How to Be Your Own Boss – The Ultimate Guide To Starting Your Own Business

Posted July 29, 2019, by Jenny Sakr

If you’re the sort of person who likes to think outside the box, is a natural leader and self-starter and hates the idea of working below someone else, then you’re just the type to be your own boss. You’ve probably been honing your entrepreneurial skills since you were trading and selling cards in the school playground. But now it’s time to turn professional. There’ll be no making coffee behind the scenes for you – you have the power to determine your own professional direction. The key is to turn your passion and your business nous in a profitable (and hopefully worthy) direction. The good news is that in today’s day and age, success is more accessible than ever. Anyone sitting at home in their pyjamas can turn a profit as long as they’ve got a computer in front of them.

What’s it mean to be your own boss?

Being your own boss is all about taking an idea and turning it into a reality. You have to be able to think independently, calculate and take risks and redefine business boundaries. Going it alone can be hard, but it can also be very rewarding – financially, mentally, socially and emotionally.

We’re not talking about being any old boss here. Anyone with leadership skills and a business degree can become the manager in their workplace. We’re talking about being your own boss – having the gung ho and determination to find and forge your own path. This doesn’t mean lazing around in thongs and stubbies all day watching re-runs of Seinfield while you collect government benefits. Being your own boss – and being successful at it – essentially means being a go-getter. Starting your own business is no easy feat. It won’t do you much good to sit back and wait for things to happen – you’ve got to have initiative up to your eyeballs.

How much can you earn as an entrepreneur? 

This one is pretty self-explanatory – anything goes! How much you earn as an entrepreneur is dependent on whether the public takes to your product or service and is willing to splash out to pay for it. The conservative answer is that it depends largely on the type of business you’ve created, the size of the market you’re entering, your profit margins, your overheads, and your business’s popularity. The answer you wanted to hear is that the sky’s the limit! If you’re well prepared, flexible and know your stuff, there’s no reason why you can’t turn a decent profit.

What qualifications do you need?

Do you need to be qualified to be an entrepreneur? Yes and no – a bright idea doesn’t necessarily need a degree behind it, however, the running of a business requires a wide range of skills, and it’s these skills that you’ll build with a course in business management or entrepreneurship. Having a solid understanding of general business procedures, particularly finance and marketing, is invaluable to budding entrepreneurs.

What you need to start your own business

Believe it or not, there’s more to starting and running a successful business than buying really shiny shoes and shouting into your mobile phone. No, really. Here are just some of the other things that you’ll need to do.

  • Write your business plan
  • Know your product
  • Do your research
  • Work out your finances
  • Market your product/service
  • Hire the right people
  • Ensure you’re following all the right laws/rules/procedures

Know your product and do your research 

Take some time to think about what your product or service is. Take it out and look at it (if applicable). Turn it over, put it on your head, throw it up in the air (if applicable). Whatever you can do to help you get a clear, objective idea of the thing, do it. Write your thoughts down and flesh them out. Make sure you’re able to answer all the basic questions like; who is it for? Where will it be sold? When will it start to make a profit? Then start surfing the web and scouring newspapers, magazines, shops and the streets for similar products. You’ll need to acknowledge the competition if you’re to make your idea a commercial success.

So, you’ve got your heart set on a product and think you can leave the competition for dead. What next? Market research! This is when you get the consumer’s opinion and  a sense of demand for the product/service. This can be as simple as talking to family, friends, shop assistants and even complete strangers about your idea. Listen to what they say and take note of anything they may perceive as a problem. Remember that you don’t have to take other people’s word as gospel, but you should definitely think about what they have to say.

Get some attention

As a small business owner, it pays to make sure that your product is noticed. Don’t be a shrinking violet – the art of skilful self-promotion is what will make your business a success. And the way to do that is through effective corporate branding. Effective branding starts from the ground up – everything that you and your business do can impact on how consumers perceive your business.

Tips for branding:

  • Choose a name that clearly describes your business
  • Keep your vision and target audience in mind every step of the way
  • Create an attention-grabbing logo and easy on the eyes
  • Get your name out there as much as possible! Pens, notepads, emails, invoices – spread the brand
  • Have a good website
  • Make social media your best friend

Hire the right people 

Any owner of a successful business will tell you that having the right people working for you works wonders. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? In fact, finding people who mesh with your company, work hard and have a positive attitude can sometimes involve some serious trial and
error. Hiring the right people is something that can make your business. Hiring the wrong people can break it! If you’re in a position where you can start taking on employees, there are two things you should be looking for in your applicants. Make sure that they are actually qualified to do the job you’re hiring them for – it’s no good hiring your best mate, the bus driver, to do your accounts. The second is a question of attitude and compatibility. The best teams are those of like-minded people who get along and respect each other and will pitch in to help out when the going gets tough. As the boss, you can choose your team, so think about what types of people you prefer to work with.

Start being the boss 

Now comes the time to get started. The support of your family and friends is crucial at this time – no time or energy for Negative Nellies here.  Start searching the ‘net for all you can find around setting up your own business, getting financial advice and knowing your legal obligations. Think about your business idea and start writing your business plan, designing the product/service of your dreams and how you can market it. If all this sounds too hard then just stop right there and get over those obstacles in your head. Many business owners will tell you that conditions will never be 100% for going it alone and starting your new venture, but it’s a labour of love and one that’ll hopefully pay off. 

You need to live and breathe your business plan. Then when you’ve thought it through, turned it inside out and upside down, just go for it, take that leap of faith and actually be your own boss. 

Best of luck! 

Jenny Sakr
Jenny Sakr

Jenny found her way with words while interning during uni, since, she's produced articles on it all – from hair and beauty to homewares, travel, career advice and study tips. On a weekend you're most likely to find her lining up for a table at the latest cafe or restaurant.

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