Taking the plunge and deciding to run your own business is certainly an exciting time, but what does it really entail? Anyone can start a business, but you want to run one that keeps you to the standard that you’ve become accustomed to. Read these wise words and you’ll be able to do exactly that.
How Much Time Do I Have Each Day?
Time is the great leveller because we all have exactly the same amount of it every single day. It’s what you do with it and how you use it that will make all the difference to the success of your business. If you have other commitments, then it might be worth assessing whether you really have enough time for your new venture.
Be realistic about when you’re going to work, and run your ideas past your partner if need be. That way you’ll be able to ensure that you won’t have to work all weekend just to make half the amount you would have done at your old job.
How Much Startup Capital Do I Need?
Startup capital is something that can put the brakes on your business idea before you’ve even got it up and running. You need to cost up everything you need to get started, and assume that you won’t make any money in your first month. Of course you’re aiming to take orders and make sales, but don’t expect invoices to clear during your first week in business.
There are all sorts of ways round this issue that don’t involve raiding those hard-earned savings that you’ve already put to one side. Government schemes pop up all the time to help people with small grants that will get them up and running. If you make this one of your first things to do, then you could get your business off to a flying start from day one.
What’s My Self-Motivation Like?
When you work in an office, you can throw in an occasional lazy half hour and it rarely makes any difference, and it certainly won’t see your wage packet shrink. You can’t say the same when you work for yourself however, because whilst you’re the boss, you’re also the one generating all of the income.
The issue of getting distracted or procrastinating can be compounded when you work from home because there are so many other things to do. If you can, set yourself up with a home office and work set hours to begin with. That will get you off to a fast start and allow you to figure out a structure for your days that enables you to get the work done.
Am I Trying to Do Too Much Too Soon?
There’s no use trying to be a jack of all trades and ending up being a master of none. By all means try out a few different variations on a theme, but don’t end up doing half a dozen things just because someone offered you money to do them.
You’re far better off sticking to what you do best, and then gradually refining your offering so that it becomes more lucrative and worth doing.
What Type of Company Should I Register As?
Setting up as a LLC or a corporation might make you feel like you’re already a big-time player, but often that’s a bit over the top when you’re just setting up. Opting to register as a sole trader is often the best approach, and if you’re working with a friend or partner then you might opt for a partnership instead. Take the time to get this step right, and it will make it considerably easier to pay your taxes when you close out your first year of trading.
How to Name Your Business
Choosing a name for your new business is an important step in the startup process. The wrong name can do worse than failing to connect with customers; it can also result in insurmountable business and legal hurdles. In contrast, a clear, powerful name can be extremely helpful in your marketing and branding efforts.
When choosing a name for your business, consider the following:
1. What does the name say about your brand?
2. Is the name unique and memorable?
3. Is the domain available?
4. Does the name have any negative connotations?
5. Is the name easy to spell and pronounce?
6. Have you checked for trademark infringement?
7. Have you considered the future of your business?
If you keep these considerations in mind, you’ll be on your way to finding the perfect name for your new business. Mind and do a business name search to ensure the name is not being used.
For more tips on marketing your business, see our post on the importance of promotional videos.
How Will I Judge My Own Success?
This is a tricky one, and really it should have come a little higher up this list because it’s one of the first things you need to ask yourself. Defining your criteria for success is crucial because it’s what will allow you to determine whether what you’re doing is working. The world of self-employment is full of people who never took the time to ask this question, and then ended up with less money than they did when they worked for someone else.
Ask yourself how much you want to earn and how much you want to work. From there you’ll find that plenty of other questions present themselves. Keep these in the back of your mind at all times, and they’ll allow you to create a business that fits in seamlessly with the life you’ve always wanted.
How Will I Process Payments?
The final thing to think about is invoicing. If you’re working on online platforms then you might want to look into escrow accounts as they provide a good level of security for both parties. Alternatively, you might want to setup a PayPal business account to help you take payments from people all over the world.
Check out our post on building a home office as well.