There is little doubt that starting and running a business is hard work. It requires a lot of time, dedication, investment, vision and courage. Today’s globally connected world leaves very little wiggle room for mistakes, and one must be clever or lucky in order to prosper. In fact, many businesses fail within the first year. This is a sobering fact for those wishing to start out on their own and make a go of it. There are a number of important things to consider before starting up your own business.
Make sure that you have a very clear vision for your business goals. It’s no good having a wishy-washy idea on what you’re going to do. By sitting down and hammering out a real business plan, you stand a much better chance of making it a success. Look at your expenses, how much you need to borrow from the bank, how much you can afford to repay the bank with interest accrual, and what your possible overheads are, including rent, outgoings and utilities, and stock, if applicable.
Many people make the mistake of wanting to monetise their passion or hobby. While this sounds like a dream, it often ends up that the person gets burned out and wears out their passion very quickly. We often hear about passionate and visionary people who want to monetise their talents. This is all well and good until they sit down and start to plan out how it will work. If you’re a photographer, for example, will people pay money for your photographs? What makes them stand out in a crowd? Are you doing something unique? Why should people be interested in what you do? Be very careful that you draw a line between your hobbies and what you do for money. Selling things for profit has a bad habit of draining the joy out of an endeavour if you are not very careful.
Are you going into business on your own or with a business partner? If you are going into business with other people, make sure that you are all on the same page and have the same motivations and vision. It is important to nail this down at an early stage, before anyone commits their valuable time and money to the endeavour. If you plan on going into business with a good friend, it is also worth bearing in mind that business can be very stressful, and this might even ruin the friendship. Are you prepared for the stress and a possible breakdown of the relationship?
Most people who go into business spend every waking hour thinking about the business and its development. Are you prepared to dedicate that much time to running it and nurturing it? Bear in mind that you need to give people a reason to become your customers. If you are not dedicated to your own business, why should they hand their money over to you?
Enhancing Your Business: Some Tips and Advice
Once you have considered all the options before committing your time and money, it’s time to work out how you can run your business in the most efficient and cost effective way possible without compromising on service and professionalism. Consider the following advice for streamlining your business and really making it work for you, instead of the other way around.
It may be tempting to interview and employ staff, but can your business afford it? Just remember: as the employer you will be responsible for their wages, their time at work, their morale, their training, and their working lives. If your business is booming and you have determined that hiring someone will take some of the pressure off you, in terms of being able to delegate some tasks so that you can focus on growing the business further, it may well be worth looking at hiring staff as long as it is cost effective.
There is no business success without a lot of marketing. The Web provides many tools that can be used to spread the word, and a number of popular social media platforms may be used to enhance your brand and draw more people to your business. Bear in mind that it will take plenty of time and energy, but with a long-term digital marketing strategy and a lot of patience, you can build an online audience that can be converted into customers. Just make sure that you make your marketing interesting and personally relevant to them, otherwise they will simply switch off. In the digital age, people tend to have far less patience for boring marketing!
A Special Note on Projecting Professionalism in Your Business
Reputable companies like Message-Direct offer virtual receptionist services that can really enhance the running of a business in a cost-effective and time-saving manner. Virtual receptionist services have really become popular in the past decade, and can make a business of just about any size shine due to the following features:
- Professional: A trained, professional and friendly receptionist will be able to answer any client or customer calls to your business on a 24/7 basis. This means that they will become the professional face of your business. This enhances your brand immeasurably.
- Timely: By hiring a virtual receptionist, you never miss another call again! All calls will go straight to a trained professional, who can answer simple queries based on your instructions, or take messages that can be delivered to someone of your choosing by text, email or phone.
- Cost effective: Hiring a virtual receptionist is often more cost effective than actually hiring a full-time staff member!
- Grow your business: By having a virtual receptionist deal with all calls, you can get on with developing and growing the business. This is essential in the early days of any business.
Grow Your Business the Smart Way
By planning carefully and considering all options to make your business work smarter, you are well positioned to make it a success!