Alison J Lowe | Stepping off the precipice
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Stepping off the precipice

Stepping off the precipice

Taking a step off the precipice into running your own business is scary and there is never a perfect time to make the jump, but you should make sure that you are totally prepared before you make that leap! Here are five key points to consider first..

1. Are you ready to start your own business?

Starting your own business will be a huge lifestyle change. Don’t assume it is a way to get rich quick or an escape from all problems. Starting a business is hard work, requires a lot of determination and learning, and only pays off in the long term. You may have to consider giving up a good salary, security in employment, holiday and sickpay benefits and a pension – so take an honest look at yourself before leaping.

2. Are you totally passionate about what you want to do?

Are you totally passionate about your business idea or just trying to escape your current mundane existence or a job you hate? Passion is the strongest predictor of success – when you passionately believe in something you will convey that hunger which will motivate other people to help you achieve your goals. The passion will keep you driving forward, help you overcome the challenges and motivate you to succeed

3. Are you sure that there are customers out there, that want what you have to offer?

Your passion for your idea is amazing and your conviction that everyone will love it too is great – but have you really researched the market and understood who the customer is and what they want. Customers may like your product or service but will they pay for it and can they afford it? The difficulties with creative businesses are that too often although your product has a good level of interest no one sees the necessity to buy it. Research where your customers are, what they are currently buying and what needs do they have that aren’t being fulfilled – don’t just make presumptions as your view maybe biased

4. What makes you different to everyone else out there?

Whatever your business proposition, it is likely that you have some competitors so it is essential that you establish what makes you unique in the market place – that you determine your Unique Selling Proposition. It isn’t enough to say you are cheaper or better – you need to find a combination of benefits that answer your customers needs and desires. Every business needs to be unique to stand out and survive in a crowded market place where customers are bombarded with information and offers every day.

5. Have you got the stamina and skills to succeed?

Running a business is a steep leaning curve and takes a considerable amount of time, money, determination, resourcefulness and resilience – so before you start you need to fill up the energy banks. To succeed you need a combination of stamina and skills – many businesses fail because the entrepreneur just crumples under the pressure. So also focus on building personal staying power, maximize learning, and review your skills looking at areas you need to improve or find support with.