Each year, there are over 627,000 new businesses registered. This seems like an extraordinary figure, but in actual fact, 60% of those businesses will fail within the first three years and 20% within the first twelve months. So if you are thinking about starting your own company, how can you ensure that you are in the 20% of organisations that see long term success?
The key is in the planning. Rather than jump in all guns blazing, the most successful entrepreneurs take their time to set their affairs in order and lay the foundations. The steps needed to start a business are numerous, so before you get started on your journey it would be wise to ask yourself a few questions. This will help to give you a better idea of what your company will look like, and whether or not you are ready to take this step.
With this in mind, here are the three most important questions to ask yourself before starting a business.
Why do I want to start a business?
Before you make any major life decision, you should always seek your why. The reason for wanting to take this journey. Understanding your motivations will help you discover whether the world of business is truly the right course for you, or if it is just a fleeting desire. A little introspection will help you determine you are motivated by money, fame, success, or the desire to create something from nothing. Maybe you have more noble reasons such as a genuine desire to help consumers fulfill a need or a wish to make the planet a better place. Having a clear view of your goals and targets will keep you motivated in the difficult early years of the business.
Am I willing to put the hours in?
Getting a business off the ground is not easy. You will have to put in a monumental amount of time and energy to keep things going. Your responsibilities will go beyond that of a business owner, as you’ll also be wearing the hats of accountant, marketing manager, salesperson, and IT support. You will be up at the crack of dawn and working late into the night sending emails, ordering supplies, and seeking new business opportunities. If you are not willing to graft, or you think your current personal and professional responsibilities might get in the way, then this might not be the right time for you.
Can I do it alone?
Are you able to get the business starting and keep it running all by yourself? Hiring employees is expensive, so you may wish to go it alone in the beginning. This can save you a huge heap of money, but it also means a great deal of extra work. Bringing in a small team, although costly, will give you more time to focus on the business and you’ll also benefit from the additional ideas and experience floating around. Alternatively, you could consider outsourcing your needs to a third-party company.