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Four Signs You’re Not Ready To Start A Business (Yet)

– Contributed content –

1 December 2017. Self employment is becoming more common. With the job market rather depressed, thousands of people are turning to their own skills and going into business for themselves.

The boom in self-employment may have made you wonder if you can join the ranks, and start a business for yourself. There’s no denying that the idea is tempting. You wouldn’t have to worry about a boss; all the profit you generate would benefit you rather than the company; and you’re able to arrange your working hours as you see fit.

As attractive as this self-employment may be, it isn’t the easy choice. There is a lot to learn and a lot to prepare yourself for. Understanding whether or not you’re truly prepared for the task of running your own business is difficult; you have never done this before, so you don’t realistically know what to expect.

Rather than being in the dark about your readiness for the entrepreneurial life, let’s examine a few signs that suggest you’re not quite ready to join the ranks of the self-employed just yet.

1 – You Don’t Have A Three-Year Plan

Idea-Plan-Action

(Teneric.co.uk)

Launching a business is all well and good; it’s even possible to say it’s relatively easy to do these days. However, the big stumbling block for many businesses is… what comes after the launch?

To answer this question, you need to ensure you have a comprehensive three-year plan in place. You have to be able to look into the future when you’re considering your business aspirations. The launch is important, but you also have to look beyond that. While you can’t predict the future exactly, you can try to make sound, reasonable estimates about where you expect your business to be and what you expect the growth trajectory to look like.

Before you action any plans you have for your business, you have to have some idea of what your goals are for the next three years, as well as sound strategies of how you are going to achieve them.

2 – You Don’t Understand The Terminology

Business terminology is confusing. It’s full of acronyms, titles you have never heard before, and legislation that you didn’t know exists. If you want to survive in the business world, then you have to be willing to learn all of the necessary background information that will allow you to grow your business.

Take the time to learn exactly what makes a limited company shareholder different from a sole trader; the different regulations around business and corporation tax, and memorize the list of the most common business acronyms. Until you can use these terms instantly — without having to scramble in your memory to recall what they mean — it’s wise to keep your business plans on ice. You will need this vocabulary to progress your business and project professionalism in all of your dealings, so this is one step you just can’t afford to skip.

3 – You Have Not Researched Your Competitors

Before you launch a business, you have to have some idea of your potential competitors. If you neglect this, you could find yourself launching a business that effectively already exists and have no USP of its own.

You should research local and national competitors, so you can put together a strategy that can improve on and better the offerings already available to customers.

4 – You Have Not Separated Your Finances

Finance, calculator

(stevepb, Pixabay)

Money matters in business, and the control of where money is going from and to even more so. Your business and your personal finances need to be completely separate entities. You need separate accounts, separate books, separate everything.

If you intermingle your personal finances with business finances, then you make life far more difficult and outright confusing. Start with a fresh slate of business accounts. This will mean that you can always see how the business is doing in and of itself, rather than taking into account all of your personal financial matters.

Furthermore, if you are self-funding your startup costs, ensure you have procedures in place to document the funds as you would any other outside investment.

Remember: all of the above can be achieved. You may not be ready to start a business right now, as you’re sitting reading this, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be. With a little more research and dedication, you can catch up the skills you need and be ready to move into self-employment in a relatively short amount of time.

While it can be time-consuming to have to put so much effort into preparing yourself to launch a business, it’s worth reminding yourself that the process will be worth it when you reach your end goal. Good luck with your business endeavors in the future.

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