Starting up in business
Could I really make a go of it?
Many people wonder deep down if they could really make a go of running their own business. It is not for everyone but the following is a list of attributes that successful business owners have. You do not need all of these characteristics but ‘go–getters’ have the majority of the qualities.
Qualities needed for success
To help you decide whether or not you are cut out for the enterprise culture, do you see in yourself any of the following? Are you:
- Positive – decisive and enthusiastic to succeed?
- Proactive – do you go out to get things or do you let them come to you?
- Determined – have you clearly–defined personal and business goals?
- Hardworking – do you mind being tied to the business seven days a week?
- Leadership – are you able to get the best from your colleagues and discipline them when necessary?
- Opportunist – will you see openings in your market and develop products for it?
- Self–critical – are you able to review your own performance and welcome advice from others?
- Flexible – could you change your products or methods quickly when necessary?
Erratic spending power
You must appreciate that in becoming self–employed you will lose the comfort of having a regular income. There will be times when you will have very positive cash flow but also times when money is short. Therefore during times of shortage you must be prepared to do without some luxuries for both yourself, your family and your business.
Making sure the family is with you
Starting a business is not easy and your family must both be on your side and also lend you support. Initially, especially in the early days, you could often find yourself away from your family for long, unsocial hours. Their understanding can be invaluable.
It can help to get your family involved in aspects of the business. There may be many jobs that can be easily delegated to them. It may also help on the financial side that they understand why there may be a tight control of the family finances.
Identifying your skills
You may be considering self–employment to exploit your talents. Running a business needs many skills. You should identify those things you are good at and those with which you will need help. You may wish to employ people with the necessary skills or, alternatively, consider contracting out certain tasks.
Researching your market
You must research as much as possible about the marketplace, your potential customers and competitors. It is vital to have knowledge of these areas when considering whether you have a potentially successful business proposition. You may wish to use published material or ask people who are likely to buy from you, either directly or by market survey.
You will need to find out about:
- Your target market – its size and whether it is expanding or contracting.
- Your customers – who are they? Where are they? What do they want? How much will they pay?
- Your competitors – what are their products, prices and market share?