It can be a rather disrupting thought, starting your own business… It’s tantalizing, smelling of power, glowing with esteemed status and good fortune. But this starting your own business thing is, sadly, mostly scary, and intimidating at best. It is something you can’t conquer without a plan. Hence, we suggest three good reasons to have a business plan before starting your business…
In spite of having access to more knowledge than ever before, you’ll need a well prepared and structured business plan to help give you the first steps on your new journey…
The three good reasons to have a business plan are as follow:
To focus on your business; To secure funding, and To get people to invest in your business.
Is it worth the trouble to get a university degree? Is that a fair question? If not a degree, then what is the alternative? After all, the ‘new normal’ post the COVID era will be anything but normal.
There you have it. Here in South Africa there’re lots of movements, at least one for every issue that we can think of. Indeed, there is even a movement that represents unemployed graduates – The Unemployment Graduate Movement (UGM). That’s scary, because I thought that once you have your bachelor degree, you can walk in almost every job.
You’re battling in vain for months now to get someone or somebody to buy into your groundbreaking business idea. Indeed, you’ve spent lot of time and money to get funds from your bank, other banks and small business development institutions. Sadly, there’s not a glimpse of hope, not even an invite for an interview. Giving up hope, you’ve decided to terminate your project. However, luckily for you, someone suggested that you should apply to get funded by angel investors. Wow, what a break! That intervention has changed your life for the better…
So, are angel investors the solution for small businesses and start-up funding problems?
Lean Start-ups are used for developing products and businesses based on ‘validated learning’, getting customer feedback quickly and often. It was introduced by Eric Ries during 2011 (1) with the objective to eliminate uncertainty in the product development process. Since then, this practice has transformed the way companies are developed (Natasha Hussein, Entrepreneur).
Most astonishingly was the news that Lean start-ups have made business plans redundant. Indeed, a whole industry has grown up around the idea that business plans are now no longer necessary, says David Ehrenberg, Young Entrepreneur Council in the Chicago Tribune.
Taking risks is common behavior. Indeed, taking risks is for many of us a means to an end. In fact, without taking risks, neither your business nor you will ever know your true potential, says John Benjamin in the Tribune. But why is taking a risk so easy for some and, on the other hand, so difficult for other? It has a lot to do about who we are, and the environment we are operating in.
What does taking risks mean?
According to the Collins Dictionary, risk-taking means taking actions which might have unpleasant or undesirable results. So it is something you do as a result of a decision you’ve made. And most of the time something or someone has triggered you to make a decision 1.
Well I nearly fell of my chair when I started to jot down the traits a business owner needs to be successful. The first seven post that I’d read, identified no less than 42 different traits a business owner or entrepreneur needs to be successful.
I’m convinced that a business owner that possesses all 42 traits hasn’t been born yet, or is locked up far away to keep him or her away from harm (and society). Nevertheless, I’ve listed the 42 traits somewhere in a table…
But why a business owner (also [sometimes] called an entrepreneur), needs to be different from an ordinary working person? Maybe it’s because a business owner earns her living in an extraordinary environment…
Franchising provides the entrepreneur with an opportunity to enter the world of small business without all of the risks usually associated with starting a business from scratch 1. Indeed, the popularity of franchising continues to increase, especially with the emergence of new e-business models 2.
However, as with any business start-up the franchisee (you) needs to know what the franchisor (the brand) has to offer. Also, you need to consider the costs and your responsibilities when signing a franchise agreement.
“Remember that no franchise is perfect, and that every franchisee will have things they like about the system and things they don’t like”, says Chris Myers in Forbes. But first let’s have a look what franchising is all about…
Borrowing money from a bank to start your business is not an obvious option for prospective business owners. Unless you are well known, with a track record of starting and running successful businesses, no formal sources of capital are likely to invest in you in the early stages of your business 1. Banks usually require an operating history to reduce their risk.
One of the first and most important questions that most of us ask when considering to start our own business is where the money would come from? The answer for more than 80% of start-up businesses is bootstrapping. Indeed, according to Lahm Jr and Little Jr (2005), the overwhelming majority of entrepreneurial companies are financed through this highly creative process.