Nowadays, the tendency to be your own boss and work at your start-up own company is growing at very quick pace. The reasons for this recent trend are many; the most popular one being due to younger generations wanting to detach themselves from being part of enormous corporations, and generally stirring away from just being “one more worker working towards fulfilling somebody else’s dream” rather than their own – reasons which are fair enough.
On the other hand, it can be quite challenging to become self-employed and start your own business, especially since this type of knowledge is not common, and not usually taught at schools. Because of this, this article aims to show you the way towards being independent and self-sufficient in the realm of work and business.
Assess the Situation
Before you make any life-changing decisions, the first step you must take is to really evaluate and assess both the consequences of being self-employed. Consider the real reason behind you wanting to become independent and whether it makes sense to make this move.
Take into account your personality. If you are someone that is naturally driven by the thought of goals, someone who is good at keeping a positive attitude and a good capacity to deal with stress, then you are most probably a great candidate for thinking about becoming self-employed. On the other hand, if you are someone who is currently working in a well-paid job with adequate benefits and which is fulfilling to you, perhaps it would not be worth to go through stressful and uncertain times.
Be prepared for a complete change in lifestyle. To avoid sugarcoating the issue, the life of a someone beginning to exercise self-employment is draining, uncertain and often disappointing to the point where you might even want to give up. This is not a secret, and it is important that it is made clear. However, if you are willing and prepared to get through the hard times, being self-employed might change your life entirely (for the better of course).
It is also important to consider your peers and family before you make a decision like this. If you are single, it may make it easier to choose to become self-employed. However, if you happen to have a family with a spouse or children, it is perhaps a conversation that you will need to have.
Write A Business Plan
Of course, it is evident that if you are going to become self-employed, you need to have the most clarity about what you want to do. In fact, it is quite dangerous to start out as an independent without a set strategy, goal and business idea. For this reason, making a business plan is a key step towards a successful journey towards gaining independence.
In your business plan, you must describe in detail what your product or service, with a strict schedule plan, marketing and advertising strategies, and whether you intend to hire a team of employees. Business plans help you put out in paper every thing you need to do to make your dream come true; everything to the tiniest detail.
If you are feeling a little lost on what the best way to build a business plan is, consider investing in business plan tools such as Bplans, Startpad and LivePlan. These software and apps will make your journey towards creating a successful business plan be smooth and easy, while giving you great results.
Plan Out Your Finances
In order for your chances at becoming independent are as optimistic as possible, you will need to set out a finance plan. In your finance plan, you should include and determine how much capital you require for your business. Examples of the capital you need to consider is potential employees what you will hire to work with (or for) you, possible equipment or machinery you might need, lawyers, consultants or experts that you will perhaps have to hire, legal fees, and more.
Making a finance plan will help you see how manageable your business idea is, and how much evidently how much time it will take for your business to take off. It will also let you know whether you will need to ask for a loan for extra funds.
Today, there are amazing technological tools that you can use to increase the potential of success for your business. For example, considering that you will be starting out small, finance and accounting software such as Freshbooks, Zoho Books (and Zoho Expense) or OnPay. In a few words, these tools will help you keep track of your activity in terms of expenses and profitability in a safe and clear space.
Dominate Your Area Of Skill
Whatever you wish to focus your business in, it is crucial for you to have the utmost skill and knowledge about its content. Take the necessary training, classes and absorb as much information you can about it in order for your service or product to be as well-rounded and carefully produced as possible.
The reason why it is important for you to be as best prepared as possible, is because it will be difficult for you to have the funds to hire someone besides you with the knowledge and skill that you desire. Therefore, while you are getting started, all the responsibilities concerning financial and legal aspects, marketizing, product knowledge and more will be put on you. The internet and online courses are extremely reliable sources which you can use to enrich and develop your skills.
An alternative to complicated and expensive courses for gaining knowledge, you may find that online options such as MasterClass or Learn Anything are incredible platforms for you to drench yourself in knowledge in a quick and easy way.
Take Advantage of Experts’ Input
Especially if you are about to take on such an unexplored and challenging adventure of self-employment, it would be smart move to contact people who have had previous experience in starting their own businesses.
Everything you have to know about starting up your own business is not something that is general or popular knowledge. If you’re lucky to have studied a business career at higher education course, you may have some idea of what the basic steps to take are. However, for most of us, this isn’t the case.
Talking to self-employed individuals about their experiences in being their own might be a lot more enlightening than reading any book or guide about business. In real life, anything can happen when constructing your own company. In fact, it is unlikely for anything to run smoothly, just like a business book might suggest. Because of this, it is a good idea to listen to other people’s opinions, professional advice and personal encounters they have faced; in order for you to be as best prepared as possible in the case of unexpected surprises.
This tip is similar to the one made about searching for advice from experts, yet remains different. Differently to talking to experts, networking entails making connections and contacts with people or businesses that may help when starting out your business.
In fact, before you start anything beyond your business plan, it is a great idea to attend various business events or conferences having to do with the industry you are planning to introduce your business to, or through social media accounts. When communicating and building honest and reciprocal relationships with people who have similar goals and interests can lead to incredible benefits; such as creating and expanding knowledge across many parties and eventually the ability to help businesses apart from your own to rise from the ground and to develop into something much bigger than you initially expected.
Networking is a skill that can be confusing and that must be acquired and practiced; unfortunately, it is not as simple as it sounds. For example, while it is important that you talk to as many people as possible and not overlook people who are in lower employed positions, you must also keep your guard up and only invest your time and energy in individuals whom you consider will truly leave a positive impact on you and your business.
If personal contact is not really your thing, or if you need a little ‘push’ towards making a move when having to meet new people, online networking platforms such as Lifograph and Let’sLunch are great ways for you to accomplish that. They will help open may doors for opportunities.
Market Your Business
One of the elements that are critical in determining the success of your business is your ability to make it visible and spread it among the crowd. Taking into account the scale at which technology is becoming the largest means ways of communication used today, so building a website or a page on a social media platform is one of the best ways to launch your business.
Putting your business on the internet will inevitably make it accessible for a larger crowd of people; hence it provoking a positive snowball effect on the popularity and a great potential for good reviews written by past clients that are available to the public.
Of course, regardless of this option being one of the best there is in the aspect of advertising, there are of course other ways in which you can do it. For example, by creating flyers and posting them inside well-traveled locations such as coffee-shops or bus stops. You can also choose where you set up your advertisements depending on the target audience you are aiming your service or product at. For example, if you are targeting students, you could hand out flyers to parents in front of schools, or even ask for permission to directly introduce yourself through emails to parents or talks in classrooms.
Be Prepared For Failure
The last advice, yet perhaps most important piece of advice that this article can bring to you is about keeping a positive attitude. Being strong minded and willing to keep going through bad times is truly the only thing that will lead you to success. Of course, limits may exist on how many times you can pick yourself up and try again.
In contrast, every time you face a challenge, defeat or failure, it is important that you take these as lessons and as indicators of what you can do to improve it next time you try.
All in all, the journey you will encounter and time you will invest in making good decisions, fixing bad ones, networking, overcoming challenges will be demanding and will soon feel like it is not with to go forward with the project. On the other hand, the end result after going through highs and lows, the feeling of reward you will obtain after your business is settled and improving will be unlike anything you have experienced before.
Remember to take every step of the way as a valuable lesson that will only impact the final version of your business positively. In other words, the more you trip but get back up, the more knowledge and experience you will gain.