I started my first business in a recession. A recruitment consultant at the time told me I was mad, that I should just stay in a job I didn’t like, and wait until the right job came along. He gave me a list of reasons why I shouldn’t start my own business, all of which had to do with the economy at the time and nothing to do with my own entrepreneurial skills (or lack thereof!)
I contacted him a few weeks later to let him know that I’d taken the leap of faith. He was unavailable. He’d left the company to start his own recruitment practice! Really.
The point is, don’t let the opinion of someone who’s never done it before, determine whether or not you start your own business. Also, make sure you do plenty of research and listen to those who do know what it’s all about to set yourself up for success.
If you’re thinking about taking the leap and starting your own business, or you’ve recently done it, you need to give a lot of thought to what you want to create.
A business provides huge opportunity for self expression, self determination, and also to create a legacy in some way. If you really want to create a job for yourself, then go and work for someone else.
The business you create should support your lifestyle, in the bigger sense of the word. Ideally it will enable you to enjoy the pursuits that are important to you, both inside and outside the business. If you set it up with a vision of how you want it to look when it ‘grows up’, this will help determine what’s really important to you and what role your business plays.
If you decide to forge ahead, you need to be brutally honest with yourself about where your talents lie. A business demands many skills from its owner. The greatest value you can create for your business is to focus on what you’re really good at and outsource the rest if you can.
Which brings me to my next point. You’ll build your business faster and more effectively if one of your skills is being able to assemble a team. You need contacts for this. If up until now all your contacts have been in the corporate world, then you’ll probably need to redevelop your contacts and network to support your new business venture at the smaller, and more affordable, end of the scale. Think ‘team’ as in who will design your letterhead and new stationery, who will provide the IT support you are definitely going to need, who will design and update your website, and so the list goes on. Your service providers in the corporate world are unlikely to be on your team when you become a small business owner.
Design your product and service offerings. When I started my first business many years ago I was a ‘marketing consultant’ who could provide many different services based on my broad skill base. Great….but where was the ‘product’ in all that? When I started to break that big nebulous offering down into the aspects of marketing that I really loved and was really good at, the whole process of selling and marketing became much easier. Both tangible products and services must be easy to sell and easy for your clients to buy.
Finally, ask yourself how you’ll know when you’ve succeeded. For me, it goes back to self-determination, creativity, living in the flow and not fighting against the current, building my skills and the contribution I’m able to make, and fulfillment.
If this sounds like you, please apply.
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BOSSMENTOR® provides advice on strategy, structure and growth for business owners and CEOs wanting to grow the value of their companies and ultimately spend less time working in them. http://www.bossmentor.com.au