Setting up your own business can be an exciting time. However, running a business is more than just about passion or product; operating a small business is not just about working for yourself or working from home. It means having the necessary preparations in place before turning your dreams into reality.
Before you venture out to start your own business, you need to be aware of what’s involved in running it. Here are some important things to take note of.
Keep the capital low
The main objective of any business is to generate income. It is important to be wise in your business set-up and try not to spend too much on unnecessary things. Keep the operations small and simple in the initial stages, as you can build the business along the way.
Keep track of your expenditure
Smooth cash flow and busy transactions mean good business. As such, it is crucial for any entrepreneur to learn simple accounting or bookkeeping skills. There are some good templates that can be found online, which are useful to keep track of your business transactions. It would also be wise to have some reserves to prepare for rainy days.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint
Starting a business may be an easy thing to do but sustaining it can be challenging. Unless the product you are offering is a one-of-a-kind invention, competing with other businesses can be tough.
The golden rule to stay in business is to learn to be calm and patient. Learn to motivate yourself and get some advice from experienced and successful businessmen from time to time.
Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba.com once said, “Giving up is the greatest failure.” This is why it is important to not only start well but as important to have the persistence and endurance to carry on.
Maximise your network
Reach out to the people in your circles. Family, friends, neighbours or even your ex-colleagues, make full use of your professional and social networks.
Remember that selling things straight to your potential customers is a big ‘no-no’, so start with saying ‘hi’ or be more active in your social circles. Avoid pestering people with your products or services and learn to read body language and voice tones.
Sell! Sell! Sell!
Do not expect people to buy your products or services without any marketing. You will still need to make the effort to go and sell your products, even if it is a good product. There are ways to do low-cost marketing but be careful because the way you market your product reflects on the authenticity of the product and its brand.
Build good rapport
Instead of selling, try to make friends with your customers. The relationship must benefit both parties. Once your customers feel comfortable with your products or services, expect them to come back for more. This also goes the same with your suppliers.
Above all, be sincere in conducting business. Apart from your products or services, your attitude and your belief represent your business.
This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (AZAM) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
(This article first appeared on Borneo Post)