A: I’m so done with this job. I just wanna earn tons of money, go on a long vacation and enjoy my life without being stuck in a routine. I’ve been thinking of doing my own stuff.
B: Like what?
A: Like start my own business or something.
B: Business… of what?
A: Dunno, maybe run a little restaurant, or a small shop? Or maybe a book stall! Or maybe create an app! Oh wait. An E-commerce website selling items from China. I mean look at that AliExpress guy. He started from nothing and today’s he’s the world’s richest man!
B: Ok. Jack Ma was an outlier. He worked hard, toiled day and night and knew what he wanted and went for it. What is it that you really want to do?
A: I’d really love to have a bookstall, but I guess people wouldn’t really buy a lot of books these days.
B: You could have a bookstall, but if you’re looking to quit your job, and go on vacations, a bookstall won’t help you much.
A: Yea, you’re right. I guess I’ll just stay at the job until I figure something out.
B: Or you could talk to an expert and get guidance over what you can do, how you can do and what kind of support you would need.
A: yea, yea, I could! thanks, I’ll just run it by my uncle. He knows a lot about running a business.
B: Cool! Good luck!
Conversations like the above (an actual conversation between two friends) are not uncommon, especially when new age media constantly bombards us with the notion that working in a 9-5 job is a personal hell, while having your own business can give you a life of your dreams. Nothing is further away from the truth. Entrepreneurship is a long, lonely road that takes its toll on you. Therefore, before you start your entrepreneurship journey, prepare yourself by asking these brutally honest questions. Only if you get the right answers, can you truly set foot on this journey.
1. Are You Ready to Face Your Worst Nightmares?
When you want to start your entrepreneurship journey, you have to face your worst nightmares – unstable finances, lack of support, risks, failures and more importantly, the loss of a dream if things don’t turn out as planned. While people talk a lot about claiming your dreaming, they never tell you of the nightmares that you have to deal with along the way. The first question you need to ask yourself is if you are ready? If not, what does it take for you to be ready?
2. What is Your Business Plan?
Whether it’s opening a bookstall or creating an online app – you need a plan. Your business plan will cover all important essentials as:
– The funds and resources you need to get started
– What problem are you solving?
– Do you have competitors? If yes, how are you different from them?
– Do you have the resources to help this last for at least 18 months?
– Do you have the support network to get your business rolling?
Thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs start out with passion, but frizzle out in six months time because of the lack of a sustainable business plan. Remember, whether it’s asking for investment from a VC or whether it’s running a crowdfunding campaign, your business plan is the key to your success.
3. Are You Cut Out to be an Entrepreneur?
The life of an entrepreneur is tough. You have to put in the hours, work as a one-man army and strategize every move you make. As compared to an office life, where you’re just accountable for the hours you work and the tasks you are assigned, being an entrepreneur would mean taking care of literally everything – meeting clients, maintaining finances, marketing and advertising etc etc. The list goes on. Not to mention, it will be quite lonely if you don’t have a network, a community or a group of friends to support you.
4. Do You Have the Market Data and Research to Show that Your Service/Product is What People Would Absolutely Pay for?
While making an app that monitors finances would be a great idea, why would people actually use that when there are already bigger, better and more powerful apps out there? How is your app any different than the others out there for which people would be willing to spend $2 to buy? Most entrepreneurs forget this important part – the motivation for purchase. Once you are clear with that motivation, you can have a very successful business.
5. What are Your Five Major Unique Selling Point (USPs)?
Apart from the usual claims of, ‘the best,’ ‘the number one,’ what are your major USPs. A unique selling point (USP) is a pinpoint that makes your business unique in a world of homogeneous competitors. If you’re launching a business or a product that is already available in the market, what makes your different? Do you care about a certain cause? Are you making a difference? If you can list down five major USPs, you’re good to go!
Running your own business is a dream almost all of us have. Our daily routine, our job problems, our expectations, our desires to solve the world etc pushes us into trying out a journey of our own. Like every other journey though, entrepreneurship is filled with difficult obstacles that we have to tackle day in, day out. Therefore, it’s essential that we know what we are letting ourselves into and have our hard facts ready before we take the plunge!
Looking for help? Need expert guidance to plan your business idea? Download the Woomentum app and be a part of an exciting network on the go!