If you are considering starting your own business, you probably already have an idea of what you want to do. Research the market to find out whether the idea is, in fact, profitable and the ways you should approach it. Draft a business plan and start moving forward.
Step 1 – The set-up
Consider the setup, the location and the working hours. If you are planning on starting off as a one-man band, the best solution may be working from home. Decide on the location of the office within the home. If you are planning on seeing clients, converting your basement or the garage might be the best option. Make your hours flexible if you have a family. Split your shift and do a couple of hours in the morning and the rest in the evening/night. This way you will be available if someone needs to reach you and also have an open schedule if you need to be there for your children.
Step 2 – Make it legal
Depending on their business activities and plans for growth, entrepreneurs usually choose to start their small businesses as sole traders/proprietorships or limited liability companies. Make sure you look into everything as they both have their advantages and disadvantages. You can always start as a sole trader and switch down the track. Also, consider the taxes and the recommended type of insurance for the business. Be sure to obtain any required licenses.
Step 3 – Advertise it
You can have a brilliant idea, implement it into a business and still fail. Even though each and every person in the world may benefit from what you have to offer, they will not be able to use it unless they know you are there. Depending on what you do and who your target audience is, you can start locally and spread globally. If your business is web-based you can immediately start offering your services online through various specialized platforms.
Step 4 – Save
It may sound obvious, but money is essential for every business. You should always try to spend the minimum amount possible and stay on a budget, but that is not the saving we are referring to here. You always have to have some money to put aside. Business savings are essential as without them no business can grow. It does not have to be a lot, but every month something should go towards the future ventures. Advertising campaigns, changing offices, new assets, equipment, increasing production etc. There are plenty of ways this money can be spent.
Step 5 – Outsource
Your startup is likely not to be able to support a great number of people in the beginning. This is why outsourcing any work you cannot do yourself is a better idea than employing someone to do it for you. Unless you need someone physically present, the Internet is the right place to look for contractors and you may be able to find better deals. If you are operating from Melbourne, you can easily find a more affordable accounting firm in Sydney online instead of limiting yourself to what you can find locally.
Step 6 – Build a network
Build a network of businesses from your niche. It could be your base for outsourcing. Also, you can outsource to each other if you happen to accept more work than what you can actually do. Buddy up and advertise each other’s services as you are likely to have the same target audience. Build your network by doing a couple of hours each week in a shared office environment, visiting seminars or through numerous online communities.
If you pace yourself and play it safe, starting your own business could be the best decision you have ever made. It will get you as close as you can be to the work-life balance and you will finally get a chance to work in order to live and not vice versa.