More and more people are choosing to leave salaried positions to explore the possibilities of becoming their own boss.
With many people taking the chance to bring their dreams and aspirations to the forefront of their priorities, we take a look at some of the things you need to consider if you are to start working for yourself.
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Who Are You?
This seems like such a simple question, but one that many new startups forget to ask themselves until it is too late. You need to know who you are as a business, as a competitor, and as a person. Whatever sector your new business falls under, you need to have a clear voice in a busy market so that you don’t get lost in the crowd.
Unique Selling Point (USP)
What makes you special, and why would consumers choose to come to your business over the competition? Customers are often overwhelmed with options and want to quickly identify which brand to choose to meet their needs. Your product or service does not need to be unique, but the way you sell it should be.
Check Out the Competition
“Take a moment to jot down who you are most likely to be competing against in this bid, can you predict what they will be offering? If so, list how your proposed solutions compare. What are your strengths and weaknesses over the competition? How can you overcome the weaknesses so that your bid doesn’t fall short? Ensuring you have found solutions for any potential weaknesses in your offering will demonstrate that you have considered the Client needs and help you gain that edge over your competition.”
Whatever your product or service, there will be others out there doing the same thing as you. Before you settle on a business plan, research the market and see what is working for your direct competitors, and more importantly - what is not. You wouldn’t want to enter a running race with a broken leg, so why start a business with the same disadvantage.
Understanding them can also help to identify an edge over your competition, allowing you to have the best possible chance of being a success.
Understand Your Target Market
It is pointless trying to sell beef burgers to a vegan - know your market, and understand your customers/clients. You could be the very best in your field, but if you are pitching to the wrong people you will never make it a success. You need to look at buying habits and on-trend products that could help or hinder your business journey.
Before you commit, try gathering consumer feedback and surveys so that you can tailor your business to your clients. Find out what they are looking for and what they are willing to pay. Not only will you find invaluable information, but if you play your cards right you will also secure loyal customers that are happy to shout about you to others.
Your brand is everything. You need to be instantly recognisable in a sea of competitors, whether it's your name, logo, catchphrases, or design. If done well, you can become synonymous with your product.
Get some professional advice when it comes to elements such as your logo. Having the right image can be the difference between success and failure.
Whether you are providing a service or a product, there will be a cost to you, before you make any money. Keep a tight record of every element of cost to your new business so you can accurately reflect this in how much you charge. Take into consideration your time, especially if you are providing a service rather than a product.
Understand The Language
Even if you are a sole trader that does not need to interact with other businesses, you need to learn the common business terms and policies. Knowing these will give you a better sense of how to push your business forward.
If you do not understand the basic terms in business, you run the risk of missing out on vital information, funds, and opportunities.
"Here I Am!"
What is the point of starting a business if no one knows about you? In this day and age, word of mouth will only get you so far. Today you need to have an online presence to cater to the internet shopping culture.
When people want to shop for a product or a service, the first thing they do is look online. Getting a website and learning how to maintain it allows you to tap into the worldwide market. Many online services allow you to create a website on your own, or you could seek a website designer to help you.
If you're selling a product, it's the personal touches that make you memorable. Sending an item with a handwritten note - or service with a compliment slip - will gain you loyalty and make your customers/clients more likely to purchase again in future and recommend you to their friends.
The road to owning your own business - or being your own boss - can be long and tedious. Stay focused, believe in your product/service, listen to advice, and enjoy the journey!