Are you sick to the back teeth of having to grind away in the office for what feels like an eternity? Is the sound of your boss’s voice a shrill and dulcet tone that constantly lives in your weary mind?
If this is starting to sound familiar, you might be ready to jump ship and go forth in the direction of your very own.
Whether this is freelancing or building a gargantuan online empire from under your warm duvet, today’s climate might be perfect for it, even if it does not seem that way when you first look at it.
Starting your own business and going solo is a tough task for anyone, but it is an endeavor that is well equipped to supply you with endless rewards should you master the ins and outs.
Here are some top tips to help you branch out, go it alone, steer yourself to success, and maybe even find some peace in the digital age.
Build a Buffer
As much as everyone would like to simply drive off into the sunset at the slightest whiff of opportunity, there are bills to pay in real life, which is annoying.
To make sure that you are fully prepared to brave the road ahead, creating a financial buffer for yourself is a must. It’s also probably best to not outwardly burn your bridges just yet, (or at all) as you may need to fall back on your contacts at some point.
Thanks to the ease with which you can establish a business online nowadays, you might not even need to abandon your day job until you start gaining some proper traction.
It is worth noting, however, that doing both at the same time might have a negative effect on your tax liabilities, so you may want to have a think about the rules and regulations surrounding business, such as the several key differences between a sole trader and a company.
Know Your Stuff
Writers always seem to recommend you ‘write what you know,’ well, the same can be said for business to a certain extent.
What are you experienced in? If you truly know your stuff, your expertise can sell itself, be it a product or a service or whatever you decide to offer the great American public; if you can sell it with confidence, you can hope to see a profit.
If this means you need to spend a little extra time getting some hands-on industry experience, forming a few more connections, and growing your skillset, then so be it; this will benefit you and your company tenfold later on down the line.
- Quick Tip – If you feel as though you have the expertise but lack the managerial skill set of a business owner, there is no need to worry, everyone has to start somewhere, and there are courses online that can help you learn the nuances and techniques required to establish your brand. Alternatively, you could just dive on in and see what happens.
Do Your Research
Market research will likely end up being one of your closest and most valuable allies, even if it seems like the biggest ever waste of time initially.
Your business will struggle to go anywhere without market research. Here are five essential questions to set you off in the right researching direction:
- Who is your target audience? The biggest and most pressing question, someone needs to buy what you’re selling for you to do business of any kind.
- What do you do that no one else does? This could be your unique tone of voice, your beautiful product, your unmatched service, or your dedication to the customer. As long as it’s unique, it can sell.
- Who are your competitors? Maybe it’s your annoying boss, perhaps it’s a titan of industry or even a close friend. You need to know who you are up against if you are to get ahead of them and meet (and exceed) customer expectations.
- What are your values? What do you believe in as a business owner? For your company to resonate with your audience, it should tell a story, one that showcases your integrity and your values, unless your values are ‘to make loads of money,’ in which case you may need a rebrand.
- What do you want to achieve? By thinking about your goals and what your vision of the ideal future looks like, you can give yourself a point to strive for, an endgame for you to craft your business plan around.
Big plans take time, and this is by no means the be-all and end-all of questions you should be asking yourself. As long as you can manage to find out what works for you and your business, don’t be afraid to ask yourself anything.
If there is no time like the present, then you may be in luck with choosing today. The post-pandemic world will likely have new needs, many of the symptoms of a digital-centric business arena, many of them repercussions of lockdowns and economic turmoil.
If you can answer your audiences’ questions and meet their new needs in a rapidly evolving world, you are likely onto a winner with your business.
Plus, other aspiring entrepreneurs might be put off by the start of a new year where uncertainty is on the horizon, meaning less competition and more space for you to get a head start.
Know the Risks
Businesses can and do fail, often in fact, so it is important that you make yourself aware of the many risks that this could pose to your wellbeing.
For example, say you borrowed a huge loan to pay for your startup costs, but your company fell flat on its face (not that there is a big chance of that happening if you do the right research) you would then be in debt without a cashflow to bail you out.
Conversely, it is worth knowing the rewards too, of which there can many to those who put the effort in.