Thinking of buying or starting a business?
What you need to know before starting a business.
Are you sure that you are ready to own your own business?
Are you prepared to do what you need to do? Many people, with all levels of expertise and enthusiasm, don’t take time to make sure that they are ready to be a business owner.
Here are a few questions (and tips) that may help you to ensure that you really are ready to “be your own boss”.
As a business owner there are things that you must be prepared to do.
Here are a few examples of the things that a business owner must be prepared to do:
- Pay others before yourself
- Work longer and harder than anyone else (especially your competitors)
- Only take holidays and leave when it suits the team
- Pay for great advice
- Find the best advisors
- Take time to sit down and make plans (don’t “wing it”)
- Be prepared to invest in advertising and marketing
- Get rich slowly
- Turnover is not as important as “leftover”
- Know yourself (some people are employers and some are employees)
As a business owner you need to be many things.
Many talents are required. If you are deficient in any of these areas, you really need to do something about it… You must be:
- A leader
- A diplomat
- A marketer
- An accountant
- Have basic legal knowledge
- A planner and problem solver
- Have vision for the business
- Set standards
- You have to be a “giver” not a “taker”
Ask yourself if you are an “employee” – or if you are an employer. If you are not instinctively an employer – business ownership may not be for you.
Start a business – or buy an existing business?
Many people like the idea of starting a business, rather than acquiring an existing business. I have done both, and I in my experience it is much better to buy a business rather than “starting from scratch”. Really think about the benefits of acquiring an existing business and improving that business – rather than starting a new business.
Be prepared for the risks.
If you look at the statistics, most people who start a business will fail. Of course failure is not guaranteed, because if it was the world of business and entrepreneurship really would be dead, but the statistics are not encouraging.
Almost 70,000 new businesses and start-ups commence operation with great enthusiasm and optimism each year in Australia. Unfortunately, 60 per cent of them will be gone within the first 3 years. The reasons for failure are many, one big reason is failure to address the points listed above.
Remember that even a turtle has to stick it’s neck out to make progress. Business is a risk, and to get the rewards – you must take risks.
So take time to critically analyse yourself. Think about your strengths and your weaknesses. Do you have what it takes to be a business owner? What do you need to change to give yourself the best chance of success?
Here are some resources that may be helpful
Written by Bruce Coudrey
Principal Benchmark Business Sales and Valuations