Key Things Too Consider Before Starting A Business

Starting your own business might seem like the holy grail of earning opportunities. Nobody is micro-managing your every move, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can do.

There’s no doubt that running your own business is a wonderful opportunity to realize your full potential. Yet, it pays to remember that small business is risky business; almost 50% of small businesses don’t make it to their 5th birthday.

So, let’s find out how to start a business the right way and make sure you’re in the winning half.

  1. Think Long and Hard

Not everybody is cut out to lead the way in business; the world needs employees too.

Here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before you consider opening up shop:

  • Is there a demand for my product or services?
  • Is the timing right?
  • How much money do I need and where will I get it from?
  • Who is my competition?
  • What can I offer that my competitors don’t?
  • Which resources do I already have?
  • What is the risk?
  • Do I have the self-discipline to put in the time and the effort?

If you can’t answer all of these up front, that’s okay. Take some time to find answers to these questions. Along the way, you might decide that business is not for you after all and that’s okay too.

On the other hand, if the questions above inspire and excite you, you’re ready for step 2.

  1. Follow Your Passion

When you’re passionate about something you’re 100% more likely to see it through. While there might be a huge demand for computer programmers, if that isn’t your thing, there’s no point in pursuing a business along those lines.

You’d be better off trying out something else that does interest you when considering small business ideas, even if there’s less demand for it. Remember, your new business is going to demand a lot of you, and you’ll find it so much easier to cope if you’re driven by passion in your daily tasks.

There might be areas of your business, such as sales, that you don’t excel at. Don’t let these things put you off – you can upskill yourself and learn. It is vital that the core of your business activities aligns with your strengths and interests.

  1. Test it Out

A SWOT analysis can help you to identify any potential problem areas as well as opportunities that you may not have thought of.  

Here’s how to do a SWOT analysis:

  1. Draw a large square and divide it into 4 smaller squares
  2. Label the top right box ‘Strengths’, and list everything you’ve got going for you in that box. These are things like experience, qualifications, business connections, and so on.
  3. The next box is for ‘Weaknesses’. Be objective; you can get a friend or business advisor to help you get an idea of aspects you need to improve on.
  4. The third box should be labelled ‘Opportunities’. These include where you feel your business can fit into the market, how you can expand it etc. Pay attention to areas where opportunities can be used to cancel out threats.
  5. Lastly, what ‘Threats’ does your fledgling business face? These are things such as established competitors, limited resources, national economic factors, etc.

When you are done, you’ll have a good idea about the way forward for your business, what adjustments you can make, or if you should abandon the idea altogether.

A SWOT analysis can be used to get a holistic picture every step along the way of your business journey and is a useful tool to give you a realistic idea of your next step.

  1. Think About Marketing from Day One

The importance of branding and marketing your business cannot be overstated. In the competitive business world of today, you need to plan your next step months (even years) ahead.

Online marketing is an essential aspect of marketing for all businesses. It’s comparatively cheap, it’s far-reaching, and it’s extremely effective. These days, if you’re not online, you don’t exist.

If you know nothing about online marketing, there are many expert resources available to help you get started.

  1. Financial Considerations

No matter how well you budget, chances are your business is going to cost a lot more to get it off the ground than you anticipated. There are always unexpected delays, hidden costs, and frustrating roadblocks in the initial stages of starting a business.

Get a financial backup plan before you start. Set up a business plan and get the banks on board. Failing to plan on the financial front is one of the top reasons for business failure.

  1. How to Start a Business That’s Relevant

Market research is another vital first step when starting a business. Make sure that there is a demand for your products and service, and how much of a demand.

Think ahead. For example, plastics are common in manufacturing today, but the world is moving towards eco-friendlier options. So, investing heavily in a plastic manufacturing plant would not be a good long-term decision.

  1. Never Risk More Than You Can Afford to Lose

One of the most important factors to remember when you’re figuring out how to start a business is that no matter how passionate you are, work should not take over your life.

While your new business is going to demand a lot of your time, don’t neglect your family and friends in the process. Make sure to get them on board from the outset. You can even get them involved with certain aspects, to pique their interest. Everybody needs balance in their life.

Don’t give up at the first obstacle; these hiccups will build your character and teach you valuable skills. Stick it out as best you can, ask for help where needed, embrace your failures and learn from them. From great risk comes great reward.

There’s no better time than the present to take advantage of small business opportunities in Namibia, South Africa, or anywhere else on the African continent. Robert Nienaber and his team are passionate about making a difference for you and your business, get in touch for guidance and assistance where needed.