It seems a scene right out of many movies. The main character is suddenly out of a job. He or she then goes on to face the challenge by setting up their own business with grit, determination and usually not much else in the way of finances.
During the course of the next one and a half or two hours, this business goes on to become a wild success and often win over the original firm that the hero or heroine was in. And the audience is left elated and inspired. In real life, there are some parallels to this story, but most of the time, there are deviations. Am I telling you not to start a business if you lose your job? No, not at all. I am all about entrepreneurship.
All I am saying is that you have to be sure that you want to do it, and be prepared for a long, but hopefully satisfying grind. The most important thing to remember is not to be impulsive. Starting a business should never be a rebound decision from losing a job. It has to be a well thought out decision and one that fills you with anticipation and excitement.
Because, there is no success in business without passion, and that is something you cannot force or manufacture. Getting to the brass tacks, here are some tips that could hold you in good stead during this transition and onward.
Have a concrete business plan
Write it down so it becomes more ‘real’. You need a roadmap to guide you and keep you on track as you move forward. If you are looking at financing, a robust business plan is absolutely essential to present to the bank or any other financier. Even if you are planning to bootstrap it, write a business plan.
Getting the funding
Most businesses need some investment to start. Take a long look at how much you will need for both day to day expenses as well as to get the business up on a stronger footing. You have to decide whether it can be met by your own funds or you need financial help in the form of a loan, or even a partner.
Business financials is different from personal financial
You may be a whiz at your personal financial management. But business financials is a different game altogether. As a business owner, you will have to gather enough knowledge about revenues, payables and receivables, profits and so on, apart from the legal and statutory requirements that your business can fall under.
Develop a difference
As a new business, you will have to give your potential customers a very good reason to choose you over the competition. What is the way you have differentiated yourself? Is it a unique or improved product? Better value for money? A different type of service? The thing to keep in mind is that your differentiating factor has to be something that you can have for the longer term. A tactical offer will not cut it.
Stick to it Starting a business is not easy. Keeping it running through the initial hiccups and the ups and downs is even more so. Many entrepreneurs get disheartened as their rosy dreams of success take longer to achieve than they imagined. But starting and running a business is for the long haul. You have to believe in yourself and your business idea, and keep your focus on making it a success.
Trust your instincts
A good business person has great instincts and learns to trust them. Remember that you are the creator and owner of the business, and at least in the initial stages, there’s nobody who knows the big picture better than you when it comes to your baby.
So, you have to trust your gut when you feel that you are at crossroads. Sometimes, the best way forward may not be the way that everybody else has always done it.
But that does not mean you need to do something different just for the sake of being different. There’s no getting away from the fact that losing a job, most of the time is something that you cannot control and is a moment that will lead to great change.
However, what that change could be, is something that you can control. Gaining a business could be one of the ways to turn the change into a factor that works in your favor. And who knows, maybe real life may mirror reel life for some of you.