Many self-employed businessmen and women are making more money than their colleagues in employment. Becoming self-employed is the dream of many young men and women – some who are already in employment. But the idea of becoming self-employed or starting a business may sound daunting, risky and sometimes expensive. Here are steps to guide you to be become self-employed and successful.
The first step to take in your quest to become self-employed is to discover your self – before employing yourself. Begin by taking stock of yourself and your situation. What skills do you have that are transferable (other people and businesses would need) and what business areas do you know best and feel most comfortable in? Consider the following as well
- Whether you want to sell a service or a tangible product(s)
- How much money you have and how much you are willing to risk
- What do you like doing so much that you would love to do it every day
The third point in particular is very important, as the answer to that is likely to be the fuel for your journey.
- Analyze the business
Once you have an idea of the kind of business you want to do (ideally, one that would be interesting and fits your lifestyle), the next thing is to carefully analyze the business potential in it. You may consider analyzing more than one business if you arrive at more than one in step 1 above. Who will be your competitors? How much do you need and how would you fund it? Who are your immediate customers and future customers?
- Register the Business
Every business must be registered in accordance with the laws of the land in which you operate. There are many forms of business available to you. Here are the three major forms in Africa.
- Sole proprietorships
Most self-employed are likely to take the form of a sole proprietorship. Companies however have the advantage of limiting your liability to the assets of the business if registered as a limited liability company. There are several benefits of registering your business, rather than operating a business entity not recognized by law.
- Draft Your Business Plan
Drafting a business plan will help you know how much money you need, what risks to look out for, profitability, market for your product and service, and many more. It is especially important if you are looking for funding from family, friends, bank and external investors.
- Get Funding
Perhaps, what many think of as the most important part. You can fund your idea/business yourself if your to become self-employed. It tells people you believe in yourself and the idea and you are willing to risk your money for it. You can however, look to other fund providers to help you with debt or equity.
- Set up your office or shop
You can now set up your office or shop. Physical location is equally important when you become self-employed. It gives customers comfort and convenience. However, you don’t need to have an expensive one to start a business, especially when you are self-employed and you are providing certain services that takes you to your customers rather than them coming to you. Throw a “Grand Opening” party when you get your office, and announce it everywhere.
- Try, push and Try
The rest is for you to push, push and push. It will take a while for you to figure out what works and what doesn’t. There would be failures, roadblocks, challenges etc but you must persevere and learn from the mistakes.