Not everyone has what it takes to start a business. It’s stressful, it requires extreme focus and dedication, and it takes a tremendous amount of sacrifice. On the plus side, however, starting your own business can be one of the most fulfilling and exhilarating experiences of your professional life. Having started several successful businesses myself, I’ve learnt some tips and tricks along the way. Here’s a step by step guide on what you need to do if you want to start your own successful business:
Before you start a business, you need to evaluate yourself. Self-awareness is absolutely essential. You’ve got to know what you’re good at, what you’re capable of, what you can realistically achieve and whether or not you have the time to set up your own business. When you take the time to critically assess yourself, you should focus on the following:
- Your skills: What skills do you actually have? I’m not talking about the skills that you list on a CV that you think you have, I’m talking about the skills that other people would vouch for you having. Ask someone who knows you really well what your skills are, and they’ll be able to tell you.
- Passion: What are your passions? What do you care about? You can be passionate about more than one thing, but what makes you truly happy? Setting up a business is a tough journey, and building a successful one is even harder. If you find the thing that you’re passionate about and build a business around this, then it’ll be a lot easier to make it through the dark days that you’re bound to experience.
- Expertise: Know what your area of expertise is.
- How much can you afford to spend: It’s a known fact that most businesses fail. This is because they run out of money. Before you start your business, you need to know how much you can afford to spend.
- How much capital do you need: Do you need to raise capital for your business? How much money will you need to get things off the ground?
- Lifestyle: What kind of lifestyle are you expecting to live? And if you want to live a life of luxury then are you prepared to put in the required amount of work to get there?
- Are you ready to be an entrepreneur: Entrepreneurialism isn’t as glamorous as a lot of people think it is. In theory, it might seem like a sexy career path to follow, but in reality, it means blood, sweat and tears! You don’t hear about the grinding, the dark days and the sleepless nights, but let me assure you- this is a reality that all entrepreneurs will experience.
THINK OF A BUSINESS IDEA:
For those of you wanting to start your own businesses, you might have an idea of what you want to do, but I meet a lot of people that don’t know what direction they want to go in or what type of business they want to set up. These people know that they want to run their own businesses, and they’ve got tons of motivation and energy, but they don’t quite know what to do yet.
- Find a solution to a problem: For me, great business ideas happen when you identify a problem and you come up with a solution to that problem. If you see a problem or a gap in a specific industry that you would be able to fix, then you should grab hold of this opportunity immediately. Sometimes, solutions to certain problems are really obvious, but no one else has acted on them.
- Can you provide a service or product at a more affordable rate: Your idea doesn’t necessarily need to be an original one, but if you can provide a service that is quicker, better and cheaper than your competitors, then people will be more likely to buy from you, and soon you’ll dominate the market.
Once you have your business idea, then you have to do your market research.
- Research online and offline: On social media, you can ask your followers and community what they think of your business idea, or you can run different polls asking for peoples opinions. Once you’ve asked enough questions online, go offline and speak to people face to face to hear what they think. You can ask people in shopping malls, at sporting events, or at places where your business idea would be relevant. By doing this you’ll find out if there is a need for your business idea. You can’t just think there’s a need, you need concrete evidence that there is.
- Feedback: How you interpret people’s feedback here is really important. You don’t want people to just tell you what you want to hear. What you need is for people to be brutally honest with you.
MAKE IT OFFICIAL:
If you don’t get all the legal paperwork done for your business, it could spell disaster. When it comes to starting your own business, don’t cut any corners and don’t think of taking shortcuts!
- Hire a lawyer to advise you.
- Look at your business structure.
- Name your business.
- Register your business.
- Open up a business bank account
- Do your research on trademarks
WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN:
When you’ve got all the legal work done and dusted, you’ll need to write a business plan. I coach a lot of businesses and I’m always baffled when they don’t have up to date business plans. A business cannot function without a business plan. If you don’t know how to write a business plan, there are thousands of resources on the Internet that will show you exactly how to do it.
WORK OUT HOW YOU’RE GOING TO FINANCE YOUR BUSINESS:
You can fund your business yourself, but if you don’t have enough capital you can fund your business in the following ways:
- Angel Investing: Pitch your business idea to friends, family or angel investors.
- Request a business loan.
- Crowdfunding: There are numerous crowdfunding websites that you can use, and you can offer people equity in your business for funding you.
- Join a start-up incubator: There are a lot of these organisations in Dubai. They offer mentorship and advice on how you can raise the money you need for your business.
START BUILDING YOUR TEAM:
Who are you going to need to employ? Will it just be you at the beginning? Will you work with a business partner? Can you realistically take on staff members?
Running a business is a lonely place when you’re on your own and incredibly overwhelming at the beginning. You need to work with people who have skills that you don’t have and who can bring value that you can’t. Having competent staff who are able to manage aspects of your business that you can’t, will give you peace of mind.
A lot of business people hire the wrong people. Be careful not to do this. Think about your business goals and map out the avatars of the people who you need in your team, and then don’t divert from this.
WHAT IS YOUR SALES STRATEGY:
What are you going to do to bring sales through the door? Once you have everything else in place, map out your sales strategy so that you can figure out how you’re going to make sales and build your revenue, and then execute this!
*If you enjoyed this article and want more advice on how you can start your own successful business, then watch my Facebook Live video on the topic here: