Are you ready?

Are you ready

It is our belief that everyone has an inner small business owner just waiting to be released.

Here at sixty:forty we want to help you start a business that has a higher chance of succeeding. Now, everyone’s definition of success will be different so when we say this, we mean success in the context of having the business deliver on your why.

If you want to start a financially successful small business, then this guide will introduce you to what you need to have in place to set a solid foundation for future growth.

Starting a business does require a lot of effort and commitment. We would be doing you a disservice if we told you otherwise.

Before you start, it is important to know what’s involved and to be confident that you are someone for whom self-employment can work.

Here’s a couple of questions for you to consider before you get started.

1. Do you have the right skills?

This might seem straight forward. You have knowledge about your chosen industry and possibly already hold any relevant technical licences.

But running a business requires a wide range of skills. No one person can do absolutely everything. You need to have business management, finance, personal organisation, personal and interpersonal skills.

A lot of these skills can be learned, but your focus should be on what it is that you do best. Your ‘secret sauce’ if you will.

Q: Are you prepared to develop yourself, in terms of skills and knowledge, in areas that you will need to run your business?

Q: Do you need to find someone else to work who has skills that are complementary to yours?

CTA: You can use sixty:forty to find a prospective co-founder or a professional advisors to help you start, build, manage and grow your business.

2. Are you prepared to make lifestyle sacrifices?

As a small business owner your lifestyle will change a lot. There is no such thing as work-life balance. Instead, when you run a small business, your days will become work-life integrated.

Thinking that work and life are integrated acknowledges that sometimes, you will need to work late or work on weekends. But the trade-off can be setting up your week to leave early to pick up your kids, or going to the gym.

Right at the start, the hours can be extremely long as you put everything together – without much by way of cash reward. But if you are in it for the long haul, then this is an investment in your future.

You need to ask yourself whether you are prepared to work long hours and on weekends?

And does your family support what you are doing? This is because there may be times where there is less income and time available to spend with them.

3. Do you have personal or self-discipline?

Motivation and passion can wear thin when times get tough. And feeling motivated consistently can be a struggle. You need to connect with your small business ambitions to generate the momentum to reach your vision.

Here’s a couple of questions to ask yourself

Q: Do you thrive in challenging environments?

Q: Do you have the discipline and motivation to keep going, no matter the obstacles that stand in the way? 

Q: Are you happy making decisions and being held accountable and responsible for those decisions?

4. Do you have a money plan?

When you start a business very quickly the costs will mount up. You need to ensure that you are in a financial position to start a business. There’s a number of startup costs that you will need to take into account before you even start the business. Then you’ll need to consider the ongoing costs also involved in running a business as well.

It might take a little time for you to start making money, so you need to ensure you have enough savings or some other form of income coming in so that you can continue to live.

We like asking people to think out of the box, so don’t let lack of cash stop you from moving forward with your idea – instead check out the Alternative Commerce forms of small business funding on our platform.

5. Are you prepared for the risks of being in small business?

Everything in life carries risk. Being in small business is full of risks. And one of the biggest risks could be that the business may not be successful. In that case, you might mean losing money and time.

Before you start a business, you should build an awareness about all of the different types of risks that you might face.

6. Are you prepared to be really honest with yourself and accept feedback?

Honesty truly is the best policy. Being in business brings out both the best and worst of people. And not everyone is cut out to be their own boss. Only you will know whether you are or not. And to understand that, you have to be honest with yourself.

When running a business, feedback is given all the time. Sometimes this might be positive, and sometimes it is negative. How do you receive feedback? Are you interested to learn more or are you defensive? Client’s give feedback through their comments, their payment schedules and in reviews.

When receiving feedback, you are ideally looking for information that will help you achieve your goals. If you make decisions based upon emotional responses to feedback, then you might miss some really good information that could be extremely useful in your business.

7. Do you have a clear vision about what being in business will mean for you?

Just what does being in small business mean for you? What will having a small business allow you to do or achieve?

Being clear on your personal goals and values is essential as this journey begins looking inwards – at yourself.

Your business should reflect your life purpose and that means that one of the most important things that you can do right from the start is to define that purpose.

What are you most passionate about? Because understanding your deeper motivations for wanting to be in business is a great place to start really understanding your key drivers – being in business can be hard and you need to know that you will be able to keep going when the going gets tough, or for when hard decisions need to be made. You can make those decisions from a place of conviction knowing that you are working towards your definition of success.

If you aren’t sure of your passion, your motivation or your drivers for business –  yeah you might end up making money but the overall quality of your life will suffer. I mean you’ve heard of the saying that ‘money can’t buy happiness’.

And it is also important to recognise, that you are not your business – your business is meant to support your lifestyle and serve the purpose of enhancing your life. 

8. Do you have clear and measurable outcomes about what you want to achieve out of owning and operating a small business?

Starting and running a small business is a major life event and for it to be sustainable it needs to meet both your business and personal objectives. Remember, this is work-life integrated. Remember that your business should exist to serve you.

It always pays to start with the end in mind. Ask yourself to imagine where you want to see both yourself and your business or project in the longer term?

Be clear, write it all down. Build out some measurable outcomes with some hard data attaching to your goals. This way you’ll know whether you are on track to achievement.

We aren’t saying all of this to put you off. On the contrary, we know that if you are here, you are already fairly committed to starting a new business and nothing will stop you.

So this should just be a confirmation of what you already know. 

Starting a small business, or any business can be hard, and you will need to overcome any number of challenges in order to push forward and this requires grit, determination and persistence