One of the biggest but most satisfying things I’ve done so far is starting my own business. I’ve wanted to do what I’m doing right now FOR YEARS. It was something that I could’ve done earlier. But things happen when you make them happen. However, there were definitely things that I should’ve done beforehand.
When you start your own business there is a lot of unknown territory. And also a lot to think about and take in. It’s good to start thinking about these things before you actually register your business. Preparations are key for a swift start.
IT TAKES TIME
One of the things that is important to remember before you start your own business is that it takes time. Which is funny that I’m writing this because I still struggle with this one. Even two years into owning my own freelance business. Although it’s going better with projects, I still find myself thinking about how it could be going even better. And it can go better. But it takes time.
So remind yourself of how far you’ve come during the process and give yourself the time. Let’s both try doing this!
YOU’RE RESPONSIBLE FOR EV-ERY-THING
You know the biggest difference between having a 9 to 5 job and having your own business? You are responsible for the whole business. As a business owner you are the social media manager, content creator, project manager, sales person and many more jobs.
When you have a regular job you work with others in the company. You get your work handed to you and you are responsible for just what is in your job description. When you are a business owner, you alone are solely responsible of running the whole business. So keep in mind that it’s not just creating products or providing services when you start your own business. Being a business owner is much more than that.
However, make sure that when you actually start your business, that your top priority and all your time goes into your craft. For me it’s brand design and social media strategies. Define where you need to focus on.
RESEARCH YOUR IDEA
Research your idea before you even start. I researched my idea way too late. My first idea was to help female entrepreneurs who are just starting out. But I had no idea how much competition there was going to be. And how small the budgets are for this particular group. That’s why I refocused my business to carter to the luxury industry. Less competition, more budget and it fits in more with what I’m passionate about.
Make sure before you start your own business that you know what you are getting yourself into. Research your competition. Research the market. Research what you need to get started. Create a business plan. Or at the very least a concise version of one. Try to prepare yourself on what can happen.
STRATEGIZE A GROWTH PLAN
Your first priority should always be the work that you do but your second priority should be growing your business. A way to do that, is to strategize a growth plan. How can you create more visibility? Do you need ambassadors? Or do you need to invest in social media advertising?
As part of your business plan you need to add a growth plan where you describe how you will grow your new business. It’s important to think about this beforehand because once you start, all your time will go into preparing to launch your business. Or helping your first client!
HAVE A BACK-UP PLAN
When you eventually start your business, you need to be a 100% in. BUT in the event that things do go wrong or your business does need more time — create a back-up plan.
A back-up plan can be having a parttime or fulltime job next to your business until you make enough to go fulltime. A back-up plan can be a different growth strategy. It can also be how you will pay back the money you lend to finance your business.
Think of all the doom scenarios that could happen and write down a solution. This is also a good exercise if the fear of one of these doom scenarios coming true is holding you back to start your own business. You will see that nothing will be the end of the world. It’s just a risk you take to make your dreams a reality.
I can also advice to have at least six months saved up before you start. That way you can feel secure when you go fulltime with your business. I did not do this and that was a big mistake. So learn from my mistake and have money saved up.