Be Your own Boss
Being your own boss requires knowledge, hard work, intelligence and talent.
But where do you begin?
- You must choose the right business for you. For example, do you have a skill, such as carpentry? You could set up a wood-work business. Are you good with computers? You could open an internet café, or become a freelance IT technician. Know what your strengths and weaknesses are.
- Find out if there is a need for your service or product.
- Find out if there is competition you need to know about.
- Do market research. Find out who you potential customers will be, and what you can charge for your product/service.
- Operate within your means. Don’t get yourself into huge debt right at the start. Rather begin small and build yourself up.
- Find out what bank loans, small business loans and partnership deals are available. Or see if you can self-finance your business.
- Work out if you intend to run your business part time or full time.
- Plan whether you will run your business from home or from an outside facility. Some residential areas do not allow home business, for example, so it is important to find out what you can and can’t do in your neighbourhood.
- Prepare a business plan. A well thought out business plan is the most important tool to ensure your business is concluded successfully. You should spend time and research formulating your plan. Ask for advice if you need it.
- There are organisations that are dedicated to helping small business owners. These organisations offer management training and development services.
- In order to run a successful business you need to have a sound financial record keeping system. Good records will show you if you are making money or not.
- Good records will also provide accurate tax information.
- Set aside a certain time each day to update your income and expenses and once a month to reconcile your bank statement and to pay bills.
- It will probably be necessary to insure your business against possible losses due to risks such as fire, vandalism, theft or such other eventualities.
- Remember to file tax returns for your business in order to keep yourself and your business out of trouble! If unsure seek advice.
- Good records will help you access financial assistance for your business from banks.
Once you have decided on your business, and have organised your financing and are set to open shop, you need to sell yourself. No matter how potentially good your business idea is, it will fail if its potential customers do not know it exists.
- Get a good business name. The name of your business should represent everything you are and the nature of your business in few but very powerful words. The Registrar of companies must register the name. Remember that once you have decided on a name it is difficult to change your name when the business has already been established because you will have to change it on your stationary, business cards, billing statements and advertisement and this is costly.
- Consider hiring a graphic designer to design a logo, which can convey a powerful message about your business.
- Print non-expensive pamphlets about your business and distribute them.
- Use free internet sites to advertise your business.
- Tell everybody!
There are times when you will feel discouraged.
Launching your own business can be a hard job. You will have to work long hours and alone. You may not make much money in the beginning. All the risk falls on your shoulders.
But the advantages are that you are your own boss, you can run the business whichever way you choose, and when profits come, they will come your way.
If ever you get discouraged remember all the good things that pushed you to go into business in the first place. These are the things that will re-ignite your passion to want to keep going.
As you grow in your business remember to keep sharpening the saw by keeping abreast with trends in this ever-changing world of business.
Stay in contact with new developments by attending refreshers, workshops and entrepreneurial development programmes continually.
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