You can’t expect to stay at the same company for 40 years these days because it’s unlikely to happen. People are getting kicked out the door at an alarming rate. Companies are making record profits and wages are getting worse and worse. It’s no wonder people are desperate to start their own business before it’s too late, but are you prepared to take the next step at the moment? You can’t just wave a magic wand and wait for a successful business to appear before you, so let’s look at some of the basics you need before getting started.
The right insurance
When you’re first starting out you might not have a lot of money so it’s vital you have the right insurance. You can imagine what would happen if one of your customers got hurt when they were in your store? Even if you sell things from a website you could still get sued if someone injured themselves because of a faulty product you sold them? If you get taken to court or if your stock gets stolen you might not have enough money to keep the business afloat without insurance.
Money in the bank
These days it’s almost impossible to run a business with no money in the bank. I know you don’t need as much because you can start an online business for next to nothing, but don’t be fooled by the people who tell you it’s possible to start a successful business with the money in your wallet. You might need to replenish stock which costs money. You also need some to take the business to the next level otherwise you will see an opportunity to grow and you won’t be able to act on it.
A marketing strategy
You can call yourself a business as soon as you open a store or throw up a website, but at the end of the day a business is something that makes money. If you don’t have any customers you don’t have a real business. That means you need to go out and find people willing to hand over their hard-earned cash. How will you find those people if you don’t have a proper marketing strategy? If you do have the right marketing strategy you can work on it non-stop until you find success.
Basic accounting knowledge
We talked about this earlier when I mentioned how you need money to buy new stock. Knowing how much of your money to spend and how much to keep in the bank takes basic accounting knowledge because you need to balance the books properly. It gets even more complicated when you have one or two employees because wages need to be paid. Then you have taxes that need to be dealt with properly otherwise you could end up in a lot of trouble.
A great product
You can be the best marketer in the world but if you don’t have a great product you don’t have a great business. Even if you trick someone into buying a crap product they’re unlikely to buy anything from you again. Selling inferior products will also damage your reputation because disgruntled customers will tell other people not to buy from you. Think of a great product as the solid foundation of your business and don’t start selling something until you’re sure people will love it.
It’s just business
Nothing we’ve talked about so far should scare you because it’s just business. Those are the basics you need to get going and if you find any of those things difficult you’re going to get a rude awakening when you’re knee-deep in your new business and struggling to survive.
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This article is contributed by Keith Price, an employee at Donnelly’s, providers of income protection insurance. He is passionate about cooking and enjoys a good barbecue with his family and friends.