Politics and Business
What To Consider Before Becoming Your Own Boss
Since Covid-19 came knocking on our doors, the world of employment was a very different place. Now, in the aftermath of people working from home, the workplace is looking very different. People are working from home in the comfort of their pajamas in between the school run. Front line workers finally got the respect they deserved for keeping the world moving, and plenty of people discovered they were capable of so much more. It is this group of people who are changing the rules around business. But before you join them in running your own business, what should you think about before joining those ranks?
What type of business?
This question is a lot simpler to answer than you might think because it is about going digital or having a physical location. The most popular places tend to be more expensive when it comes to paying taxes and rates for your physical location. This can put some people off when it comes to starting a business. However, if you know that the profit margin is worth it, then getting a place to call your own might be worth it. If you believe that a physical location isn’t for you, you could consider a digital business and conduct everything online. Or course, it is possible to have a hybrid model with a location and doing business online too.
What are you selling?
Selling things is much more complicated than just selling a product these days. The times have changed and there is a huge demand for digital products that people can access instantly. This can be anything from books in Kindle format, digital music to download or stream, or PDF craft worksheet for your latest project. Some of the biggest sellers on Etsy are PDF files for cross stitch patterns after everyone took up cross stitching during lockdown. The rules around products are changing. Or course, you can still sell physical products from the comfort of your website. You don’t even need to physically handle them yourself as you can take control of a dropshipping store. Selling something can also be a service instead of a product.
Do you have the finances?
Launching your business requires some sort of financial input but the amounts will vary. If you are launching an online business, the start up costs will be pretty small. If you are launching a new designer boutique, your overhead costs are going to be a lot higher. This is to allow for building payments, buying stock, hiring staff, buying equipment, etc. There is a lot that goes into a physical location business. A digital business can be started with the laptop that you already own and some change that you found down the back of the couch. When it comes to the finances, it helps to have some back up. You could put your savings into your business or get a business loan. There are a lot of grants that are available for new businesses. Check out your local government or council to see if they have any startup grants to help you.
What is the plan?
One of the hardest questions that people have to answer is “what is your plan?” Most people don’t know the answer in the early days of their business unless they have written out a business plan. It doesn’t matter how big or small you plan this business to be, you need a plan to keep you on the straight and narrow. If you are not sure what the plan is, now is the time to work it out. Not only can it help you to manage your expectations about what your business can do. You might not expect much from your business, therefore think that a business plan is unnecessary, and that is ok. However, there might come a time when you need to rely on your business to keep the roof over your head so it is important to have a backup plan and an actual plan to invite investors in.
Long term goals
You may have started your business off on a whim while you were bored or you might have put a lot of thought into what is happening. It doesn’t matter how it started, you need to ask yourself how it is going to end. First, is this a job or a business that you can do for the rest of your life? Will you need staff to help lighten the load? And when you are ready to retire, what will happen to your business? These are the types of questions you need to think of long term. The future might seem like a long way off but it pays to think about these things now. Maybe you have kids who can work with you when they are older or can keep the business going. Or maybe you can sell it a few years down the line and kick back with your feet up. You might not want to think about being in your 60’s or 70’s but it will help you if you know you can still run your business then.
Impact on the world
This might sound strange but hear us out. How is your business impacting the world around you? First of all, how much pollution are you putting out? How much money are you contributing to the local economy? How are you impacting the lives of others with your work? Being in business is so much more than making money these days. There have been tuple surveys that have shown a businesses impact on the world is part of the buying process. So, if your business is creating toxic waste and dodging it’s taxes, people will avoid doing business with you. Make sure that you have the right foot forward and are making a positive impact on the world. Choose to be eco-friendly, give money to charities as part of your plans for your profit. Make sure that the legacy that you are leaving behind is a good one.