Starting a business from scratch can be a daunting and challenging experience. It can also be an extremely rewarding way of life, where you get to choose your path and the results you are looking for.
So, how do you know you’re ready to start a business?
What’s your business going to be about?
Your idea doesn’t have to be unique, although it helps if it is. Some of the best start-ups began with an idea – one that no one else had thought of, or rather hadn’t capitalised on.
The likes of Uber, Airbnb, WhatsApp and Instagram are commonplace names in our world, but when they started, they were small ventures and far from the refined brands we know of now. However, do look at the validity of your idea. Don’t just create something for the sake of it.
Business is about longevity and having a short term solution will not stand the test of time – so whether you’re a consultancy, a fintech, a sustainable clothing company, you should know what your USP and strategy is before diving headfirst into a business.
Also, it is important to recognise your own skillset; that will determine what product or service you want to pioneer.
What’s your motivation for setting up a business?
Before starting a business, you should also be absolutely clear about why you want to do it. It may sound obvious but there are plenty of reasons why some people would turn their backs on the security and predictability of a job, rather than the uncertainty of what a business can bring.
The clearer you are about what exactly you are trying to achieve, the better chance you will have of achieving it.
Understanding what is driving you to start a business is a major factor in determining what type of business you should start. Why? Because when a business you start isn’t aligned with personal ambition, it is much more likely you will fail.
What support do you have?
Have you got the right support behind you?
Financial support and funding is only part of the support new businesses need.
It is important to recognise who is in your corner (not just from an emotional point of view) but also who you can delegate tasks to, that may not be your forte.
Quite often, business owners wear multiple hats to get them through the initial days of starting out.
Different personalities approach business differently; as a creative, you may want to bring the ideas and vision to the table and let someone else deal with the strategy and sales. Similarly, if your strength lies within the technicalities, you may appoint someone in a marketing capacity to promote the business.
Being an entrepreneur can be lonely, but you don’t have to do it alone.
Do you understand the risks?
Fear of failure is not a good reason to not start a business. Failure can happen due to many reasons, such as lack of process, systems and especially lack of leadership. But any business, regardless of how dynamic the idea is, comes with its own set of risks.
A sign of a good entrepreneur is one who is aware of the risks a potential business can face and willing to deal with those risks head-on and adapt to the changes in their environment. This doesn’t just include external factors. It is also driven by internal conflict and resolve which can be hard to keep up with the challenges a business can bring.
If you think you can remain resilient and keep persisting with what a business can throw your way, then starting a business is for you.