Entrepreneurship seems like the buzzword among Singaporeans today. Singaporeans, both young and old are starting businesses, with more and more new businesses starting each year. Young girls sell skirts that keep getting shorter on blog shops, while other Singaporeans make a mid-career switch and some in their mid-50s make the change from employee to employer.
Whether you’re considering running a small online blogshop in Singapore full-time or kicking off the tires on something, there are certain things you might like to think about before you embark on your new venture.
What am I doing?
Unfortunately, most people who choose to start a business seem to do little to no planning. Everything is theoretical until we take action and no plan is perfect, but a failure to plan is a sign of a person planning to fail. How do you know if you’re one of these people?
- You have lots of ideas but haven’t put any on paper
- You speak about things in general terms without being able to give details even if you wanted to
- You can’t describe your business in its entirety
Before starting out a business it’s definitely very helpful to have a plan. Planning is helpful for several reasons, first, only by planning and speaking to people involved in the industry will you be able to learn if what you want to do is feasible. Having a plan also helps set targets for you to achieve that act as milestones that motivate you to work towards.
Don’t underestimate the power of goals. Writing plans can also help you discover more about your partner. This would be the point where both are able to discuss what they want out of the business and what they’re willing to put in.
So what should you include in your plan?
- Timeline with expected milestones – Know where you want to be and when you want to be there.
- Monetisation strategy – Business is all about money at the end of it, so you have to know how you’re going to make a money.
- Budget – We want to make money, but how much money do we need to make that money?
- Strategy – How are we going to achieve our goals? Is there a better way for us to do it?
When making a plan, it is always wise to consider a few scenarios, a good, a bad and a neutral scenario, so you’re ready, good or bad.
Also, avoid 4 Entrepreneurship Mistakes That Kill Startups .
Am I Ready, Financially?
Almost every entrepreneur that is optimistic about their business prospects, that’s why we get into business in the first place. The truth is, no matter how cool your new business is or how untapped your niche may be, turning a profit will take time and it normally takes much longer than you think. Most entrepreneurs spend at least the first 3 – 6 months in the red – and yes that includes online businesses as well.
Entrepreneurs will find themselves caught in one of three situations. Some entrepreneurs will budget well for their business but not for themselves, others won’t budget for the business at all thinking the cash will just roll in once they start. The truth is somewhere in the middle, having more cash is great, but making sure that cash is working for you in the best manner is more important.
So before you go out and start your business, it would be helpful to ask yourself these questions:
- Do I have enough money to keep my business running for at least 3 – 6 months?
- Can I afford to have no income for 3 – 6 months and focus on building my startup?
- Do I need to work part-time to supplement my income?
- Will I have enough if I need to inject more funds into my business?
Am I Ready, Mentally?
Starting a business is very empowering, you and no one else is in charge of your fate and that is the double edged sword of entrepreneurship. If you make it, the glory is all yours, but if you fail it’s all on you as well. No one is going to chase you or try to motivate you, you reap what you sow. Many entrepreneurs will be bloodied through the first few months, but only those who can adapt, evolve and improve will survive.
Success stories are often told over and over again, but behind these stories, most often forgotten is that the only way to bounce high is to drop low. Steve Jobs was famously given the boot from Apple, while even Bill Gate’s first company – Traf-O-Data was an abject failure.
Running a business is an emotional roller coaster unlike any other. You will succeed, but before that you will fail again and again. If you’re starting a business make sure you:
- Are ready to fail, repeatedly and get back up as many times
- Understand mistakes will be made but that they’re not always bad
- Are able to motivate yourself to give your best
- Understand only you control the fate of your enterprise, you and you alone are responsible for your success
- Remember there isn’t such a thing as a last mistake unless you choose to give up
- Have a support group! Here is a list 8 Networking Group for Entrepreneurs in Singapore.
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