Starting your own business is always an exciting moment. For many people, this is the point at which it feels like you have taken control of your own destiny, setting out on the path of what you really want to do without anyone standing in your way or trying to dictate the way you do things. It can be a tremendous moment of self-affirmation, of seeing that you have the skills and the fortitude it takes to make your own way with your own ideas.
However, before you get started there are several things that you will need to make sure you’ve taken care of. From admin duties to self-check-ins, here are some of the most important things to get squared away.
Are You Ready For This?
Before you embark on the journey of self-employment and/or business ownership, it’s really important that you are clear that you are doing this for the right reasons and that you are pursuing a business that is both something that you have the skillset for and something that you are passionate about. If you’ve got the skills but not the passion, then it’s going to be a long hard slog through the challenges that will inevitably arise.
Remember, the buck stops with you when you’re self-employed, so if you can’t motivate yourself with how much you love what you do, you might not make it through the first few months. It’s also important to be brutally honest about the skills that you have. There are a lot of areas to cover when you’re setting out on a solo journey like this, and if there are any areas where you don’t feel like you’re fully equipped, it may well be worth bringing someone else on board. However, we’ll come back to that later…
Have You Done Your Market Research?
It’s one thing to have a great idea, but it’s quite another to make sure that there’s enough demand for it out there. Whether you’re setting up your own copywriting firm, opening your own store or starting your own legal practice, it’s always important to make sure you have a good idea of what else is already out there by doing your market research. Not only will this help you to decide whether entering into this marketplace is a viable business option, it could also help to identify potential gaps in the market that you can exploit.
Are You Comfortable Looking After The Business Finances?
If you’re going into business as an independent financial advisor, then you might be able to skip this section. For everyone else, you’re going to have to get up to speed pretty quickly on everything from taxes to expenses. If you’re employing anyone, you’re going to need to make sure that their payroll information is all squared away too. You’re also going to need to budget for and manage your expenses.
If you’re at all unsure about this, then it will make sense to bring on an expert. For example, did you know that a solo defined benefit plan can help you save on taxes while you’re contributing to your pension? Saber Pension specializes in helping self-employed business owners reduce their taxes while making retirement contributions, and they will always go the extra mile for their clients.
Do You Need A Business Plan?
Now, this one may not be applicable to everyone, but if you’re looking for people to invest in your business, then you’re going to need to show that you’ve done your homework. You’re going to need to be able to break down the structure of your business from top to bottom, the finances that you already have in place, and the financial projections for the year ahead.
Your market research will also be a crucial cornerstone of your business plan, as investors are going to want to see that they are backing the right horse. You are also going to need to demonstrate to anyone who is thinking about putting money into your business that you have a plan to attract customers, which brings us to…
Do You Know How To Reach Your Audience/Customers?
Over the course of the last year, the online marketplace has become vastly more competitive. Big businesses and local stores have all turned their attention away from the high street and the mall to try and maximize business, and if you’re just starting out, you are going to be battling for the same customers and clients with people who have a lot more resources than you do.
As a result, it’s going to be absolutely vital that you know where to look in order to drive business. Are you targeting the right social media channels? Are you maximizing your existing contacts to leverage their potential connections? Is your website both welcoming and informative? Remember, engagement is particularly important when you’re just starting out, so make sure that you can be easily reached.