BECOMING THE BOSS
Owning your business can mean the freedom to set your hours, make your rules, and live your dream. It also can mean the challenge of setting up a company, meeting deadlines, dealing with employees and customers, and sometimes putting in 16-hour days.
The rewards might be two-sided, but earning the right to be called the boss is a big part of the payoff for many entrepreneurs.
The job description for "Boss" is one that may develop on the fly, vary from person to person, and might change over time with experience. Here are some tips to help make the transition from employee to boss a little easier.
HAVE MONEY TO FALL BACK ON
Breaking even in your new business could take years. It may cost more than you think and take more time than you planned. You’ll need enough money to cover living expenses and ongoing startup costs until your business reaches the right level of profitability.
One way to handle this is by starting your business while you still have a job and a paycheck. It could be hard to get investors interested until you have customers and products. Cut expenses to the bone. Do whatever you need to do to make sure you have the cash for the first few months.
CHOOSE A FIELD YOU LOVE
Starting and growing a business may be your dream, but it could easily turn into a nightmare because of the challenges finding startup money, dealing with customers, and weathering market conditions. If you love the field you are in, that can help make all the bumps along the way worth it. But if you’re not chasing a passion you love, it may be hard to remain motivated in your business.
TAKE ADVICE FROM EXPERTS
When you start a business, everyone has an opinion. One person might question why you’d leave a good job in the first place for an idea that may never work. Another person might suggest that you switch from selling apples to ice cream because they think the market is better.
Rely on experts primarily, rather than relatives and friends for advice. Consider guidance from mentors at SCORE, the Senior Corps of Retired Executives and the Small Business Administration. Talk to others in similar lines of work. Take classes and research trade publications. Base your decisions on respected, educated, experienced opinions.
DEVELOP A BUSINESS PLAN
Research and make a plan. Even if you do not stick totally to it, it will help start you on the path with confidence and clarity. It does not have to be pages long, but it should at a minimum answer these questions:
What do I want to sell, build, offer as a service? What is my big dream?
Who is my ideal customer?
What are my objectives and the steps to achieve my goal?
What is my target in one year and five years for myself and my customers?
This is the time to tap into your network. You know people who know people. Their people know people, and on down the line. Find people who are positive and upbeat when you need an injection of reassurance and encouragement. Be clear about what you need, ask friends to put the word out, whether it is a contact, the best place to buy supplies for cheap, or an office to rent. Offer the same back to your network and keep growing it.
Starting a business is a grand adventure in life. Be prepared for surprises, be careful with your money, connect with people, educate yourself. Enjoy it.
If you’re interested in learning what we can do for your business, contact a Relationship Manager at a branch near you to discuss your business needs and the solutions BancorpSouth can offer.
© Fintactix, LLC 2020