One in seven of us - that’s an astonishing five and a half million Brits – run their own business today.
More than ever before, the idea of ditching the nine-to-five to pursue a dream of our own is a realistic prospect for millions. The dream to be your own boss!
According to HMRC, 99% of businesses today are small businesses, and people all over the country are considering whether it’s time to say goodbye to the day job and start their own. Be your own boss is their guiding caption.
Are you cut out to be in business? Are you ready to be your own boss?
You don’t need to be the next Richard Branson to start a business, but you do require a certain strength of character to be your own boss.
Ready To Be Your Own Boss
Are you prepared to work 18 hour days, and not have the certainty of a pay packet at the end of the week? If you want to be your own boss, you should be ready.
Running a business, particularly in the early days, can test the nerves of even the most entrepreneurial individuals. The road to be your own boss is not easy
Make sure you’re ready for the going to be tough and be prepared to be resilient. Be steady to be your own boss.
What Does It Take To Be Your Own Boss
Do You Have Family Support?
One of the hardest things to hear after a bad day in business is “I told you so”.
Make sure that your family and dependants are comfortable with your decision to start your own business, and will help you through the tough times.
Very few entrepreneurs are able to go it completely alone, so make sure you have some kind of support network of family, friends and/or mentors.
Even if you’re the only one at the top making decisions, you will appreciate those who can support and ground you through the good and the bad, to help with decisions and pick you up when – at some inevitable point – you struggle or fall.
Do You Have Financial Stability?
Whilst some level of risk actually helps to motivate you, you need to make sure that you are not facing a disastrous financial situation should you fail to be your own boss.
Whilst you might give up some luxuries in the early days, try to make sure that you are able to put food on the table and look after any dependents.
Don’t put yourself in a problematic position. That said, much like having a child, “there is never a right time” as the old saying goes.
We could always be more prepared, with more savings and a bigger comfort blanket…
Is Your Business Idea Unique?
Many entrepreneurs believe that they need to have a completely unique business.
This is simply not true.
In fact, in my experience, often these are the businesses that fail, as the market simply isn’t ready for them yet. To be your own boss use time-tested ideas.
That said, however, your business will need to be unique in some way - either in how it does things internally, or the external benefits that the customer receives.
This will become your “unique selling proposition” (USP), which will set you apart from your competition.
If you haven’t found this yet, you need to spend some time working out how your idea will be different before you are ready to be your own boss.
Do You Have A Robust Plan?
Most business owners prepare business plans for the banks so that they can get funding, after which the plans are filed in a drawer somewhere.
Whilst I’m not a fan of long-winded business plans, you do need to have a strong vision of what you are trying to achieve, and how you are going to be your own boss.
This could be as simple as a few sentences, or a long document - whichever way you prefer to prepare it, it needs to be actionable, and in alignment with your personal goals as well as your business goals.
Make sure your aims are high but achievable.
Try to keep time frames for goals short and manageable.
I recommend aiming for 90-day sprints rather than an annual reflection process.
Having a relevant strategic plan for your business can be the make or break of its survival.
Do You Have Transferable Skills?
Whilst you might not have experience in every skill that the new business requires, you should take note of the skills that you can bring in once you get to be your own boss.
You might have sales skills, technical skills, or administration skills that can help propel your business to success.
If there’s an area you’re not so sure of, it might be worth seeking out advice or a course you can take to top up your knowledge.
If you have some large gaps, it might be worth considering purchasing a franchise which can give you an existing brand and system to work within, or employing a team from day one to help patch up your weaker areas.
Starting a new business is exhilarating
There is no perfect time, and zero risk is impossible, but unless you take the right chance, you’ll never know.
Starting and running a business isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.
It is easy to be sucked into the negative headlines and fear the worst for business, but if you have strong motivation and a sound business idea with a robust plan, working for yourself might just be a closer reality than you think.