Business Journey: Avoid these Pitfalls when Starting a Business

Tired of your daily 9am to 5pm job, you have suddenly ‘dreamt of a brilliant idea’ – and you have decided to start your own business. Or maybe you are unemployed, and decided to try another alternative.

Whatever the conditions that have brought you to your current decision, the first question you need to ask yourself is, “Is owning a business right for me?” And are you cut out for entrepreneurship?

Sadly, not everybody is. The rewards can be great, but so are the risks associated with it. And it will change your lifestyle in ways that you and your family may not be prepared for. You might wave goodbye to that company house, car, sponsored vacation and a guaranteed monthly wage.

And if you haven't explored this question yet, take a few minutes to review the information we have gathered for you – if you pass the test, then you are ready to start.
Starting a Business in Not Easy, You Need to Learn More

Select your industry
Research the kinds of businesses and various business models within that industry. Do through market research to see where there is an unmet need, geographically, price wise, complementary products and services, etc. Just because you're a good chef doesn't mean you know how to run a restaurant.

More important, it doesn't mean a restaurant would be successful in your market. Build a strong support team because a good idea isn't enough. The idea counts most, yet a quality idea must still have a great team of people behind it to give it wings.

Analyse competition
Develop a preliminary business plan. Do some more market research to assess the realistic market potential for your business. Will people buy it or need my services and why? Make sure the product or service has a repeat buy. This is by far the most important aspect of long-term business success. You have to have a product or service that people will keep buying.

Funding requirements
If needed, seek out lenders or investors but it might be too early in the early stages of the business. In any new business, you need to watch your cash flow, and if you're trying to work with low profit margins and make gains in volume, you'll need to have a high level of working capital to keep you running through the lean profits early on.

Start the business
Be warned: This is not something you just knock out in a weekend. Don’t procrastinate to start, otherwise your business mind be claimed by someone if you preach the idea before starting. Learning to run a business is hard enough; you don't need to make it any harder by doing something you love rather than something customers love paying you a good profit for.

Do what you love
Though it may sound encouraging, there is need to for you to distinguish the true inner voice from a flashy idea. So you need to research and read a lot on a chosen area. Find out what you're truly passionate about and figure out how to make a business out of it.

Most importantly, start with the end in mind. Look for an idea you can take national or, even better, global at some stage. It might be fun and a challenge to establish yourself locally right now – and become a local champion among your peers, but eventually you'll want to build something much bigger.

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