If you have dreams of starting your own business, there are several things you can – and should do – to pave the way and make the road a bit smoother. There are also some pitfalls and potholes along the way, and being aware of them in advance will allow you to travel past them with greater ease.
First, Assess Your Goals
There are many good reasons for wanting to be your own boss, but be aware that it is hard work, and becoming a successful entrepreneur takes discipline and perseverance. If you want more freedom, or the flexibility to balance home and professional responsibilities, freelancing may be attractive. It is rarely a panacea, though, and requires planning. Both sides of your life may need some adjustment to make it work.
You are likely to need the support of family and friends, even if it’s only in the emotional realm. Be certain to obtain all proper permits, and comply with legal requirements. Open a business bank account and consider consulting a tax adviser. Lastly, you will need the financial resources to provide for yourself in the beginning stages. It becomes a much easier task if you have amassed startup capital, and if you have the necessary credit rating and financial stability to carry you and your new business forward.
Most importantly, do you have a plan?
Define Your Goals, Make a Plan
It has been stated that no business succeeds without a dream. On the other hand, no business succeeds with only a dream.
Take the time and effort to define realistic goals. Write out your mission and objectives, chart logical steps and methods, and draft at least a preliminary timeline. You need to have benchmarks along the path; and you need to plan for specific actions at certain mileposts.
Try not to overthink the plan. It is also vital that you set it in motion, but remember that no points are written in stone; periodically reassessing your methods as well as your goals is part of business.
Ensure Financial Health
Recognise that a business is a continuum of effort. “Overnight success” is rare. There will likely be detours and roadblocks to traverse along the way. You can smooth the way by getting your personal credit standing in order before proceeding to launch your business enterprise. Make no mistake: As a sole proprietor or an entrepreneur, your personal credit report is of prime importance.
An impeccable credit rating may contribute more to your initial business success than any other single factor. If you have access to financing, and your personal affairs demonstrate an understanding of the need to manage debt, repay loans and monitor finances, you are a step ahead.
Establish Good Habits
Research from Experian Credit Expert reveals some alarming figures about how young Britons are – or are not – falling into healthy credit habits. Student debt, high debt to income ratio, missed payments; even having more credit cards than necessary, can mean a lower than desired credit score. That puts you at risk in the eyes of a potential lender or business backer. There are financial advisers to help you improve a less than stellar credit report, and Credit Expert offers valuable tips.
For your business, as in your personal affairs, a realistic budget will keep you on track. Establish a contingency fund for your business, just as you do in your personal life. Plan for major expenditures. “Make do” when possible. Reassess your credit report on a regular basis.
If you are persistent in your approach, starting your own business can be extremely fulfilling and profitable.