Dec 31, 2018
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Starting a business can be hard work. If you're a small business owner or started a business, most of the time you have some sort of drive behind what was the inspiration. Some people get financial backing and some people don't and start from scratch and back themselves. I was lucky enough to be in a professional job where I was able to save enough of a safety net to start the business as a side hustle, while I was still employed by my regular employer. I worked day and night very, very long hours, to make sure that I was able to keep both afloat and both running, without sacrificing the integrity or quality of either. It was a very difficult time. I did that for three years before I'd saved up enough money and had enough of a reoccurring income to be able to justify jumping out and going out on my own.
When I did that, it was by far the best decision I've ever made. I found that I was able to really grow the business and focus all my energy on the one thing that I was enjoying, my passion. Depending on what drives you and what motivates you, might be the decision as to why you're going into business and the direction you want to go with it. A lot of people need to collect their thoughts and write down all of the different reasons. Check out a SWOT analysis and find out why you're actually doing what you're doing. Make sure it's not just a fleeting moment and instead it’s something that you're capable of devoting all of your time towards, because you want to make sure that you are going at it seriously if you're going to do it. Make sure to analyse everything that you do from the start and think about the end goal when you're doing that. Always keep the end in mind, and then work out the steps and the equipment and the expertise that you're going to need beforehand to get there.
Think about what might be a couple of things that are the deciding moments to go, ahh ha!, that moment where you go, I've made it!. That moment might be that you've got enough of an income and a reputation that you're able to quit your day job. Or that moment might be anything, honestly. For me, I had set in stone a couple of different moments, the first was when I was able to quit my day job. The second one was when I went to the bank and they said that I'm able to borrow enough money to afford a house. I thought, well, that is great, and that was only a couple of years after going out it on my own, so that really spoke strongly.
Planning is paramount
There's a saying that my father engrained in me from an early age, it goes, Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance, and you've got to stick with that. There's so many times that people don't plan. Planning is paramount. You need to make sure that you're planning whatever you're doing. You don't want to spend your family's fortune. Set a small budget aside. Maybe you can afford $500 a year, maybe it's $500 a week. It doesn't matter. But set something aside, and then build a little thing. It's called Agile Development, where you're able to build the smallest working part of your business to prove that it's going to work. Once you're confident that it is working, pay yourself back the invested money that you bought out of it, you won’t get your time back out of it just yet.
At this stage, it's a passion project where you're working for free. Don't try and pull money out of it, but if you can pay yourself back the small amount that you put in, you're at least doing better than you do on most pokies 😊 . Once you've done that, then continue to feed the business the money that it's earning itself. I can comfortably say I spent one thousand dollars to set my business up 11 years ago. Once I did that, the business money has been reinvested and reinvested many times over to have it grew to the stage of it is now.
One of the big challenges you will face in business, especially if you're doing it by yourself, is you'll end up wearing a lot of hats. And that's a bad situation to be in, because when you learn a lot of skills and you're wearing a lot of hats, you're doing exactly the way you like it, it's perfect. It's exactly the way you like it. But when you bring someone else in, they won’t have had the same background as you, while they might be doing something similar, but it might only be 70 or 80 percent of the way that you like it. The good news is at 70 to 80 percent that you no longer need to be doing. When employing someone, make sure that you take into account their life skills and don't expect them to be 100 percent of you. One of the best things they are is not you, and that's why they're going to do the tasks that you've employed them for even better than what you could have.
When having them come on your team, make sure that you put in accountable systems where you're able to measure what they're doing, measure why they're doing that, and be able to be responsive and give you input onto what they're doing, so that you can have them help steer the direction of the business. Don't be over controlling. Be a leader, where you're able to give great advice and hear great advice and ultimately build the enterprise that you're wanting to create.
In closing, document, plan, reinvest. They're the three main things that you need to be doing in business when you're starting out.