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Can I Run My Own Business?

Most people at some time of another contemplate working for themselves and setting up their own business. For some this is a distant thought on a bad day in the office, while others begin to contemplate this idea more thoroughly. They might discuss their idea with friends and family, and then become more convinced that their plan is viable.

However when money is the key support to life and a future, it must be a business that is profitable, and required. While setting up a business (despite the hard work that is expected) is rewarding, there is no point venturing down this road if it is unlikely to be a success. How do you know if your business idea is something that can be successful?

Research the market…
The first step is to research your potential market. Is there any competition out there? What will be your unique selling point? Who is your target market? How will you market your goods to your target market? Where can you sell your products?

Thoroughly understand what you are aiming for so you are informed before making a financial investment in your business. To succeed you must get to know all areas of your industry to be. By researching every avenue you can also assess whether you need to tweak your ideas and whether there is any demand at all for what you are proposing.

Test your idea…
If you are thinking of creating a product or a service, test out these ideas, make a proto type to test amongst friends and family. Gain feedback and listen to criticism and most of all use it to develop your idea.
Contact potential suppliers/stockists…
Depending on your industry you might need suppliers or stockists to sell your goods for you. If this is the case, approach them with your prototype or plans and see if they have any feedback to give you. They will have vast experience of the industry and can give you well informed ideas.

Love it or hate it, it’s something we all must do. Networking doesn’t have to involve stuffy rooms with business women and men wearing power suits. It generally refers to getting to know your fellow competitors, suppliers, stockists and generally get to know those in your industry. It’s not all about competition. Contacts you make can be a great support to your future business.

You will most likely need a website, and also you need to plan how you will market you business. Marketing is an art in itself; however it is something you will need to fully address. A good product or service is useless if nobody knows it exists.

Assess your lifestyle…
Are you prepared and can you afford to put in the hours of work required to get your business moving? Can you cover it financially? Do you need premises? If so how much will they cost? Is it worth remaining in full time employment while you begin to set up to a level where you are ready to launch?

Answer all these questions and more. Make sure you have a solid plan of what you intend to do. Plan for things going wrong, and have emergency backup plans in mind should you need it.

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