You want to own your own business, become the boss with a goal of finding success and independence from another’s day-to-day expectations. From Shark Tank to house flipping, from launching your Etsy product line to joining a multi-level marketing company, there seem to be a million ways to gain that independence. I have heard the phrase often and excitedly stated: “I’m going to land a business.”
Having owned several businesses, I can say there absolutely is a level of independence and control to be found in being your own boss. But if you think “the buck stops here” is merely a phrase of importance, you miss the reality that it is also one of responsibility. There is so much more to being a business owner than making your own rules. And to land a business? It doesn’t happen. Companies have to be built.
Know Your Market
Let’s start by assuming you have an idea, a product that you are sure is the next great “fill in the blank.” You might! But how do you know? Have you researched the market? Have you identified the buyer? Are they your 12 best friends who think just like you or is there a real consumer base for what you want to launch? Before creating an apt name for your entity and filling out documents to incorporate, make sure your product or service has a customer.
Next is how to reach your potential customer? Research, research, research! With the ever-changing landscape of social media, marketing outlets, and databases you have to be continually learning. What worked yesterday may not work today. You have to know where your customer hangs out, what they read, what they watch—inserting yourself where they are.
Return On Investment
There is this little acronym ROI that all successful businesses employ. It means Return On Investment. Simply stated: how much do you have to spend and how much can you make? It’s often the great unknown when launching a new business. But it can’t be ignored. It doesn’t matter how fantastic your idea is; if it costs more to produce (which includes actual product cost, advertising, and business overhead) than it will sell for, it’s not a good idea! Start-up costs will always exceed revenue at the beginning, but it’s the long-term return that will determine a business’s success.
There is so much more to being a business owner than making your own rules. “To land a business”? It doesn’t happen. Companies have to be built.
Ready to Commit?
Another thing before launching that cannot be ignored is this: you need to have both money and energy to draw upon when beginning something new. Starting a business requires both, with eyes wide open that there is the potential that both could be lost if the venture doesn’t succeed. You would not be wise to use your rent money as the seed fund or quit your job prematurely. It takes money not already committed to something else and time away from other things you may want to do to build a new business. Not for just a day, week, or month, the average length of time required to launch a new company is three years. So, if you have a dream, realize you have to be in it for the long haul.
It Takes Grit
Finally, before you even consider “landing a business,” understand it’s not just about catching a great idea and pitching it forward; it’s a lot of hard work. When everyone else goes home, you don’t. Even as you close the doors to the office, it’s always on your mind. If you have a team that you employ, they are your responsibility. The decisions you make will affect their lives. The best business owner is one who leads by serving. The culture created within your company is created by you.
It’s because of the dreamers and creators who were willing to venture out and take a risk that we have at our disposal so many things we take for granted. From tweezers to telephones, everything we use came from someone who was one day inspired. An individual who was driven to launch a venture yet undiscovered.
Are you one of those who has that dream, or new idea? I want to encourage you to go for it. Perfect that idea, do the research, understand your market, then do the hard work. Not just landing a new business but building it, one challenging brick at a time.
Looking for more like this, working woman? Check out:
The 6 Qualities That Make a Female Leader Strong
How Self-Awareness Will Make You Successful
How to Get Honest About Your Dreams and Thrive
Dear Small Business Owner, This One’s for You
Do You Have to Break the Glass Ceiling to Be Strong?
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For more career advice from Darlene, don’t miss this podcast episode from This Grit and Grace Life: 5 Things a Woman Must Do for Success in Life – 040!