What it really means to be your own boss!
Being your own boss might sound like the ultimate ticket to freedom and financial success—and it can be. However, don’t think putting in a few hours each morning and spending the afternoons “networking” at the golf course is enough to guarantee your success.
The reality is that most businesses require A LOT of hard work before they start making a reasonable profit – often much more than your standard 9-5 job and a lot of them also end up folding before they even reach that point.
Getting your business up and running and making a profit is usually more difficult than it sounds, so we would like to share with you the top skills you’ll need to make it happen.
1. You need to be passionate about what you do.
Setting up your own business is challenging. If you’re not passionate about what you do, it’ll be impossible to stay motivated when faced with a string of problems.
If you are just starting a business to make money, work closer to home or work fewer hours you will not be able to maintain the passion needed to help your business stand out from other more established companies.
2. You’ll need to make sacrifices.
You will need to put in a lot of hard work between actually coming up with a business idea and getting it established. You’ll have to work harder than most of your mates AND are likely to have to make a number of sacrifices, i.e. no holidays for the next couple of years whilst you get your business established.
This might also mean less time for friends, hobbies and even family. So before you start on this journey, ask yourself if you’re prepared to make the sacrifices necessary for success and check if your family’s up for the challenges too.
3. You’ll face risk and uncertainty.
When you start your own business you won’t have the security of regular payments from an employer. You might need to draw from your savings or your mortgage – or even take out a loan – to finance your operations.
You need to be sure your idea is viable and that you have enough money to support yourself, your family and your business until you break even and earn a profit.
4. You need to be patient and persistent.
It’s rare for start-ups to run according to plan and without any teething problems. You’re likely to encounter your fair share of setback and challenges—from financial issues to difficult customers and staff.
You need the patience to persist against the odds to make your business a success.
5. You need to acquire and develop valuable skills.
The first inventory you’ll have to do is of your current skills. Identify any gaps in your knowledge and then identify people who can help you plug these gaps.
Essential skills you will need include;
- Market research skills to understand the market you’re entering and take note of market developments, customer preferences, and the actions of your competitors.
- Money management skills to forecast when you expect your business to break even, understand your financial status, and assess how your business decisions affect your finances.
- Marketing and sales skills to promote your products or services effectively and reach your break even target (sales) ASAP.
- People skills to help you manage and motivate your staff and deal with customers.
- Negotiating skills to ensure you’re able to strike the best deal with suppliers or other contracts.
In the longer term, it’s a good idea to make sure you acquire all these skills. Maybe not all at the same time but develop them.
For more information on whether you’re ready to run your own business, you can watch our free video “Should you go into business?”