Start Up – Solopreneurs, Consultants, Small Business owners:
All of us love not to be at the mercy of an employer and as far as I have seen, there is an increasing trend in people not wanting to work for anyone but for themselves. This gives you the freedom of working, gives you the power to make your decisions, gives you time to do things you always wanted to do, more time with family etc. On the flip side, if you are not well planned, there are chances of you losing a lot of your savings, your morale and the incessant banter from family. Now even if your first venture hasn’t worked well, its not a dead end and you need to know that you need to keep trying to correct your opportunities and put actions in place and then move on and move ahead in your business.
If you have been in a stable job and decided to make it on your own, you need to be really wary about few things. Always be extra careful about who you want to partner with. Irrespective of whether it is your family member, best friend, spouse etc make sure you have all the legal documentation, formalities and legalities done binding all of you to be equally responsible towards profits and losses. Rule of thumb, with your business partners strictly talk business irrespective of who they are. But, if you are a solopreneur which is the best thing ever to happen, nothing like it, go ahead and rule your own little world. Now that you have decided to start on your own, make sure you have financial reserves for atleast 1.5years to be on the safer side. This reserve should be all inclusive, all your expenses and your savings. To keep it simple, there should not be any changes to your life style for the next 1.5yrs irrespective of how your business progresses.
Before you start, you need to know what is it that you want your business to deliver. For which, you need to have good knowledge on what the market needs are, who will be your customers, location where you want to set up your business, how large or small would you want to start with, how much would you want to invest, what are the returns you are expecting and when would you be able to break- even to start reaping profits. Highly important that you completely understand the market. Gather enough information and derive intelligence from it and then move ahead.
Check for your competition in the market and try and find out what are the problem areas your competitors are facing or what is it that is making them successful. You need to stay ahead in the game and hence knowledge of your competitors is very important.
If you are not able to do the market research on your own, hire someone who can give you all the information you need. You could either leave it to them to identify on their own or you need to give them the list of things which you think are important for you to be aware of. If you are not able to provide them with your own list and are finding it difficult, find knowledgeable people in your friends or your family group and get together and brainstorm. Once you know what is it that you require as your research, provide it either to a consultant or research on your own. Ensure your research is extensive though and always keep in mind there’s money at stake even if is limited investment or a heavy investment and it is your money that is at stake.
Once you have all the information required, start building connections, let the market know you have arrived and launch yourself by launching yourself digitally. Making yourself visible on all the digital platforms is a great way to get more visibility.
Be in constant touch with your customers or clients and ensure you seek their feedback, review and implement changes. Your customers are your advocates and to stay ahead in the game, catering to their needs becomes imperative. This would help you build a loyal customer base and you will have them as customers for life. Higher the customer satisfaction, more the number of customers.
Be totally involved in day to day activities and you should be in position to figure out where the leaks are happening and should also be in a position to put actions in place to mitigate. Though you might want to rely on third party for this information, you need to diligently look into it and put plans to address leaks.
Plan well and then launch your business.