Running your own business, even if it’s a business of one and you’re self-employed, is an excellent way to become financially independent. A lot of people yearn to become their own boss and the internet has made it cheaper and more broadly available than ever. However, taking your first step when you’re not ready can be disastrous. So, you have to take a close and honest look at your situation and find out if you really are prepared for what’s ahead.
No sense and no friends
You might have the marketable talent or product to take to the professional stage, but that’s not necessarily enough. There are two foundations of great businesses. The first is business sense. Being able to market, to understand branding, to understand your customers, as well as business partners. If you don’t have it, consider taking a course or finding a mentor. A mentor can be an invaluable friend to the business and you need those. Build up a network of potential partners, signal boosters, influencers and, most importantly, clients. You need a network before you start, not while you’re trying to get the business off-the-ground.
The money’s not right
The internet has made it a lot cheaper to work for yourself, even in your own home. However, if you don’t want to be an anonymous freelancer competing with other anonymous freelancers, you’re going to need money. You’re going to need a brand, marketing materials, a website, business cards, and so on. You should construct a business budget based on what you estimate your costs to be and start saving. You might be able to get a business loan but don’t place all your hopes on it. If you’re in serious debt, you should definitely clear it before you even think about starting the business. Consolidate your debt and start paying it off while building the fund to truly start it. Financial sense is essential for successful business people and you can’t honestly say you have it until your personal finances are in the right place.
You’re not thinking long-term
What are your plans for the business? If your answer is “get it started” you’re thinking wrong. You have to have plans for not only the growth of the business, but the security of your future, including planning your retirement. There are plenty of guides for business plans for industries of all kinds easily available through the internet, so search for a fitting plan for yours. Take into account how much of the money you’re going to pay yourself from your business, and ensure you’re putting aside a portion to help you live comfortably in the future. Without long-term goals, it’s too easy for your business to lose direction once it’s up and running.
If you have closely reviewed your situation and you believe you are ready to start your own business, then go for it. It will always be a risk, but if you’re flexible and willing to get through the grind, it’s more than achievable. Just never lie to yourself about whether you’re prepared for the next step.