Starting a business can feel absolutely terrifying, and that alone puts most people off. It should also be an exciting time too, a chance to try something new and prove to yourself (and possibly others) that you have what it takes to be successful. There is an element of risk involved too, particularly if you are leaving the safety of a 9-5 role. You may be more prepared than you think though, which is why it is a good idea to run through these few questions in order to determine whether starting a business is the right thing for you.
1. Why do you want to start a business?
Everyone has their own reasons for stepping out into the world of freelance, but you need to write this reason down. When things get tough and motivation is lost, it is important to remember why you started the business in the first place. It will help to give you that extra boost to carry on.
There are lots of different reasons to start a business: financial and professional independence, supporting your family, being passionate about the services or products that you are providing. If you can’t pinpoint exactly why you are looking to start a business, maybe now just isn’t the right time for you.
2. What sets you apart from the competition?
With a very crowded market, you need to think of a way in which your business will stand out from the rest. What is your USP? Are you able to offer the same products or services at a lower price? Or does your customer service highly exceed that of your competitors? Whatever your advantage is, it must provide value to your customers otherwise your business will just fade into the background with the others.
3. Do you have a support network?
This isn’t just support from your nearest and dearest, do you have anyone within the business world who you can go to if you have any specific questions? Do you need a business coach, or do your local networking group have business advisors on hand that you can speak with? You may want to consider funding options too before starting your business if you need some capital in order to get you started.
4. How do you define success?
Again, this is different for most people. Some may be financially driven, whilst others may just be happy with having more of a work-life balance. Defining success in the early stages of setting up a business means that you have goals to work towards, which will help keep you motivated. Start with what you would like to accomplish in the first year as a business owner and then take it from there. Make sure you put your goals in writing too, for added accountability!
5. What size business do you want to build?
You may set your goals very high and want to have a team of over 100 people working from several locations within the UK. Alternatively, you may be happy just keeping your business small and profitable without the need for scaling it up. If you are looking to run a large business, you will need financial and human resources in order to cover both the expenses and the responsibilities. If you don’t have a plan in place you could find yourself with too much on your plate, and at risk of burnout. With most businesses folding within the first two years of operation, it is often as a result of a lack of planning.
If you can happily answer all of these questions, it is likely that you are ready to launch your business. Venture Offices provides the additional support to help get you off the ground with our virtual office packages which also include additional services such as phone answering and mail forwarding (depending on the package you choose). Get in touch today to find out more about how we can help your business.