If you’ve been thinking about starting your own business, January is the time to start making some changes. But instead of leaping headfirst into the unknown, have a think about what you’ll be facing and plan accordingly.
1. Self-employment isn’t for everyone
We’ve all heard the stories of people starting their own business – they are instantly happier, healthier and make a lot more money, right? Not necessarily. Working for yourself is tough. While passion and enthusiasm are essential when starting your own business, you need to take and consider whether you are cut out to lead a company on your own.
2. Your idea needs more work
So you already have a business idea in mind, which has likely cropped up as a problem you feel needs solving. Take some time to figure out what your unique selling point is. Once you feel confident with your initial idea, don’t be afraid to give it some tough love. Make sure that it will appeal to potential customers. Keep questioning it yourself, or with the help of others – this will bring out the potential problems you may not have noticed until further down the line.
3. You won’t get anywhere without support
Financial support and mentoring are vital if you want to get your project off the ground. Banks are still cautious about lending to start ups, but peer-to-peer lending platforms and crowdfunding is starting to fill the gap. “Angel” investors and start-up incubators are also another option, and incubators especially allow access to mentoring services.
Ultimately, while self-reliance is key when starting your own business, don’t be afraid to ask for expert outside advice as much as possible – family and friends don’t always cut it. Businesses with mentors are far more likely to get off to a better start than those who don’t.