All entrepreneurs should be ready for any type of risk. So before you give up the nine to five and embark on a new venture, it’s worth asking yourselfsome questions, not only about your qualities but also your perceptionof the business opportunity. Ambition may not know bounds, but it can be crushed if you turn a blind eye to some crucial factors before you decide to open a startup.
Is there something you’re passionate about?
You make 10 sales calls before lunch without winning a single order. Asupplier calls to say a crucial shipment will be delayed by at least aweek. And to cap the morning off, a key employee has just resigned.
So what keeps you going? Very often it will be your genuine passion – orto put it another way ‘enthusiasm’ that sees you through. And withoutpassion and a ‘mission’ it can be a hard slog.
But moreimportantly, your passion and enthusiasm will put fire in the belly ofthe business. Demonstrable passion motivates employees and can also play a key role in convincing customers that they should spend their moneywith you. “If you are not passionate about the products or service youare promoting then no one will buy it,” says Darren Leigh, MD of novelty products company Leighmans.com.
It takes many forms. Somebusiness owners are passionate about commerce itself. They love the buzz of selling, building a client base and winning bigger and betterorders. Others are passionate about “being the best” in comparison tocompetitors. Many are passionate about the products they make or sell.Some are focused on building a sustainable ‘family’ business for thenext generation.
But what if “passion” is not a word that tripseasily off your tongue? Well it’s certainly possible to run a businesson a totally “professional” basis, but it requires a commitment toensuring that yours is a well-run company with a laser-like focus onproduct, customer experience and back office efficiency. And to theoutsider, that commitment probably looks a bit like passion.
Factors to Consider Before Starting Your Business
Location is more than just choosing a building. Living costs, access to funding and the surrounding culture can make or break a business, so if you’re wondering where to base your new business, here are some factors to consider.
- Funding: try to find out whether local investors have interest in early-stage startups or only in more established businesses.
- Skill: your startup may only have 3 or 4 employees at first, but you’re eventually going to expand your team. How hard will you have to compete for talent?
- Benefit of the business:You must deliver on your promises to your customers. You should try tomake products that will be the best in the market, but you also need tobe aware about the real benefit your business will have to yourcustomers.
- Costs: think of different expenses such as living costs, insurance, salaries, utilities, taxes, etc.
- Culture: this one may be a little tricky, but you should get a general feel of the cultural pulse. Is the area business friendly? Is it open to new ideas?
- Regulations: consider all the regulations (licensing, registration, etc.) that you have to go through before opening your business.
- Target customers: You have to decide your target customers in the first stage of your business. Without knowing your target demographic, you could end up marketing to the wrong group, or could present your product in a way that is unappealing to your target customers.
Don’t forget that this can make or break your business, so do your research! Ask other startup founders and potential clients, consult the community and collect data to get a clear picture of what the future has in store for you!
Optimism is hugely important. Not the kind of blind optimism that insists everything is fine, even when things are collapsing around your ears, but a basic belief that “you can do this.” Optimism can carry you a long way.