There are hundreds and thousands of entrepreneurs in the world today who have worked hard to create a business they can call their own. In today’s world of business, there is a plethora of opportunity for those who are bold enough to take it. An individual can start a business from practically nothing and create fame and fortune for themselves. Not every business venture is successful, however – for every one business that flourishes, there may be nine that fail.
How can you be successful and own a business that thrives and succeeds beyond your wildest dreams? What does it take to own a business and stand out from your competition? The following article will provide all you would-be entrepreneurs with useful insight into the world of business, and divulge what is required to create and own a business of your own.
The mindset of a business owner
Before you even consider products, ideas, cash flow and marketing, you need to ask yourself – do I have what it takes to create a business and turn it into something wonderful? Whilst practically anyone can create a business, following through with an idea, owning your own business and being successful requires a certain set of characteristics. The following traits listed below will prove handy to possess if you wish to succeed as a business owner:
Creating and owning a business takes time and dedication. Unless you are extremely lucky, this process will not happen overnight. If you are the kind of person who jumps from project to project and never perseveres to the end-goal, you may struggle to own a business. You must be determined and be willing to put your own time and effort into this venture and be committed for the long term.
Owning a business requires a great deal of work. Are you the kind of person who can easily get what they want or knows how to get it? Do you have a network of connections and contacts you can call upon? In short, are you resourceful?
Although it is perfectly possible to own and manage a business without any prior business knowledge, this will undoubtedly help and make the process easier. Do you have any education in the world of business? Do you understand how business works? Do you understand about accounts, marketing and production? It’s not vital that you have a university grade level knowledge of business, but it is advisable to at least educate yourself on the basics.
Creativity is what business thrives upon. Entrepreneurs are continually creating new ideas and products and marketing teams are continually creating new and exciting adverts and email campaigns for example. A business owner must have a creative mindset and be able to think outside the box and generate new ideas. Businesses evolve over time as economic climates and markets change – creativity can help a business evolve.
This is possibly the most important quality for a business owner. You must be wholeheartedly passionate about what you are doing. Owning a business should not simply be about making a living – it should be something you are invested in and care deeply about. Passion can drive a business to greater heights and a passionate owner can make a huge difference.
Part 1-The Idea
This is the foundation of your business – the first building block where the process starts. Without an idea, how can you create a business? Without an idea, you have nothing to build upon. All businesses start with an idea – that idea could be a process, a service, a product, or even an ideology or belief. What is your idea? What is your business going to revolve around?
Consider this idea and create a solid framework of what it entails – brainstorm, write notes – do whatever it takes to affirm your initial business idea. From there you can start to develop this idea and turn it into something great.
The following are some questions you should ask concerning your business idea:
- Is there a genuine consumer demand for my idea?
- What is the ideal demographic of my idea?
- Will I sell my idea locally or globally?
- How will I market and sell my idea? (Online? Store?)
- Will I need a team of employees?
- Will I need a production facility?
- Do I have the necessary start-up funds?
- Do I need to secure a bank loan or lobby for investment?
When considering your initial idea, be thorough. Leave no question unturned and try to formulate as much information as possible about the process surrounding your business and idea. The more questions you can ask, and the more information you can process, the easier the next steps will be.
Part 2 – Translating an Idea into an end-product/service
Once you are certain of your business idea, you can then look at turning it into something real and tangible. This might seem like a daunting process – how can you go from a simple idea, to starting a business and creating a product or service? The following are several steps you can take to help the process and gather everything you need to translate your idea into a business:
Create a business plan
A business plan is a fantastic way to set in stone what you want to achieve and the steps required to achieve it. Your business plan should be detailed and contain the following – a summary of your business idea, a description of your product/service and its target market, a summary of what funds, resources and the team you require, and a financial plan detailing expected costs, etc. Create this plan to help visualise your business and understand what steps you need to take.
Create a financial plan
As mentioned above, your business plan should contain a financial plan. Finance is a hugely important aspect of owning a business. Your financial plan should include what initial funds you require and how you hope to source them, running costs of your business, expected profit margins of your product/service, and any other related monetary cost that could prove important. A clear financial plan will help ensure you can run a profitable business.
Create your idea into a workable end-product
Once you have created your business and financial plans, you can turn your attention to your initial idea itself. Turn your idea into a working product/service. You should have by now formulated enough information relating to your idea to implement its creation. For example, if you were creating an online photography equipment store, you would now look at creating an ecommerce website and sourcing a selection of products to sell.
So you now have the bare bones of your business in place and have a working product/service. The real work starts now and you must turn your attention to marketing your idea and getting those first few all-important sales in the bag.
Part 3 – Growing your business and helping it flourish
As mentioned above, the hard work doesn’t stop once you have created your product and business. You must then go above and beyond to make your business work and to promote your idea to your target customers. If you simply create your business and give no afterthought to what comes next, you may have initial success, but ultimately your business may not last for years to come. The following are some important tasks you must oversee when owning your own business once it is up and running:
Marketing – promote your business and idea!
Marketing plays a hugely important role in business – without marketing, your product/service will gain little exposure and you may struggle to gain custom. As a business owner, you must create an effective marketing campaign to try to promote your product/service. This could include creating and managing social media accounts, using tools such as Google Ad Words, publishing email campaigns and creating other forms of marking like flyers and radio adverts.
Brand Identity – create a business image
Once your business is established, you must work on crafting a business image – something customers can relate to and recognise. When people see the three triangular stripes they recognise the Adidas brand, for example, or when people see the large golden M they know its McDonald’s. Creating a brand identity takes time and is possibly one of the hardest things to achieve, but it is hugely important if you want your business to last and become popular.
Investment – how will you use your funds for future development?
Once you have created your business and started to make a profit, you must then decide how you will invest those additional funds. Some business owners will simply keep the profit for themselves and use the money to live the lifestyle they desire – this is perfectly OK. Other business owners will use that profit to invest further in their business to help it thrive and grow. Profits could be used to expand production facilities, research new product prototypes or even create a wider variety of marketing campaigns. As the business owner, it will be up to you if and how you invest any profits you make.
Repeat Custom – how can you build a customer base?
One of the hardest things about owning a new business is building a customer base and retaining existing customers. It will prove difficult enough to bring in new customers, but giving your customers a valid reason to remain loyal and use your products/service again is just as tough. As a business owner, you must look at your customer base and explore ways in which you can gain their trust and loyalty and promote repeat purchases. This can be done through marketing, promotions, discounts, etc, or just an enhanced customer experience.
Keeping sane – can you live a balanced life?
A consideration that many business owners forget is their own personal life. Owning a business can put a huge strain on an individual and it can cause stress and health issues. When creating your business and building your empire, you should always ensure that you are happy, healthy and that what you are doing remains fun. Ensure that running your business does not become a chore and that you have no life outside of work because of it.
As you can see, owning a business requires a great deal of hard work, commitment, perseverance and individual brilliance. Owning a business is not just a case of ordering a team of people around or investing money in a product. Owning a business is something that requires great attention to detail, a myriad of skills and a heap of entrepreneurial genius. The guide and considerations above are not set in stone – each business is different, as is the way that it is created. This guide is, however, a realistic look at what could be involved for you as an entrepreneur if you decide to take the plunge and own your own business.
If you think you have what it takes to become a successful business owner then we hope you find this article useful. With the right frame of mind, preparation and idea, we feel that anyone can create a business they can be proud of. If you have an idea you think is the next best thing since sliced bread and the means to realise that idea, what are you waiting for?