Small Business; Big Dreams
Now is not the easiest time to be a small business owner. Small businesses must overcome hefty hurdles even in the best of markets. Don’t get mired in thinking your efforts aren’t worth it. Instead get practical advice, consider collaboration and refocus your energy.
Even the most brilliant of ideas don’t simply materialize into successful businesses – they require development, refining, business savvy, and regular nourishment in the form of time and money invested.
Feeling road blocked? Here’s how to get over the hump!
Do Your Research before you Dive in!
Just setting out on the journey? Commitment can be hard. It’s scary to take the leap. Oscillating between feeling ready and anxiety about surfacing successfully after the big plunge is to be expected. Don’t get trapped in thinking you are alone.
Seek counsel from those who have started their own businesses, (preferably with some success along the way) as having a mentor can be beneficial. Collaborate with the growing tribe of Start-up Entrepreneurs. Consider an Incubator Programme such as the uniquely South African Thundafund.
Having well-considered exploration of your plan benefits you. At some point you will still have to jump into the unknown but being equipped with due diligence may make all the difference to whether or not you sink or swim.
A Strategy Supports Success
Preparation endows you with confidence and the tools to manage risks inherent in starting a business. Creating a business plan is essential. A Business Plan should be test-run through multiple scenarios to develop protocols that mitigate problems, stagnation & unnecessary risks. Iron out the kinks beforehand rather than having to pay for them.
What are your per-month running expenses? How long can you operate at a loss before becoming profitable?
These and more are questions worth asking. You can’t plan for everything but it’s worth trying to a reasonable extent. The more the specifics are considered the better.
Daunted by this aspect? Don’t stress, take a short online course to help you get matter-of-fact about logistics so you can get your big ideas off the ground (or check out incubators/mentorship/collaboration).
Customers and potential funders can tell when you’ve covered your bases and respond more favourably to dreamers who are also practical thinkers. Imagine all the scenarios & determine logical systems to handle them, & then hypothetically-test them with peers – click here to see the power of collaboration.
Back yourself and choose to do business legally from the start. Cross it off your list so it doesn’t cost you later when you could be focused on keeping your momentum – just imagine finding a willing investor & then having them turn away because your paper work isn’t in order! Just do it right from the get-go.
• Registration: Registering your business may seem like a schlep but it’s not that bad – you can even do it from your Smartphone!. Here’s how.
• Tax ID: Even though you aren’t making money yet, you will be soon. Getting a tax number is easier than you think and you aren’t liable for taxes until you are making a substantial profit – you might even be reimbursed via a tax refund. You will need your Tax ID to take legitimate steps forward, be prepared.
The Right Space
A place to work from is a fairly common concern for Start-ups. Can you work from a busy café or an isolated home office? Is a retail space to showcase your goods necessary? Where can you store products? These and other questions must be considered.
The best workspace for you boosts your productivity and efficiency but where is that? Experiment and examine your work habits to find the right equilibrium between budget, exposure, and an environment that cultivates a creative headspace.
Wherever you choose, capitalize on the advantages that technology creates. With connectivity you can touch base with suppliers, clients and more – from wherever you are. This could save you money if you do not require office rental / purchase.
Some personalities benefit from more structure and if your work style needs a buzz of activity to stay motivated you may want to consider a Shared Space/Co-Work Space.
Cash flow is consistently ranked as a top concern for businesses starting out. Thankfully, the widespread familiarity with this particular snag has resulted in the upshot many great minds working to solve it. New solutions propose better invoicing systems and personalized budgeting applications. There is no shortage of tutorials, software, and even some great free Apps to help ensure your Start-up stays sustainable and can keep running in the early cash-strapped days.
Identifying your needs and knowing your constraints can help you choose the best tools to complement your unique needs. Here are some options of how to raise capital.
Do you feel like it’s all on you? Don’t let a healthy sense of accountability become a crushing weight! Cope by staying connected, cultivating healthy support systems, and ensuring your perspective is not a tunnel-vision. Stacking business success as the ultimate measure of your self-worth is limiting.
Team work via Collaboration can be beneficial but be warned of the potential risks of choosing to go into business with a friend – rather work with someone who has a different skillset to you.
Stay inspired with relevant and encouraging content:
• 5 Things I wish someone had told me about starting a business
• 4 Apps for Entrepreneurs
• *Plan for success; manage your business well enough that you could sell it at a profit someday.
Prestigio: A Small Business Sidekick
Prestigio collaborates with entrepreneurs, small business owners, freelancers & creatives – with content that takes into account some of the unique challenges and opportunities here in RSA.
• What’s awesome about being a Startup?
Along with tips, tricks, and inspiration we bring well-priced functional tech onto the market. Perfect for powering past what’s holding your small business back.
More Start-up Inspiration and Useful Info
• Registered, what’s next for my small business?
• Jumpstarter & Options for Raising Capital
• Understanding Loan T’s & C’s Part I & Part II
• From passion project to successful business, is it possible?