So you've decided to take the plunge into the world of entrepreneurship; you've always wanted to open up your own shop, and you've finally decided to stop putting it off – it's time to knuckle down and live out your ambitions!
Starting your own business is exciting and terrifying at the same time; it can feel like you have a million different things to do, and it can sometimes be hard to see what the next step is.
Above all, you must prepare and organise yourself as thoroughly as possible. New businesses are notorious for failing within the first few years, and more often than not, the reason is lack of organisation. Here's how you can effectively prepare:
Anticipate a Steep Learning Curve
Once you're an entrepreneur, you no longer fit nicely into a specific role. Now you have to be an accountant, a marketer, a financial planner and a human resources manager.
The sheer magnitude of roles you will have to take on will hit you hard in the early stages of your business, so it is crucial that you psychologically prepare yourself for this. Read as many books as you can on entrepreneurship, and anticipate any and every role that you might encounter as a shop owner, so that you can properly educate yourself.
Have an Incredibly Detailed Business Plan
Before you take even a small step towards opening your shop, you need to have an incredibly detailed business plan.
This includes planning out how your store is going to look, down to the last shelf. You need to work with shop fitters to come up with a detailed blueprint so that nothing is amiss.
Additionally, you will need to plan out how you will deal with certain scenarios. Most people have a backup plan for when business is slow, but not many people plan out how they would deal with sudden and explosive growth. If you don't plan for growth, you may find yourself scrambling if your business suddenly has a huge influx of customers.
Don't Rush Anything
Take it slow, and make sure you're completely prepared for every eventuality. If you've found a great deal on a lease, but the agent is pressuring you into signing it quickly, don't give in if you're not ready. If a good deal popped up once, chances are it will pop up again — all you have to do is be patient.
This goes for hiring staff, ordering inventory and making changes to your business plan. Don't bite off more than you can chew, and ensure that every single decision is very thoroughly thought out.