Opening up your own company can be a daunting experience, fraught with holes just waiting to swallow you. That doesn’t always have to be the case; you can easily hurdle past these trouble spots if you know what you’re looking for.
1. Not having your feet on the ground. It’s important to know where you stand [financially, skills-wise, market related – know everything!] and where you want to get to. Walking into a business blindly is commonplace these days, and nine times out of ten you end up in a far worse position. This could end your business before it’s even begun.
2. Funding – or a lack thereof. Anyone can come up with an idea; that’s what the world loves about entrepreneurs, the fact that anyone can do anything. However, not every entrepreneur has the financial means to turn their idea into a tangible and sustainable business venture. If you’re in this position, there are various options: bank loans, partners, investors… the list is endless. The only problem with going down this route is that you’re no longer the only owner.
3. Dedicate yourself. Donald Trump, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates didn’t become billionaires by chance. They got where they are by sheer hard work and determination. When you start a business, you need to be 100 percent sure that it’s what you want to do and that you can make a success of it, and you need to follow through. Live and breathe your work. It’s your ‘baby’ – don’t neglect it.
4. Have a product/service that will sell. There’s no point starting a business in the middle of a saturated industry. Businesses close down because they don’t make money; and one of the main reasons for it is because customers are buying somewhere else. Conduct market research to find out what people have and what they need… Put yourself in your customers’ shoes: will you buy the product you are selling? If there are similar products or services available, adapt yours to separate you from your competitors, thereby giving customers a reason to come to you.
5. Be a business owner, not just an employee. Just because you’re good at plumbing doesn’t mean that your plumbing company will work. Do research and understand the business industry before opening your business, know what is expected of you as the owner in terms of business practises, ethics, legal requirements, and so forth.
These are just five problem spots that new business owners need to deal with – there are many more that pop up from time to time. Remember: failing to plan is planning to fail, so get out that pen and paper and map out your road to business success.
Article written by Craig Falck for Africa Report