Every day, people set off to work resentful and reluctant, wishing they were their own boss, making their own decisions, and controlling their own business. Most will do one of two things: either they will be too reckless, setting up a business without adequate preparation, or too cautious, deciding to play it safe and stick it out in a job they loathe.
If you are considering setting up a business, bear the following in mind:
- Sell what people wish to buy. No matter how complex your business, no matter whether you are dealing in goods or services, you are always selling something. And if you wish to make money, it must be something people wish to buy. Time and again businesses fail because those who set them up wished to turn their hobby into a career. But just because you love making pretty little cakes or elegant furniture, that doesn’t mean people are going to buy them. Where are you going to sell your product or service? Is there a demand for such things? Are there already lots of people selling what you wish to sell?
- Find a mentor. The advice of someone who has set up their own business would be invaluable. And someone who has set up a business similar to yours is worth their weight in gold. Ask their advice and listen to every word they have to say. Do not be ashamed to take a notepad and pen along with you. If you do not know anyone, ask around. Perhaps your friends or work colleagues do. If so, ask them to put in a word for you. Don’t be shy. Explain to them that you are considering setting up, let’s say, a shop selling rare, antique books and that you have heard their uncle or cousin once tried this. If necessary, offer to pay them for their advice.
- Make sure you are psychologically prepared.Setbacks can be lonely and painful. And when money, possibly even your life savings, are involved, it can place huge pressure on your relationship. Setting up a business isn’t easy. Suppliers don’t always keep their word, or they go bust, customers file unreasonable complaints, gas prices fluctuate, and of course recessions can strike. To begin with, you will have to work very hard, probably for little return. Are you prepared to dedicate yourself? Do you realize what you are undertaking?
4) Identify your weak points. Are you a poor organiser? Do you find it difficult to interact with people? Are you a poor money manager? Many people, especially when they set up a family business, put the wrong people in the wrong positions. If your brother is surly, rude, and short-tempered, do not put him in a sales role, or on the front desk. If your son has no head for figures, do not put him in charge of the accounts. This may seem obvious, but people often allow family loyalty, or friendship, to dictate such decisions. In business, you must be honest with your co-workers. Frankly, you need to be ruthless!
- Come up with an original idea.People are not fools, especially not when it comes to money. If there are big bucks to be made selling laptops, or bicycles, or baseball hats, or anything else, the market will soon be flooded. Strive always to be original. Come up with something no one else has thought of. Of course, that does not mean it will sell!
Giving advice is easy. And businesses rise and fall for all sorts of reasons. Many people have grown super rich not because they were hard-working, or smart, or able to run an efficient organisation, but because they were in the right place at the right time. And numerous businesses have folded even though the owners did everything correctly. But follow the advice offered here and you will at least improve your chances of success.