Opening a business is something many people dream of, but it's a scary dream. It comes with a lot of responsibility and the potential loss if it doesn't go to plan. But don't let this stop you, if you're ready...
To start your own business, you need to be passionate, you need to really want it, because otherwise when the going gets tough, you'll have nothing to motivate you to keep going.
The starting point of the success of your business is how much you want it to succeed. If you've been dreaming about being able to work on your own schedule, be your own boss, provide for your family and make your own money for years now, then you know you've got the sufficient motivation. Your passion isn't what will make your business, but it is the fire under your butt that tells you to keep going even when it's difficult.
There are a lot of businesses out there that have built there entire brand on a trend or product that they're not really passionate about and you can see it from a mile of. The businesses that are truly successful are the ones that provide a quality product or service and act like they know it too.
In the beginning of your business venture, you'll likely face a lot of rejections and doors slammed in your face. The knowledge that what you can provide is worth it, and will help people is what will keep you going and eventually bring you a successful business.
The world of business and entrepreneurship can be very cruel - without the faith and confidence in yourself and your ideas, you're never going to pass the first hurdle. Confidence is an essential skill for any person looking to start their own business.
But it is a skill, and it can't be learnt. Although confidence may come naturally to some people, for many of us it takes a while to develop and grow our confidence in order to succeed.
By forcing yourself into situations that require you to leave your comfort zone, you effectively train your brain bit by bit to tackle these challenges that wrack your nerves and overcome them - thereby building up your confidence.
There's a lot to be said for confidence and self-belief when it comes to businesses, and by know means do you need to have been the CEO of a company for two decades just to succeed in business. However you do need to understand the ropes enough to get started.
You need to understand basic concepts like employment, marketing, taxes, profit margins and other fundamentals of running a business that keeps everyone happy, customer and employees alike. You'll learn a lot along the way but learning these concepts will help enormously when it comes to actually starting your business.
In order for a business to succeed it fundamentally needs to provide some sort of value to it's customer, and this can come in many shapes and forms.
It could be practical in that it solves a problem or provides a service that most people cannot do themselves, or it could be superficial - it makes people feel good about themselves. If you know that your product can provide value into someone's life, you're already halfway there.
No business sticks to the plan exactly, but that doesn't mean that you should just wing it. Having a financial plan as to how you are going to survive in the beginning stages of your startup is important.
In all likelihood, you're not going to be making enough to survive right from the get go, and what you do make you'll want to sink back into your business. Whether it's investment, loans, support from friends and family or working a regular job while your business takes of - you need a way to stay afloat until your business takes off.
How disciplined you are can make or break your business. What you do every day, whether you sit down to work even when you don't want to, that habits that you create or break form the basis of your life and ultimately decide whether you're going to be successful. How disciplined you can be decides how healthy you are, how much time you have, who you meet and what you do.
Maintaining a good work schedule and healthy habits will manifest as a decent work-life balance, better mental and physical health, supportive relationships and with any luck, a thriving business. Even though it's hard, especially if you're not naturally disciplined, developing that skill will serve you well in the future.
Good business isn't only about having a good idea and managing your money well - it's also about being to express that idea well and lead others to support you in your mission. As Warren Bennis says "Leadership is the ability to translate vision into reality".
No one can do it all by themself, you'll need support - but you're the one in charge of motivating and directing that support. If you feel confident that you can lead other people well, making sure they are appreciated and know what to do, you are well on your way to success.
Interpersonal skills are important for any business person, they concern your ability to relate to and work with others.
Teamwork is essential for any business to work, but a lot of new business owners and entrepreneurs can be introverted or shy people and struggle to work effectively as a team or have their voice heard. Negotiation, communication, problem-solving, teamwork, deputation etc, are all important skills needed to effectively run a business.
Of course, you don't have to be the most extroverted person on the planet to succeed in business, but making an effort to improve your interpersonal skills can only help.
No-one can know it all right from the off, starting a business is a steep learning curve for many people - so you need to not only enjoy learning, but also be a smart learner. By this I don't mean having a superior memory or insanely high IQ, but simply knowing how to learn, and how you as an individual learn best.
No one is born a smart learner, it's something you (surprise, surprise) have to learn. If you enjoy learning, building upon your knowledge and having to implement it straight away, then you'll likely enjoy the process of starting a business.
In order for any business to run effectively, you need to have superior organisation skills. Without it, you waste valuable time and money. It may seem like a chore, but getting into the habit of keeping everything organised and easy to access means that you'll spend a lot less time preparing to work than actually working - which is what you want.
The ability to have a streamlined workflow, without having to dig around or get distracted by tasks you should have done months ago will enhance the efficiency of your business and in turn, make you more profitable.
Starting a business expecting to fail is not a good attitude to have - accepting failure as a part of life, however, is. Knowing that you will fail at some aspects of your business will help you to let go of the outcome and breathe a little easier. Everyone fails, and it's those failures that will lead to your eventual success.
Whether it's picking the wrong platform to sell your products on, not investing enough in marketing, or any other of the hundreds of things that could go wrong when starting a business - knowing and feeling prepared to deal with the fact that you might fail at some of these will create a much better mindset that pressuring yourself to succeed at everything.