Starting your own business is a truly thrilling idea. If you’re enthusiastic and innovative then you’re likely able to sit daydreaming about your plans. Every single person with an entrepreneurial spirit has considered what success would feel like and conversely what failure would bring. Because of these extremes, many simply sit and wait for the right moment to start. Scared to begin in case of failure or worrying because even being successful will require a lot from them.
Becoming too successful too quickly can be as anxiety inducing as failing completely. Take for instance the latest story in the fashion world of the “Kate Middleton Effect”. The Duchess is a fashion icon and her style is replicated constantly by many young fashionistas. But Middleton doesn’t often wear major labels, such as Chanel or Prada, in fact one of her favourite labels is Issa. The designer responsible for her gorgeous engagement dress. Issa’s Daniella Helayel had no idea the Duchess had chosen her blue wrap dress to wear when publicly announcing her engagement to Prince William. Issa was in some financial trouble and while the Duchess choosing that blue dress brought the label amazing exposure, they weren’t able to keep up with the demand that arose from this exposure. Because of the financial problems that Issa was already struggling with, they were unable to secure any more corporate finance to fund production of the dress to meet the demand.
So, if you fail and are left with nothing, can you pick up the pieces and begin again? If you succeed and the idea takes off, can you keep up the pace? These are very real concerns and the risk factor will never simply disappear. But there are specific ways to know whether you are ready to start your own venture. If these aren’t in place you should not make a move just yet. Of course, there will never be a completely perfect time to start your venture. Because there will always be obstacles, you will never find yourself faced with zero risk or an abundance of capital.
Here are three of the most important things to consider before you launch your new business.
You have a realistic plan
And this plan is not simply in your head. You need to have made plans to tackle everything from how you start to how you climb the mountains you might encounter. And these plans need to be included in an actual document which is your business plan. This document is a living one that is updated whenever your new business takes a step in a new or different direction. It must look and sound professional as this will be the first document asked for when you’re looking for funding. You will need to present it when you need more corporate finance in the form of a bank loan or an injection of funds from an investor. This business plan is the blueprint of your business and should contain all the essential information surrounding your entity. Keep it together with your registration and licensing documents.
You’ve done enough market research
You need to make sure that there is, in fact, a market for your new venture. The entrepreneurial playground is saturated with innovators. You need to be able to stand out from the rest. Competition will always be there so you need to find something that makes you different and better. You will only find the key to successfully stomping out the competition if you conduct robust market research before you even begin your venture. You need to know what your target market is asking for and who is currently servicing their needs. Then you need to know how you can do it better. This is an ongoing exercise as understanding what your competitor’s strategy is gives you the upper hand to thwart their plans and surpass them.
You know your brand
Modern business relies heavily on branding. As mentioned, the business landscape in just about any industry is filled with enthusiastic entrepreneurs. But the average consumer is looking not only for service delivery but also a company who speaks to their individual value system. This can be seen distinctly in the rise of the green consumer. This is your average buyer who is swayed by companies who tout a positive environmental impact through the production of their products or services. You need to create a brand that speaks directly to your target audience. You can offer the same value proposition as your competitor but if your brand aligns with your audience better, you’ll find you will be top of the leaderboard.
Your financial options aren’t exhausted
Many entrepreneurs exhaust their finances in setting up their new business. In today’s economy, setting up a new business requires you falling into debt. You can’t move away from it. But you need to get into just enough debt to launch your project and not too much debt that you won’t be able to pay it back. You need to be able to ask the bank for more money if an opportunity comes your way or you may find that at the peak of your success your business will fail. Consider the story about designer Issa and Kate Middleton. At all times you must have the opportunity to access funding to seize opportunities and grow your operation. The alternative is you land up with enormous debt and no way of making enough profit to cover the repayment. You’ll call bankruptcy before you’re even a year old.