In today’s world, we come across numerous success stories of entrepreneurs starting their businesses, the teething problems they faced and making a major impact in the space they operate. It can be very tempting in these tough times to believe that starting up a business is the next solution to your financial problems. And you might be right, nevertheless before you decide to bite the bullet and start your own business, here are a few of the important factors you need to put into consideration:
You must have a Business Plan
The importance of a business plan can never be over emphasized. Before you start a journey, it is important to know where you want to go before you start. A business plan helps you give directions to your journey before starting. It helps you define what the ‘Big Picture’ should be.
You must Identify your team
The survival of any start-up can largely be attributed to the strength of the team behind the business. You need to associate yourself with individuals who believe in the same goals, willing to add value and also put in whatever is necessary to achieve the goal of the team. For a team to be successful, it is important to respect each other’s views and opinions. Point of caution, your team does not need to have too many people as members. It may be a brother, a close friend, a spouse, a former colleague. It does not matter the number of individuals but rather what skills and values each person can add to the business.
You must be Patient but Persistent
You must understand that no success comes overnight in business. Gradual but consistent growth is the key to long-term survival of any business. There is “NO SHORTCUT” and you must respect this fact. A lot of businesses try to grow faster than their structure can carry and they end up crashing terribly. Always celebrate small wins as they aggregate to become great success. However, do not let the small wins blind you from seeing bigger opportunities.
You must not be afraid to make mistakes
In school we are taught that mistakes are bad and making them equals failure. And yet, in the business world, your strength and success are measured by the number of times you have failed and come back from such failures. Mistakes are not really failures but opportunities to learn. Therefore, you must see every mistake made as a learning point and determine the lessons to be learnt accordingly.
You must always pay attention to what the Market is saying
Don’t always believe you know everything. Always pay attention to what data from the business is telling you and don’t be blinded by your own perception of the market. The moment you disconnect yourself from what the market is saying, your business will start to suffer.
You must define your financing strategy
One of the biggest hurdles you will need to cross is raising capital for your business idea. Your first funding most likely will be from personal savings, family and friends. Be prepared, it will take some time for you to get funding from investors meanwhile your business is probably yet to make any clear profits. This is why you need to make all available funds count as your ability to manage funds wisely will be tested at the early stages of the business. In fact, you might end up going months without enough money from the business for salaries or allowances at the early stages.
The list of factors to consider before starting your business is in-exhaustive. As you progress into conducting necessary research into starting a business you will uncover more of them.
George Jinadu is the Lead Consultant at Tegsol Consulting, a Finance Consultancy Firm focused on providing Virtual/Special Purpose CFO services to Startups, Small & Medium Scale Enterprises