Most people are happy to work for others all their lives, but what should you do when your 6th sense tells you that it’s time to walk a different path? The idea of being your own boss is an enticing one, but reality is a lot harsher than a world of dreams. Although there will always be those ‘lucky ones’ who turn everything they touch to gold, almost every other entrepreneur takes carefully calculated risks. It’s wise to do a bit of homework before you invest any money in a new venture and consider the following:
– Which is the right business or industry for you to become a part of? Some entrepreneurs may go by intuition but exploring a few interests and carefully looking at a few options that genuinely excite you, may hold the answer. Remember that the ideal venture should put to good use all your talent, skills and past work experience. Watch out for trends, forecasts and other market analysis which good help you spot a golden opportunity.
– Think about the finances required. Once you have decided what kind of venture to start, you need to think about where the money will come from. If you have the finances to spare, it may be wiser to invest your own funds. Making a list of the expenses that you are bound to incur depending on the type of business you have gives you clarity of thought. For instance, a lifestyle business usually requires a smaller start up amount as compared to a franchise or a high-end business.
– Do a bit of market research. Market research is an important tool that companies use frequently in order to better fulfil the customer’s unmet needs. Hiring an external agency to do market research for you may be expensive but consider it a worthwhile investment. After all, if the research shows that your business idea is not as profitable as you think it is; it is hard-earned money saved.
– Don’t underestimate the importance of a business plan. Many people become over confident once they have decided what kind of business to enter. Writing a business plan may take a few days on your part but it gives your business a purpose and helps you chalk out your plans clearly. If you have decided to get external funds, showing a business plan to your investors says a lot about you and may work in your favour. Setting clear goals and objectives for the business gives your team a number of objectives to work on too.
– Network whenever you can. You never know where your first customer is going to come from and in business, a good support system of clients, friends, acquaintances, allies and mentors is a must. If there are online help forums for other similar businesses, join one and set up an account on a social network site too. Word of mouth marketing can give your business a boost in many ways!