For most people, grinding the corporate mill or working for someone else, has ceased to be gratifying in any sense. Hence, the decision “to go solo,” “leave the nest,” or “take a dip in the wide ocean.” That is a brave decision, but before embarking on the adventure, a little heads-up on the required vision and planning is in order.
Simply put, an entrepreneur needs to address the following questions before starting their own business:
Why? – the reason behind starting a business is a fundamental one. Is it the emergence of a business opportunity/partnership that is too good to let pass? Is it the change in the dynamics of the specific business field that is tolerant of newcomers? Whatever the justification, the entrepreneur needs to have the ultimate conviction that this is the reason they want to start a new business
What? – defining the nature of the business is another crucial decision. Is it a service or a product provider? Does the entrepreneur have the required experience to provide this service or hire the appropriate manpower to handle it? Could this product be produced locally provided the raw materials could be sourced? Whether the business starts as a single-person service provider or a multi-million dollar production facility, the clarity of the nature of the business (and possible expansions/diversification) need to be taken into account
Who? – who are the potential clients for this new business? Are they existing business clients that could convert or will new customer segments have to be approached? Also, who are the founding human resources of this organization? Would it be the entrepreneur/owner for starters with prospects of hiring additional help in the future? Or would a large employee base need to be established? This aspect is twofold (the customer and the HR element) and needs to be accommodated at the start.
How? – how will this business go live? Would sending out the word through the grapevine be enough to consider this business up and running? Are there governmental/institutional procedures that need to be carried out before being acknowledged as a legitimate business? Is funding available for this endeavour or would fund-raising activities need to be initiated?
Where? – the location whether that be in terms of the country, city, or location within the countryside is another make-it-or-break-it factor for a new business. The famous saying of “location, location, location!” ain’t a lie. Businesses have failed simply because they were not within reach of the target market, whilst others have thrived just for being within the vicinity of other 3rd party support services.
When? – timing the official start could also make or break a business. If the business is dependent on a seasonal market, then starting it off-season would entail accumulating costs that would not be rewarded with revenues. If a production facility is being planned, then accommodating the design, build-up, machinery and raw material import times needs to be considered to aim for a realistic finish date. The start date would also be dependent on setting up the business DNA including, but not limited to, market research, vision, mission, objectives, SWOT & PEST analysis, estimated CAPEX (capital expenditures) & OPEX (operating expenditures), short- and long-term goals, projected P&L (profit & loss) estimations, along with the set-up timings including securing funding, registration procedures, finding the premises, fitout, recruitment, branding, creating SOP (standard operating procedures), sourcing raw materials for production facilities.
Putting in the time to do the homework for the new business gives the entrepreneur a starting advantage, and could lead to a sustainable, successful business.
That’s simply my two cents!
by Hanan El Basha on June 27, 2017
A Take Answers expert