Are you thinking about starting your own business so that you can make more money, have more freedom over your life and spend more time with your children? Good for you – there are lots of excellent reasons to start your own business – however before you do, there are a few things you should think about first. Starting a business isn’t right for everyone, and even when it is right for someone, the timing might not be. So, before you plow ahead, sit down and think about the following:
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Are you ready for the life of a startup owner?
Starting your own business might give you more money and freedom, but probably not at the beginning when you’re likely to have to work even longer and harder than you have been in the past. You may also find yourself struggling for money until things take off too, not to mention the fact that you’ll probably need to be a Jack of all trades for a while as well. If you aren’t prepared for any of those things, then you might not be cut out for life as an entrepreneur, at least not at this moment in time anyway.
Can you afford to start a business?
Thanks to the internet, there are some businesses that can, in theory, be started on a shoestring, but most startups aren’t like that – they need investment. So, sit down and think about how you’ll fund your new venture. Do you have savings? Can you get a loan from your bank? If not can you access small business loans for women with bad credit? Will your family be able to survive if you aren’t bringing much money in for a while? These are all questions you need to answer before you proceed.
Are you ready to track income and expenses?
With any business, you always need to keep track of income and expenses. Find a good accounting firm for startups and ask them what you can count as expenses so you know what to keep track of. Then you need to have a storage place physically and/or digitally for your receipts of purchases. It's best to keep these for at least seven years. You can also ask your accountant what they recommend as a spreadsheet or software to keep track of your daily income and expenses.
Is the market right?
If, for example, you plan to go into the web design business, you need to ask yourself if there is a market for the services you plan to offer, and if the market is growing, declining or staying the same. If there is no market, or if the market is stagnant and saturated, then it may not be the best time to throw your hat in the ring. If, however, the market is thriving and more and more people are looking for the kind of services you are planning to offer, then it is a good sign that you should move ahead with your plans.
Can You Compete?
In a similar vein, you need to sit down and crunch your numbers and work out your marketing strategy to see if you will be able to compete with others in the industry. It can be hard for a small business to swoop in and compete with the big boys, but if you’re able to do the work for a better price, or offer services that other companies simply do not, there is every chance that you will be able to build a successful business.
Do you have the skills?
There’s no point starting an IT consultancy or setting up a crochet business on Etsy, for example, if you don’t have the skills to back you up. If there are holes in your knowledge/abilities, you’d do better to brush up and then start a business.
The decision to set up business is never one to take lightly, and by asking yourself these simple questions, you could save yourself from making a major mistake.
This is a contributed post.
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