We all want to have that one simple idea for our own business. We all want to be our own boss. So we are not at the whim of another boss. So, how hard can it be to be in business?
Most of us have broken our new years resolutions by now. For some, getting into business was one. If it was the drink, we can give it up again for lent. But the enterprise idea will always be in the back of the mind, on the to-do list. What’s needed apart from fool’s bravery to break out on your own?
The killer idea
All businesses need an angle. The killer idea. I signed up to one of the most unique I saw of late: Gurushots. Its a photography contest website and app. It makes its money selling “swaps”, unlocking “keys” to allow boosts of photos to be voted on by other members. At an average of three euro a package for keys, swaps and boosts, payable through Google Play, an average user could go through a tenner a week.
Multiply THAT by a thousand members, and you get a picture of the scale of return.
But not all businesses are that simple.
The business killer
All businesses take effort, and the one killer is to draw from the business as it’s getting up and going. You are the last one to get anything for the first year, lucky to get a little in the second, and by the third you should be getting places, and it will be worth it, for should it work, you will harvest for years to come.
Imagine the coding slog the owners of Gurushots went to to get the site up and running? The money spent in advertising, runs, test, debugging and so on.
Keep it simple
As with everything in life, keeping it simple is as good as any. Low overheads have to be gauged against making sure you are in the public eye. No point having a shop in a street where your target market do not go.
Know what you do, and do it well is the key. Window cleaning is a low overhead simple business, but doomed to fail if you or the staff you hire hate cleaning windows and do a bad job.
The bad news about being your own boss
The bad news about being your own boss in business, is that not everyone is your boss. Your clients who complain, your workers who whinge, your suppliers who overcharge, deliver late, and think it their right to expect you to take what they offer.
Go into business with your eyes open
Going into business should be done from an interest in it, not to get out of a problem. Finding it hard to work for others will not be solved by being your own boss.
Make provision to keep yourself from savings, not from drawings from the business. In a case of a limited company, if they exceed (or its recorded they exceeded!) 10% of the assets it’s an offence.
There has to be an exception to the rule
About the only enterprise where you can draw from the business without crippling it is farming – where the stock or food produced can be eaten, or accommodation where the building asset can have a section where the owner can live. Same is true for a shop – should it come with an apartment attached.
The one place you do NOT want to heavily engage in the business stock, and too many do, is if you own a pub!