A common way for people to make a significant change in their lives is to become their own boss. Starting your own business can be a massive step in your career and provide you with a new direction and zest for life.
Starting a new business
There is no doubt that the time spent planning and preparing to start a new business can be exciting, but it can be a worrying time, too. There are so many things to think about and plans to put into place and action to help you start as you mean to go on. After all, no one starts a new business thinking it will fail, do they?
Just like you need a solid foundation when you build a new home, you need a solid base as to which to transform your idea into a lucrative new career that could change your life for many years to come.
As tempting as it can be to rush in, you need to have an excellent substantial business plan in place.
Start with why exactly you want to start your own business and what your future expectations are. Change is good, but doing it for the wrong reasons can be detrimental to your career and, potentially, your quality of life.
Once you know why you are starting afresh, look at how you can put plans into place. Do you need to continue to work at your current employment until you are ready to trade? How quickly do you need to be making a profit? All practical questions to help you make sure you are prepared financially for the new change.
Onto planning a new start-up a business plan, what plans should you be making? The more thorough, the better, especially if you need to obtain financing to help you get up and running.
- Is there a market for your products/services?
- How will you market your company?
- Do you need premises to work from, or can you set up from home?
- What type of equipment do you need to buy?
- Will you be hiring any staff to work for you?
- When do you think you will be able to start making a profit?
- Do you have plans to grow your company?
- Who is your ideal customer, and how will you find/attract them?
- What is your competition?
- Where do you see your company in 5 years, and how do you plan to make it to that point?
- Do you have a unique selling point? If not, is there a gap in the market you can fulfill?
Tools to start your company
A great way to get you up and running quickly and to ease the workload is to make sure you have utilized any/all applicable applications that are designed to make your working life more manageable. SaaS (subscription as a service) business is a great way to give yourself a head start and a more level playing field with more prominent, more established companies. That is unless this is the type of company you are starting yourself! In that case, you will know what is available out there for you.
- Rescue Time – to track how much time you spend on specific sites/apps
- Woven – for personal scheduling
- Airtable – again to help you plan your working day.
- Buffer/Social Bee/Meet Edgar – all third-party apps to help you cut down time spent scheduling social media posts
- Asana – a project management tool to help your team work together easier. Especially from remote locations.
- One Note – for taking notes, of course.
- Expensify – for those who hate collating expenses.
- Slack – perfect for collating announcements, group chats, and anything else you need to help boost productivity and reduce time spent relaying information to the whole company one by one.
Of course, not all businesses are the same, and what works for one won’t always work for another, even if you are in the same industry. But looking at what is out there and how it can benefit your business is essential. Installing services and shortcuts mean you can still do what you need to do but quicker and more comfortable while keeping up with the same high standards you pride yourself on delivering. From legal doc software to a secure office infrastructure, you can access everything when you need it while keeping all data you hold secure. These tools are there to help you. It is essential to set yourself some rules to maintain your wellbeing and personal life during the transition to a new business owner. As one of the most stressful experiences you can take on in your adult life, it can be easy to push yourself too hard to do too much and leave yourself burnt out and unable to work as you need to keep the company running.
Make sure to establish strict home/work-life boundaries. Doing so will allow you to separate your personal life from your work life and get some time away from the job. If you are struggling with this, you may need to hire employees to help you or look at outsourcing parts of your job that don’t need your explicit attention.
Pay yourself a wage. Even if you aren’t earning enough, do this from day one. You still have bills and other commitments you are responsible for, so paying yourself is essential and good practice.
Don’t run before you can walk. If you are setting up in a fast-paced sector, it can be tempting to jump on the bandwagon and expand before you are ready. Don’t. It may lead to you dropping the ball and losing what you have already worked so hard to build. If you aren’t prepared to expand yet, look at how you can get ready to expand on what you offer in a way that benefits your company. Take small steps to ensure you can manage the extra work before jumping in and potentially setting your company back by losing standards.
* This is a contributed post and may contain affiliate links