There are thousands of graduates working the streets seeking for jobs and there are equally thousands of people thinking of how to start a business even among those working. The question usually asks is how do I get to start? The focus is always on money but skill and knowledge about business are more important than money. Money is a necessary resource but some have started businesses with little or no money. There are things you have to do to become your own boss.
1. TAKE A FIRM DECISION
Nobody ever wakes up and start a business. The idea and urge would have been there long before the set-out. There is always a waiting period. The time to think through and weigh the risk involved in leaving the known for the unknown.
Deciding to leave a paid job to be your own boss may be more difficult than deciding to get something started if you were not employed previously. In both cases, the vision should be clear. Sometimes, procrastination may take a whole part of us and bring about a delay. On the other hand, some unpleasant events such as retrenchment, unfavorable work conditions or unemployment can quicken us to our destiny. Take a firm decision once you have decided to start a business of your own.
2. CHOOSE A BUSINESS THAT FLOWS WITH PASSION
Most time, your work experience gives you the lead and leverage to your new mission. However, some have abandoned previous work experience and tow a path of passion by taking up another vocation. Passion brings about service and service produces wealth. Going into business to make money without passion may lead to much struggle, frustration and spell doom. Choose your target market well.
3. GET THE SKILL
Where your previous work experience does not meet your passion, get a new skill along with your passion. Even with passion and previous experience, you may still need to sharpen your skill as you step out. Note that information is very important in business. Get as much information as well.
4. DRAW YOUR BUSINESS PLAN
It is very important to write down your plans. Develop a simple Business Plan to guide in what you want to do and how you want to do it. This may involve carving out the mission and vision statements. State the objects, what you need for the business, how you are going to get it and at what cost. It is also very important to draw your cash flow. Have a budget and ensure adherence.
5. START SMALL
The mantra “Start small, grow big” is well known. At the start of every business, the tendency to launch out big is always there. Restrain yourself from undue acquisition and bogus operational structure and cost. You may not need office space at the start. You can work from home depending on the type of business. You can share office space and can move to get a space with time. Market your service and products through simple means without necessarily having to incur a huge cost. Quality service delivery guarantees referrals. Work within your budget.
6. REVIEW YOUR PLAN AND STRATEGY
Your plan and strategy should be reviewed periodically. It could be weekly, monthly or quarterly depending on the business. At the review, you must be honest to admit failure, weakness, oversight, and mistake and address it appropriately. At this point, a mentor or senior colleague in the business will do well to offer advice on how to move forward. Choose a mentor or colleague who will not see you as a competitor but one that wishes you success.
7. ALLOW FOR GROWTH
Every business is expected to grow and that can only happen through discipline and proper management. Innovation and branding can enable growth. You must continually think outside the box and keep tab with the trend. Today’s society is very dynamic in terms of product and service delivery. Understand the needs of your clients and work to satisfy them.
8. AUDIT YOUR PROGRESS
Every six to twelve months, audit your progress. Look at your finances and account for every dime spent. Separate your personal life from the life of your business even though they may seem like one. Understand that your personal purchases are different from the business. Avoid the common mistakes that people make by equating personal acquisitions to the wellbeing of the business. The truth is that you can acquire so much for yourself while the business is dying.
9. REWARD YOURSELF
When proven success is measured and progress made, reward yourself at the end of the day. There is nothing so good as to enjoy the fruit of your labor
10. GIVE BACK TO THE SOCIETY