Want to be Your Own Boss? Do Your Homework First!
South Africa is a thriving hub for small businesses and to own a business is far more realistic than you may have initially thought.
An outstanding 94% of small businesses in South Africa claim to be profitable according to the State of South Africa Small Business Report.
If you sit at your 9 to 5 wondering what it would be like to be your own boss, your pipedream could actually turn into a reality.
There are many things to take into consideration before taking the leap, but it doesn’t have to be too overwhelming.
So here is a simple checklist to make sure you are ready for the exciting world of entrepreneurship.
What’s your end-game?
Have a clear business outline, and answer the questions: Does it fulfil a purpose? What is your Unique Selling Point (USP)?
According to the Real State of Entrepreneurship Survey, 42% of participants became entrepreneurs after identifying an opportunity in the market.
So, what is your business going to be? If your idea doesn’t fulfil a purpose in your community, what are you passionate about? And can you sell and convey that passion to a customer-base.
If you want to buy an existing business, what aspects of your plans are indispensable, and can they be introduced into an existing business?
Live your dream, but don’t have your head in the clouds
You will need to get your financials in order.
Now that you have a clear goal for your business, that doesn’t mean that you can dive in head first.
Will you be able to start your business while you are still working full-time so that you can keep earning a salary?
If you have money saved, how much will you invest in the business and how much do you, realistically, need to live off?
You have to take a risk now and then, but don’t be careless. Starting too soon or carelessly can mean a rocky road for your business.
Create realistic goals for the business but prepare yourself – mentally and financially – for any bumps or failures that might come about.
Find your market
Conducting some initial market research can help in several ways towards the success of your business.
Once you are able to understand what your market wants, you can proceed with your business plan in confidence knowing that you will have a customer base and will also begin a hum of excitement in the area for your product or services.
It may also offer you a fresh outlook on your business for any changes or adaptations you need to make to suit your market.
This part is vital in the success of your business and can be done from as early as the initial pipedream.
The more you are able to talk to and communicate with your potential customers, the greater the sense of involvement they will have in your business and the higher the likelihood of them using your business, returning and telling everyone they know about it.
Are you ready?
If you’re struggling to conjure up a passion or a gap in the market, but still want to invest in being your own boss, then you might consider buying an existing business.
This doesn’t mean that you will continue to ride on the coattails of someone else’s idea.
There is still an abundance of opportunity with an established business to mould it, grow it and execute your own ideas.
Once you begin your search, at the discretion of the vendor, thorough due diligence will answer all the questions you might have.
By Paulyne Antoniou, Head of Content. Paulyne has produced regular videos and editorial for many years with small businesses, franchises and industry professionals for all titles in the Dynamis Stable including BusinessesForSale.com, PropertySales.com and FranchiseSales.com.