Becoming your own boss has a ton of perks – pajama Fridays, unlimited coffee breaks, flexible hours, and of course the freedom and independence to take your business to whatever direction you choose. But before you can become your own boss and start your own business, there are some hoops you have to jump through first. Here’s five tips on how to best build your own business:
Don’t Quit Your Day Job Just Yet
It’s a common mistake for budding entrepreneurs to hand in their resignation letter before they even start making money with their business. Don’t cut your cash cow lose just yet until your business exceeds its breakeven point and starts to profit. Your primary source of income, which is most likely your day job, is what gives you financial stability. Take this out of the equation and you are left with expenses and no income coming in to pay for them. Once your business grows to a point where it needs your full-time attention, then it’s a sign that you may need to start decreasing your work hours at your day job and start part-timing instead.
Work on an MVP
A minimum viable product is a prototype of your product idea without the frills. It’s purely functional and is meant to give you and your beta users a feel of what your business will be and what potential use cases your product has. Start by listing the features you want to include on your product, how you expect users to navigate across the interface, and what sort of technologies you plan on using to accomplish the said features you listed. A minimum viable product is essential for validating your business idea before you go through all the expenses and effort of building an assembly line and ordering moldings for parts to start manufacturing at massive scale.
In the early stages of your business, a lot of financing options sound sensible and, quite frankly, tempting. You’re probably full of hope and confidence that your business will work out so you sign all sorts of paperwork without even thinking about the debt that your business is shoring up. Debt can be debilitating, however, especially when you’re just starting out. The only time you should start thinking about getting funding from private institutions and traditional large banks is when you’ve proven that there is a market to supply and that your business’ products have value. If you do need money, there are other ways to get it. Grants and gift programs can award you with funding, no strings attached.
Build Your Brand
People won’t know who you are and what your business is about until you actually go out there and build your brand. Execution of your marketing strategy will undoubtedly decide the fate of your business. Even the most innovative business ideas fail to grab media attention and, concurrently, sales without the right marketing strategies complementing them. There are a ton of effective email marketing strategies out there that have been used by large existing brands, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
If you don’t want to start from scratch or do not have an original idea to launch, franchising is a good compromise. All you’ll need is the leadership and team building skills to successfully spearhead the franchise; everything else is provided by the franchiser, from employees to inventory. Keep in mind, albeit, that buying a franchise is as big and serious of an investment as building a business from the ground up, so be sure to select the right franchise opportunity.
It sounds like a purely exciting and joyous proposition to start a business for yourself, but working towards your own business takes patience, diligence, and of course hard work. Be honest with yourself and ask the most important question, which is – can you make the sacrifices needed to transition from employee to employer?
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