5 tips if you want to start a small business
Create a business plan. Have friends and family look at it critically and take their comments to heart. An entrepreneur is usually stubborn and often that is the way to success. But not yet, you are not yet an entrepreneur. Think about what you lack as an entrepreneur in your industry and start studying. A course is a great way to better imagine the life you will soon have. Internet is here (also) your great friend, there you can find a lot of information and even complete courses. Free indeed.
Build a network. Find people who can help you later. These are entrepreneurs (large or small) who have already gone through the initial stages. Do not sell them anything, do not beg, but build a good relationship with them. Do not forget your family and friends in the network. They may not be entrepreneurs but may be able to help you later. Moreover, they know other people who you do not know and they will later be your ambassador. By the way, a network is not the same as connecting people on LinkedIn. A network is a living organism and therefore needs regular watering and extra nutrients. This investment does not cost money, but time and sincere interest in other people. Start this in time and never stop.
Don’t go looking for a nice office and a representative car. Work is done from home and travel can also be done with an old car or by public transport. That office will come later, the Audi too. Besides, if people know you’ve just started a business and you show up with a luxury BMW, they will raise some eyebrows. So an expensive car is not that representative for a starting entrepreneur. You need to put on the jacket that fits, not a size bigger. Also look at what you can borrow or swap. That is often more convenient and cheaper than buying. A new office chair? A color printer? A chair you can sometimes get for free and you can print (for a small fee) also at a fellow entrepreneur. You did read point 6, about the network, right? For software, use open source variants such as Open Office (Libre Office) and for your site WordPress, Joomla or something similar. There’s bound to be someone in your area who will fix that for you.
Keep working on your own as long as possible. If your ambition is to grow, to hire staff, postpone this as long as possible. Often you can outsource, or do jobs together with others. In the early days, employees are a handful. In one fell swoop you are less flexible and you have an additional worry. Of course, hiring someone temporarily or outsourcing work is often more expensive on balance, but the advantage is that you can also stop working so easily. And if you let someone work for you on a freelance basis, you also earn money, right? Make sure that your business partners are better than you, that they add something valuable.
If you have little money and still want to grow, you will have to work harder. Harder than your competitors, for example. And save money, so you have less money for your private life. No, that’s not nice. but you were optimally motivated, right? And averse to appearances? Well then. Remember that it’s not money but time that is your strong point. Spend that time liberally and effectively, it will give you an edge over entrepreneurs who are always ‘busy, busy, busy’.
Go to the bank if you have some money in your account. Inquire about credit options. Why. It can sometimes be convenient to have credit space. But it is never convenient to go to the bank when you are in need and actually have nowhere to go. If you get anything at all, you’ll pay top dollar. In other words: buy an umbrella when it’s dry, not when you’re already soaked. It’s not easy to get a loan, by the way; banks don’t like self-employed people who want to start step by step. They don’t make any money. Anyway, what do you care, such a margin on your current account is just necessary. Well, at least it’s handy.