The following post is one of a series of posts on the topic of starting and running your own business.
The material in the posts has been sourced from various government websites designed to assist you start and run a business.
These websites include the Commonwealth Government’s website - www.business.gov.au and the Queensland Government website – www.business.qld.gov.au.
What are the key factors in starting and running your own business?
You may have a mental picture of what your business will look like. You may picture yourself speaking and working with customers and clients. You may have a vision of running a business employing staff.
Whatever your dream or vision there are several key factors you need to consider in starting and operating your own business. These include:
· the reality of starting and running your own business
· the skills need to start and run a business
· evaluating your business idea
· is your business idea a hobby or a business?
· deciding on your business structure
· planning your business
· marketing and advertising your business
· managing your business
· growing your business
· exiting or having a succession plan for your business.
This post is designed to provide you with an overview of these key factors to assist you to work ‘on’ your business. There are a lot of resources you can access to help you make a decision about whether you want to start your own business and how to start, operate and grow your own business. These include the Commonwealth Government’s website - www.business.gov.au and the Queensland Government website – www.business.qld.gov.au.
Working ‘on’ your business is different to working ‘in’ your business. Working ‘on’ your business is spending time ‘on’ developing a business plan, implementing the plan, monitoring budgets and cash flows, managing risks etc. Working ‘in’ your business is doing what you actually wanted to do in the first place which engaging with customers or clients and selling your product or services.
Running a business requires its own set of skills and disciplines that are quite separate from selling your product or services. A key challenge (not only in the early days but right through your professional life) will be to find a balance between your professional work and the management of your business.
Before we look at each of the factors let’s look some of the things you should think about before you actually start your business. These things may seem daunting and negative but it means you are aware of the negatives before you invest your time, money and energy into starting your business
1. What is the reality of starting your own business?
Starting your own business can be challenging and also rewarding. It will take a lot of time and effort to start up and potentially a significant amount of money also.
Consider first why you want to run a small business:
· Is it because you have a great concept, product or service to offer the community?
· Do you want to be your own boss and have autonomy in your working life?
· Is it a lifelong dream to run your own business?
Secondly consider how running your own business may affect your income and financial security, your personal goals and your family. As starting your own business will take up a lot of your time and in the beginning may not bring in the income to replace the income you have given up when working for someone else. In addition, you may need to given up your regular holiday plans.
And lastly do you have the necessary skills to set up and run your own business? Are you an outgoing person who enjoys talking with other people and finds it easy to start up a conversation? Are you able to deal with the stress of working long hours, making difficult financial decisions, dealing with staff issues?
2. What are the skills you need to start up and run a business?
The Queensland Government business website has a Business Readiness Quiz that you can take online. It takes approximately 5 minutes to complete.
It looks at factors such as:
· your business suitability,
· industry and business experience,
· legal requirements and
You can choose to receive a personalised action plan of information and resources to help you understand and be prepared for some of the issues you may face when starting and running your business.
The Commonwealth Government website has a similar resource at Prepare yourself for business.
It looks at:
· how to prepare yourself for business
· analysing your business idea
· analysing yourself and knowing your strengths and weaknesses
· know your product or service
· know your customers
3. Is your business idea feasible?
Before starting your business it is important to consider the following questions outlined on the two websites I have previously referred to:
· What product/service will you provide?
· Is your idea feasible?
· How will you protect your idea?
· Is there a market for your product/service?
· What skills do you need to develop your business idea?
· Who are your competitors?
· What difference will you bring to the market?
· Do you have the financial capacity?
· Is your idea financially viable?
The Queensland Government website has a guide to assist you assess your business idea.
Spend some time working through the questions posed in this post before jumping into starting you business venture.
It may also be useful to obtain professional advice to assist you deciding whether you are ready to start a business.
Why not make a complementary consultation with me today to go through your business ideas.
My next post will consider whether you activities would be considered a hobby or a business.