Want to become your own boss? Here are five things to consider:
1. Know your ‘Why’.
Being a business owner is not for everyone; the reality of being your own boss is the lack of certainty, the financial challenges – usually affecting your personal finances – and the inordinate work load. No matter what anyone says, it is never a walk in the park. That said, the upside is wonderful; incredible satisfaction, control for your destiny, the ability to earn more than you would as an employee and the freedom to run the business the way you want to. Therefore, you need to be clear about why you want to start your own business before you begin, so that you have an anchor to hold onto when the storms and lulls come.
2. Do What You Know.
The saying goes, ‘fake it til you make it’, might work well for boosting confidence in the early days or accepting new jobs, however, it is not wise to build an entire business on the back of this. Rather, start a business in your own field of expertise – printing, accounting, marketing, sales.
- Its practical: Your desire to start a business might be fueled by your strong drive to move out of the industry you’re in, however, you have confidence, experience, contacts, suppliers, and know-how backing you every step of the way if you stick to what you know.
- Its crucial: It is imperative that you a the business owner know how to do the primary work of the business. We’ve known many people who have charged headlong into an entrepreneurial venture outside of their scope of expertise without having thought this issue through clearly.
- Its profitable: One overlooked and necessary skill is the ability to sell. For most startups to survive, the owner will have to sell. For solo-preneurs you are your brand. Therefore, it is unusual for a startup business to succeed if the owner(s) lacks the ability or knowledge to sell and do the primary work of the business.
3. Lock into a Bigger Brand.
Typically, there are two types of entrepreneurs – those who want to build their own venture from the ground up, no matter how long it takes or how much it costs, and those who want to do their own thing but get there a bit quicker and with more certainty of success.
Partnering with a bigger brand offers stability, centralised support, bigger brand power and the hard-earned trust that the brand has acquired over many years being magically bestowed upon you.
Here are some ideas:
- Franchise: If there are franchise opportunities in your industry, investigate carefully what is included and what is stipulated. Many franchisers have incredibly strict policies, procedures and penalties. Head office runs regular check-ups to ensure the franchise is in keeping with the brand regulations, and there is often very little leniency for error.
- Distribute: Become a distributor of a supplementary service in your industry. For example, the print industry typically requires a very niched skill set, such as estimating or production management, that cannot easily translate into another industry. Once you’re in print, you’re stuck for good. However, instead of opening yet another small print shop and all that implies, partner with a company like BOS that distributes business software tailored to the print industry, and use your print knowledge in that way. You’re backed by the bigger, trusted brand of QuickEasy BOS Print, your years of experience enable you to deeply understand and support your clients, you are exposed to skills that are industry-agnostic and can be used in any sector should you choose to do so, and you still enjoy the flexibility and freedom of running your own business.
4. Know When to Leap.
You’re ready to launch your business, but don’t rush to quit the day job just yet. The salary could be useful in the short-term. It could pay to start piecing together your business out-of-office hours, and then make the leap once your business can sustain you, and is truly ready for your full-time attention.
5. Play Nicely with Others.
Understanding yourself – your strengths and weaknesses – is key. If you love baking cakes, don’t open a bakery. Get a job as a baker. It needs to be said that running a bakery involves lots of boring, non-baking-related tasks and business skills such as accounting, production management, stock control, accounts receivable and customer service that might make a baker’s heart shrivel up and die.
This is where your friends / partners come into play.
- Suppliers: Find suppliers who can support the core function of your business, such as IT infrastructure, bookkeeping, HR, tax and so on.
- Complementary businesses: Partner with someone who is also in your industry but offers services that complement yours. For example, if you’re a florists you could find a wedding planner and supply flowers for them at a discounted price. You’ll get access to their customer database and you can recommend people to them. It’s beneficial for both parties. Find someone to share half the workload and you’ll move twice as fast.
- Complementary partnerships: Find others who have the skills and passion for your areas of weakness. For example, you might sell business software and be passionate about the technical installation process but abhor the hours of customer training that follow. Partner with someone who knows the software and has a flair for training. Twice the productivity in half the time. Win, win. We have a few business consultants at BOS who operate successfully this way: One consultant handles sales and installation, another handles training and service, and another handles the more complex accounting queries because that is his area of expertise. Everyone is playing to their strengths, they are happier and more fulfilled in their roles, and the client wins.
If you’d like to know more about the ease and freedom becoming a distributor of QuickEasy BOS offers, chat to us today.