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Going It Alone – Starting Your Own Business

Starting Your Own Business

Have you ever thought of having your own business? It is not as scary as it might seem – so long as you go about it the right way, take advice and be prepared to work at it.

But first:

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You Need a Business Idea!

Here are a few questions you could ask yourself:

  • When I was young, just finished my education, with the world at my feet… given no barriers, what did I want to be, do or have?
  • What are my hobbies? Music, sport, art, animals, figures, history, reading, walking – the list is endless. You are more likely to succeed, if you are passionate about what you are doing.
  • What is my consuming desire in life? Don’t say it’s money. What would I do with that money?

Lucky are those who can turn their hobby into a means of earning a living, and who love what they do.

You may have to compromise. You would probably have to look for a mundane job while you prepare for what you really want to do. You could find employment in the same field, which would give you insight, and which might lead to further avenues and better things. At the very least, you will be lifted into positive thoughts and a pathway to follow. And you will have an AIM in life.

“Starting your own business isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s stressful and pretty much demands your complete focus. On the plus side, it can also be a fulfilling experience professionally and personally.” – Entrepreneur.com

You may come up with several ideas, which is no problem. You will just have to decide on which one you think you would like to go with, and then be prepared to go through a structured process to discover whether your idea could work or not.

Clients often ask me if I think their business will work. My answer is always the same:

If you really want to succeed, then your business will prosper.

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Business Planning.

This isn’t a scary exercise – you just need to take one step at a time, and the most important part of a business plan, is Research.

You don’t want to reinvent the wheel – you need to learn from other people’s mistakes. And you need to do this in a structured way, examining not only the obvious things like prices, but also other parameters.

The most important activity in business is Marketing, which means studying how others in your chosen field market themselves, and the type of customers they are targeting.

And as an offshoot of your research, you will discover the value of networking with those in your field, to the mutual benefit of everybody.

You will plan how to treat your resources, by cultivating your customers and looking after your staff.

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Keeping Accounts.

This is a vital exercise, and can be rewarding, if you go about it the right way. You will learn to make informed forecasts of sales and expenses, which as time goes by and you revisit your plan annually, will become increasingly meaningful. You will do “what-if” analyses and produce workable cash-flow forecasts, so that you don’t run out of money at vital times.

A business plan is one of the important things you should have, helping you to create a vision for the future.

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And if you need finance to kick-start your venture, no self-respecting sponsor will consider you unless you can produce a viable business plan.

A Little Handbook

If you would like to know more about simple business planning, here is a little handbook to keep beside you, which I have developed after over fifteen years of mentoring small business start-ups.

Because I am a story-teller at heart, I have illustrated various points with stories based on the true experiences of my clients.

Going It Alone: A Beginner’s Guide To Starting Your Own Business 

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