Thinking of starting your own business? Read three things you need to consider before you invest time, money and hope in your new venture.
There’s always a long list of things you need to consider before you dive into the massive adjustment period of an exciting career shift. And this is even more true if you’re starting your own business.
You certainly need to think about the basics that everyone knows and are widely talked about – for example, making sure you have a foolproof financial plan, and have brand development and marketing plans in the works before you launch your website. You also need to know your market inside and out, and not expect success overnight.
However, there are some things that you should also be considering that you may not find in every business magazine.
History is everything
These days, most entrepreneurs understand the importance of their website to their business. But before you get excited about web design and web marketing, there is something vital to consider: your business name and the website URL representing it.
Most people put a lot of thought into their business name, and rightly so – it’s the biggest component of your brand. However, few people put as much thought into their URL. Aside from checking the trademark availability on your business name, you should also check the availability of your domain name and also its history.
With a basic domain lookup tool, you get information on whether a domain is free, and if not, who owns it. However, when you request complete Whois data for a domain from these services, you get basic registration details, as well as any history associated with that domain (including previous use and domain status).
It’s certainly something that’s important to cover off. Just like you would never buy a used car without knowing its previous history, you should never buy a domain name without taking a look under the hood as well.
Getting your head in the game
It’s just as important to essential mentally as it is to tick off all the little things on your to-do list, like the above example of domain history. And that means mentally preparing yourself for moments of business loneliness, as well as the inevitable obstacles that all businesses come up against at one time or another.
You’ll also be shouldering a sometimes uncomfortable amount of responsibility and liability. So it’s as important to mentally prepare yourself for starting a business, as it is to prepare for the financial and practical side of it.
There’s a great deal of pressure on young businesses (as many as 50% fail within the first two years), so it’s important to be realistic. A wise approach may be to prepare for the worst while planning for the best. Make sure you fully understand any risks that you may be taking in starting a business, and remind yourself daily why they’re worth it and are going to pay off. (You can read seven reasons why your new business will fail – and how to avoid them here.)
Understanding goal priorities
And finally, make sure you’re prepared for the toll that starting a business can take on your personal life. The startup phase of any business is always going to be all-consuming, and you need to be ready to work long, exhausting hours, and have very little of a personal life to show for it.
So before you jump head-first into your exciting new venture, plan how you will handle this – work out how you can prioritise the many responsibilities in your life and maintain a good work-life balance.
Make sure you take the time to consider where you are in your life, and both the personal and professional goals that you are hoping to accomplish. If you are clear on where you want to be (and why), it’s much easier to ride out the tough days and weeks that may be ahead.
And if there are any nagging doubts now about your business, or how it will fit into your life and family, listen to them. If it doesn’t feel like the right time to commit yourself to starting a new venture, then maybe it’s not. We’re not saying you should talk yourself out of it, but do listen to your gut, and don’t focus on your business aims at the expense of any other goals and priorities that you have.
Good luck with your new business!
Starting a new business is an exciting time. And if you include these considerations in your plans, you’ll be one step closer to the success you dream of.Hannah Martin