Everything you need to know about starting and running a business
If you have ever worked for or under someone, chances are that you have thought about going solo and starting your own thing. Business is a simple yet not easy thing to do. Before you venture out on your own, here’s what you need to know. Business is any professional, industrial or commercial activity undertaken with the purpose of generating profit or generating funds towards a non-profit cause. This may involve the production or retailing of goods, or the offer to provide services at a fee.
Research done by experts shows that more than 65% of employed people would rather be their own bosses. This is because starting a business fuels your ambition and despite the risks, the monetary gain that stands to be achieved drives most people. Once you have decided that you want to start a business, there are a couple of things that you have to put in mind:
- Capital is not the most important thing when it comes to starting a business
Sure, no business can start and run without enough capital but even with all the money in the world, your well will soon run dry if you do not have a sound business plan. A business plan is the prerequisite to any business. It is the reason as to why you are doing business in the first place. Sufficient capital only serves to complement and ensure that the business idea comes to fruition. So before you start a business just because you have a bit of cash to spare, take the time to evaluate a good and feasible business model.
- Invest in quality employees
For you to have a well running and profitable business model, all its components have to be well oiled and working in sync. You need to invest in training your assistants into being the best possible tools for developing your business. Apart from training them, you need to understand them on a personal level and try as much as possible to cater to their needs, within reason of course. After all, happy employees are motivated employees.
- Avoid getting your personal life involved with the business
You need to view yourself as a stakeholder in your business. This means that you should avoid the temptation of using the money that you set aside to growyour business to settle your personal needs. In fact, this is one of the major reasons that cripple developing businesses .
- Do what is feasible
At times, no matter how much passion you have for a particular product or idea, the market that you are aiming for may not be compatible with the product that you are trying to sell. You need to acquire adequate business knowledge and to understand your target market. If you decide to start a pork products selling business in the Middle East; it just won’t work. But if you decide to sell goat meat and milk products there, you might have yourself a profitable venture.
- There should be a balance between work and life
At the inception of their businesses, most entrepreneurs press the pedal to the metal and easily work 13-18 hours a day. While this is admirable, sustaining this kind of drive for long could prove to be detrimental. Being only human, we are prone to burning out and after a while, run out of fresh ideas and become more of a zombie. Maintaining a balance between your business and personal life is healthy since it helps in recharging your physical and mental batteries. You should strive to work hard and also get quality rest so that you are always sprouting new ideas for your business.
- Make saving a habit
A general rule of the thumb is to save more than you are spending. This is because these savings are what will enable you to grow your business. The more you save the bigger the investments you can make. Practice frugality so that you may always have options when you want to make changes in your business.
- Avoid debts or in the very least learn how to manage them
Debts, especially if they are taken as capital, can prove to be very risky. Avoid them at all costs if you are venturing into untested waters. This is because you do not have enough information to guarantee that you will get your money back. As a first-time entrepreneur, you will guarantee these debts personally and if unable to pay, this might lead you to bankruptcy. If you have to take one, ensure that it is within your limits.
- Find a role model
Building yourself from the ground up is good, having someone to guide you through it is better. This is because when you start your business, you are bound to make many mistakes. Some of which you can avoid if you have someone that looks out for you, offers you constructive criticism and gives you advice on how to go about things when you’re still learning. While it’s good to learn from your mistakes, it’s only wise to learn from the mistakes of someone who has been there and done that.
Once you have decided on the business plan of the product or service that you want to offer, the next step is the actual process of starting the business. First, decide whether you want to do it solo thus sole proprietorship, with a partner hence a partnership or with multiple individuals and thus forming a company. This is dependent on your goals and capital structure. Each of these business structures has different liability and article clauses. Next, you decide on the name of the business and then register the business with the state. Finally, you should obtain the necessary permits and licenses that your business requires to operate.
Going into business can be very exhilarating. However, it is critical to do enough research on the product and market that you want to venture into. Do not rush; employ caution.