So you want to go into business? So far, so good – but do you have a plan or would you rather hit the ground running and make tweaks to your strategy as you go along?
Whether you will be able to do this depends very much on the type of business you have in mind. If you are a writer or a dog walker then it may be that you have some latitude for changing direction if your initial approach enjoys less success than you had at first anticipated. But if your chosen field involves heavy investment in materials or premises then your hands may be more tied. Either way, it usually pays to test the water before diving in.
Surviving Lean Periods
As a starting point it may be a good idea to give some thought as to what running your own business – any business – involves and, more specifically, whether you are cut out for it. Is your family situation conducive to working irregular hours? Could you survive lean periods without an income? Do you have the personality and the people skills that your specific role requires? These are all issues best addressed at the off rather than permitting them to become big problems after you have committed yourself.
The other essential piece of work that needs to be done is a frank evaluation of the market, based not on wishful thinking but rather upon a sober appraisal of how the land lies. Is there a demand for your product or service? How will you reach potential customers? How strong, and established, is the competition?
Success can be a surprisingly simple thing once these questions have been answered, as long as they have been approached in a realistic and dispassionate manner. Ignore them and they are certain to come back to haunt you as you progress.