December 9, 2016

Starting your own business

Do you dream of being your own boss? Is your business idea bound for success? Before you jump on that start-up bandwagon, there are some things to remember.

Too often, budding entrepreneurs spend all of their time planning the business structure, looking at funding options, seeking professional advice and imagining their potential success – all before they figure out what their products is, and how they will take it to market.

When starting a business it is better to seek the advice of people in your industry, entrepreneurs who have already been down the road you are embarking on.

So on that note, here are five things NOT to do when setting up a business, from the mouths of Irish entrepreneurs.

1. Mistake your enthusiasm for a product/service for that of the consumer/end user. There’s a reason why “the customer is always right”, and that’s because without customers you don’t have a business. While your own conviction that your business idea is great is important, you need to get the opinion of customers.

2. Trying to do everything yourself. One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face is letting go. Too often, they won’t let others help out and go off the belief that only they can make decisions. If you try to do everything yourself, you will spread yourself too thin. By hiring staff and getting help you can free yourself up to take care of the more important aspects of the business.

3. Raising too little money. Many start-ups assume that all they need is enough money to rent office space, buy equipment, stock inventory and bring customers in. They often forget that capital is also needed to pay salaries, electricity bills, insurance, legal fees and other overheads before the business ever makes a profit. Furthermore, if you sell your products on credit, the time between making the sale and getting paid can be months.

4. Working 9-5. Many people think they escape the 9-5 routine of working for someone else, and choose their own working hours by starting a business. However, in reality you have to commit huge amounts of time and energy into a start-up, and will probably end up working far more hours than you would as a 9-5 employee.

5. Doing what you used to do. Many entrepreneurs who have set up a business initially spend too much time doing their old jobs. For example, a software engineer might leave his employer to set up his own development company. He then spends most of his time working on software rather than building a business.

We hope these tips help you avoid any initial errors when setting up your own business.

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