Being an entrepreneur is a dream for so many people; and, it was (and is) a dream I strive to realize every single day. The idea of being your own boss and working in a field that you’re interested in and passionate about is a luxury that many don’t get to live in their 9 to 5. The truth is, though, that a lot of new businesses fail within the first three years. So, I thought I’d share some personal revelations and experiences in planning my own entrepreneurial journey.
Is being your own boss right for you?
The first thing I needed to come to terms with is that not everyone can cut it. I needed to figure out whether or not being an entrepreneur was right for me and my family. Every successful business owner I know works above and beyond the 40 hour work week and more than conventional jobs. There are, of course, benefits to being your own boss. Every day, I put my own ideas into motion, and I make decisions that define the course of my company. I enjoy the limitless potential to create higher goals to attain and to earn more money. But, before embracing those advantages, I had to take the time to think it through. Make sure you’re the kind of person who likes to give yourself challenges taking on a new project and sees possibilities where others see problems. Dreams play a role, but what counts is action, and if you’re willing to put in the work, it is absolutely possible to influence your destiny.
Let’s develop your business plan
After making sure that I was prepared for and committed to everything that comes with running your own business, it was time to develop my ideas and my business plan. This is where the work begins. A dynamic business plan can help you determine the path you plan to take with your company, turn ideas into a tangible constructed business, and is even necessary in securing financing from lenders and investors. It can help in identifying weaknesses in terms of capabilities or local competition, and can communicate your vision to potential colleagues or partners. If you want to be a business owner, regardless of the industry, your first capability should be your product or service, but your second capability should always be business itself. If you don’t know what an Executive Summary or an Operational Plan is, Google it, research it, and learn! It’ll be the first of many hats you’ll have to wear as a small business owner. Trust me.
Let’s think about your brand
Then came the logistics. I had to choose a name for my business — something unique and easy to remember — and register my business with the necessary levels of government. For me, that involved applying for a Business Number, which serves as my account number for dealing with the government regarding payroll, taxes, and other activities. It’s also what I used to open a business bank account so I could start keeping my personal money away from my business money. My advice is to do this right from the start to avoid potentially devastating complications down the line.
Where will the start-up money come from?
Financing is often the most challenging aspect of starting a business, but when I started out, I found that there were so many little known resources available out there to get your business off the ground. The government provides financing to help start-up businesses, some that need to be repaid and some that don’t. There are also various private sector financing opportunities that you might be able to secure. Do your research and take advantage of the resources that exist.
The most important part, however, is what comes every day as an entrepreneur. Put your dreams into action, and get ready to roll your sleeves up and delve right in! This is your moment to shine and to build an empire out of nothing! It won’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen without some sleepless nights and stressful moments, but if you’re willing to put in the work, the sky’s the limit!