Being your own boss – starting your own business
A collaborative post by Carol Trehearn.
Thousands of people dream of being their own boss, but very few of them actually follow through on this aspiration.
This can be for a number of reasons, such as a lack of finances. Being apprehensive about stepping out of their comfort zone can be another reason. Or having a lack of knowledge and understanding about what has to be done.
If you’re in this position right now, here are 5 tips to help you take the leap towards starting your own business.
1. Find a profitable business idea
This is often the biggest hurdle to get over and another common reason why people don’t start a business or become their own boss. If you’re stuck for ideas, think about the skills you’ve already got. Would there would be anyone willing to pay you for that skill? Are you good at cooking, speaking a foreign language, organising paperwork, talking to people or gardening?
2. Make a plan
To make your business a reality, you need to have a plan. If you’re not great at planning, don’t let this step put you off, because there’s plenty of useful guidance available online.
A business plan will guide your business from the very first day, through the different stages of its growth and into the future. You business plan will need to be well written if you want to to apply for financial support from an institution, such as an investor or a bank.
3. Take care of the legalities
Being your own boss means choosing your business structure. Other business legalities include registering your business and applying for any necessary permits and licenses. You will need to also think about buying or renting your work space, finding the best deal for your business insurance and arranging for your utilities.
You may also need advice on whether to become a limited company, or merely act as a solepreneur instead. There are considerations such as debt management and how HMRC views your business in the long run.
To cope with these, the best way forward would be to use a comparison tool. For the best business gas rates, for example, you can visit the website of Utility Bidder.
4. Consider your finances
Starting a small business doesn’t necessarily require a lot of money, but an initial investment should be considered. You need to be able to cover ongoing expenses before your business starts making a profit.
Make a list of all the startup costs, as well as estimates for the cost of keeping your business running for the next 12 months. Include rent or mortgage, advertising, supplies, travel expenses, salaries and insurance.
Once you’ve got a rough figure, you can look into the various financing options available. These might include a business loan, bridging loan or grant, crowdfunding, angel investors or asking family and friends.
5. Business marketing
Now that you have your business up and running, it’s time to think about ways you can attract new clients and customers.
Being your own boss means you need to focus on building your brand and gaining some followers. An easily identifiable logo will help if used consistently across all your marketing channels, including your company website.
Social media can spread the word about your new business, along with a well-populated blog that attracts readers and commenters. Regularly update your website and social media profiles with relevant and interesting content. Focus on educating your customers about your business and the industry in general, to get them to understand it better.
Ever considered being your own boss?
Setting up your own business is not a quick and easy alternative to finding a job. In many ways it is much harder. Being your own boss means you have to be knowledgeable about everything, even if you hire people to help you. You have to understand what is going on to make sure things are done properly.
However, if you are successful, being your own boss can be very enjoyable and satisfying. You will never know this until you give it a try.
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