The idea of running your business is albeit a thrilling one. A lot depends on an individual’s appetite for enterprise besides seriously providing answers to some life-impacting questions like the following,
- Every individual will have to self-assess if they are happy doing a steady and regular salaried job along with the perks and cushion of security.
- The second question is around handling failure. Will an individual be okay to fail and still handle the stress and figure a way to bounce back?
- How prepared is your family and ready to understand the ups and downs that come with running of the business?
- Before starting a business, an individual has to assess how sorted and planned they are on the personal front just in case the business fails
- Every individual toggling between a salaried job and an entrepreneurial journey must check if there’s a burning desire to create something of their own and leave a legacy behind that can continue to be there way long after they are gone.
Having clear answers to the above questions is usually the seeding stage for entrepreneurship. Positive answers to these difficult questions usually get one to the idea or possibility of starting something of their own.
The questions may have been answered with a firm resolve but getting started is always a challenge.
A business idea crops up after you identify a problem and that you have a unique solution. Developing a product or service as a solution indicates domain knowledge which is the first sign of an opportunity.
Before starting a business, an entrepreneur must also check if his/her business will thrive.
- Check if there is clarity around the problem solving and that can be built with personal experience and research or survey of people who have faced the problem.
- Studying similar businesses and their methods and rationale around solving the problem.
- Checking the uniqueness of the solution one’s business is bringing to the table – is it sustainable? Can this be monetised?
- How much working capital is required till the business becomes self-sustainable?
It’s one thing to have an idea. To ensure that the venture is successful it is important to make a detailed business plan for at least three years. This exercise would give clarity on the sales required, product pricing and the working capital requirement.
Being passionate about the idea is usually the beginning. Often this passion tends to overlook the realities the business will face.
It is important that the idea is vetted with trusted friends, experts from the field, potential customers, and potential investors for a reality check and perspectives to correctly design for the business plan.
The best way to test an entrepreneurial idea is to explain to a group of trusted entrepreneurs who are not your friends or relatives, people who will motivate you to get into entrepreneurship but will also not hesitate in punching holes in your ideas and business plans.
Starting a business is not a roll of dice, it has to be carefully strategized, planned and executed well. The appetite for risk should never come in the way of starting your own business.
The following are the pressing issues that needs to be addressed before starting your business:
- Checking the viability and the sustainability of the business model and if it is actually a solution that customers will pay for
- Checking if there is enough working capital to get started
- Clarity on how to sustain/curtail personal needs at the early stages of the business.
- Checking the availability or lack of problem-solving skills or the resources who will troubleshoot
As a business owner, it is important to have a broad view of the entire business plan. Along with that, one should bring a critical skill or attribute required to start and sustain the business.
The rest of the business aspects can be acquired as the business progresses through gradual addition of experts or acquiring of the requisite skills.
It’s important to know what skill sets are required for the business and what is the right time to get the expert resources on board once the business has started.
Founder & CEO,
Member of ASCENT Foundation