Before you take the plunge, think again

2016-11-03 06:01

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The decision to start your own business is one that is a brave step that should not be taken lightly. Ideally, every business idea should be a success – however the reality is that the success rates of small businesses in South Africa are alarmingly low. An estimated one-third of StartUp businesses fail within the first six months. Meaning if 10 people decided to start a business today, three of those businesses will be closed within the next six months. What I have learnt in my eight years of being an entrepreneur, preparation minimizes the possibility of failure.

With the entrepreneurial spirit flourishing in Mzansi, it is very important for those who are considering being their own boss to consider a few things that will aid them in how their business succeeds. Over the next few weeks, we are going to be exploring how you can grow your business in a way that matches your goals, but most importantly fits your pocket.

This week, we are looking at things to consider BEFORE starting your own business.

By now, if you are considering doing your own thing, you most probably have an idea of what you want to do and how you want to do it; the only thing missing now is taking that first step. Here are the first three things you need to consider going forward;

1.Doing what I know or what I aspire to master?

One of the most important things you need to think about when starting your business is what you are going to do? For example, I was a magazine editor and writer before I started my communications agency; meaning that by the time I started my business, I knew the ins and outs of the marketing and communication industry. This is not usually the case with most businesses as some of us want to start businesses in industries that are not aligned with that we do professionally. In some instance you have a brilliant idea and you are unemployed. When thinking about this you need know that no idea is a bad idea, you just need to research and know what you are getting yourself into. What is important is that you follow your passion and RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!!!

2.Registered company or sole trader?

The reality is that it is expensive to register a business, and sometimes this prolongs our decision to start working on our dreams. Another option is to start trading as a sole trader as this limits what you spend when starting your business while creating an opportunity for you to assess the direction that your business is taking so that you can make informed and financed decisions going forward.

3.Know your market, know your audience

KNOW YOUR TARGET MARKET! What fuels every business is its target market – the people who bring money into your business. When going through the process of starting your business, you have to know EVERYTHING about the people you would like to buy your product or services. This will influence how you market your business in the near future.

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