. If you are starting small or providing a niche service, working from your home office can be a viable and cheap option. Your overheads will remain low, you can have the odd pajama day, and you can hit the ground running without worrying about leases and payroll. At the same time, you will need to make sure that you have the willpower to maintain your motivation instead of descending into days of procrastination.
If you do need to hire staff, you will need to ensure that you have the premises to house them effectively. Beige floor tiles, drab walls, and substandard equipment will not motivate your staff team. As a new entrepreneur and boss, you need to facilitate the optimum environment for your employees to ensure that your business venture is as productive as possible. This will ensure that your business doesn’t become one of the eighty percent that folds within the first eighteen months of trading.
When you eventually decide to expand your team, ensure that you hire the most appropriate people for your company. Don’t be seduced by the exceptional resume, superb qualifications and years of blue chip experience. You need a small team that clicks, can work collaboratively and has a similar shared mindset. Getting a team to buy into your business vision means that their priority will always be seeing the company succeed, they will go the extra mile and you can develop sound and productive professional relationships.
As an entrepreneur, it can be quite a shock to move from an office environment where you enjoy the camaraderie and banter of your colleagues to a more solitary existence. The initial entrepreneurial blues are not uncommon. Working from home takes some adjustment, and just like moving any jobs, can be a bit of a culture shock. However, just remember that your dream for a self sufficient professional lifestyle will make it all worth it.
You will be striving for your dream, making a name for yourself in your chosen industry, and with any luck, seeing your brand go from strength to strength. The chance to build your own company, face new and exciting challenges, and create a fully fledged business entity will see you more professionally and personally fulfilled.
While other people may talk about their self employment dreams, it takes courage and determination to act upon those dreams and turn them into a reality. Plan well, conduct your market research, investigate your funding options, hone your business vision and create the perfect staff team for your company. Follow this guide, and you could soon be well on your way to professional freedom and see your name up in entrepreneurial lights.