Tips and Considerations when Starting a New Business
This is a guest post from Luther Morrison.
For some budding entrepreneurs, the only way to get a business off the ground is to work on it alongside their day job. For one thing, a 9-5 job comes with a secure, steady income that some people rely on. However, if you’re still dreaming about being your own boss, these tips can help you take your business dream to reality.
Ask Yourself these Questions First
The first question you need to ask yourself is if your business would be viable. You don’t need to draw up an entire business plan to assess this question. You can do a pared down version. You need to consider:
- What is your product?
- Does it solve a problem, how is it better than any competitors?
- Who are your target customers?
- How will it be distributed?
- What are the significant costs?
- Will it make money?
- How much will you charge?
You should remember to include some ‘burn money’ when you’re assessing costs. This would be for things like creating a logo and website, business cards, subscriptions to marketing platforms, or any other promotional materials. You may be able to design some of these things yourself, which would save money.
Consider Your Current Employer
If you’ve decided that your idea would make a viable business, your next step is to look over the contract you have with your employer. Some contracts can include clauses that would prevent employees from starting businesses; others may only prevent you from starting a business that relates to your current role, or to your employer.
Assuming that there are no clauses preventing you from moving forward, you should talk to your employer. You should be upfront and honest, and let your employer know that you’re thinking of setting up your own business.
Do Your Market Research
Market research is a good way to test your idea out and see if it would actually be viable. You can do this yourself using platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. You can create a survey and send it out to prospective customers.
Make sure you include these questions:
- Would you use the product/service?
- What would you be willing to pay for the product/service?
- Does the product/service solve a problem for you?
If you have a physical product, you might want to consider selling a limited run online to begin with. This will help your recoup some of your manufacturing costs, but will also give you a good idea if the product is viable. If you have a food-based business idea, you should think about taking a temporary stall at a local farmer’s market, and testing out your food.
Managing Your New Business
If you have an agreement from your employer, and you have a viable idea, the next thing you need to think about is how you would manage your business. You need to be able to plan and use your time wisely, and you’ll also need to be sure that your business won’t impact your ability to work your day job.
You don’t only need to think about how you’ll manage making products, or providing the service. You also need to remember that you’ll need time to send emails, manage social media, network, and follow-up on leads. You need to develop a strategy that means that your customers still get a fantastic customer experience, even if you can’t be there all the time.
Scaling the Business Up
You need to think about what your ambitions are for your business. Do you want to eventually leave your full-time job, and work on your business full-time? Or do you want to progress more in you day job?
Perhaps you would prefer to switch to part-time hours, so you can work part-time hours on both your day job and your business. You need to think carefully about your plans for the future, and you’ll also need to work out budgets, and financial plans for both your business, and your household.
Be Honest with Yourself
The only way your business could be successful is if you are completely honest with yourself. You need to be realistic, and if your idea wouldn’t make a viable business, then you should not continue. You also need to be honest with your employer, and let them know what your plans are, and how you plan to progress.
You may also want to consider contacting your local citizen’s advice for more insight in how to continue your plans, and if there are any new business supports available in your area. Another good contact to speak to would be an accountant. You need to check what the tax implications would be, both for your business, and personally.
Scott’s Note: If you’re struggling with the idea of what you can do in a business, or even just to make money with a side hustle, then head over to No to Grow. It’s there that I teach you how to figure out your skills, and make money with them, so that you can live life on your own terms.