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Everyone has been there: Whether you have had one too many beers or you're just discussing how your life could change, chances are you and your friends have discussed going into business together. A lot of the time, it never really amounts to anything. At the time, it seems like this amazing idea that will help you conquer the world. However, as the conversation dies down, this begins to seem less and less likely.
Sometimes, it might be better if that conversation does die down. If no one in the conversation is particularly hard working or patient, it’s not a good sign for your proposed business. Although if those involved in the conversation are really enthusiastic and willing to work, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t try. What started off as a silly conversation could actually turn out to change your life. However, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and nor will your business be. So, if you are willing to try and start a business with your friends, here are some of the things you have to do to make it work.
Create a Plan
Plan, plan, plan. A business will never get anywhere without a proper plan. This means that you can’t just take each day as it comes. From the day you have the idea to the day you close your door, you always have to plan ahead.
Planning is most important in the startup phase. After all, how do you expect to get anywhere with no direction or plan? It’s extremely difficult to over-plan when trying to start up a business. From the minor details to the major, no stone can go unturned in the early days of your business. Plan on how you are going to open, the details of the product or service you are going to sell, and where you are going to do business. Even the smallest of questions have to be answered and planned thoroughly.
Cover the Basics
Opening a business is a big thing. Sometimes, it is very easy to get over-excited about the prospect of a new role. This can often lead to the basics being forgotten about. OK, you have planned how you are going to sell and advertise this product, but how can customers pay for it? Tasks like contacting a payment processing company are vital for a business. They are often overlooked, however, as new owners can get distracted with the more attractive elements. Opening a business with no payment plan is likely going to get you in some trouble very quickly.
This is why you need to fully cover all of the basics. Who is going to provide your WiFi? Is the building insured? Do you have a company email address? Overlooking any of these minor things will leave you in a lot of trouble very quickly after opening your doors. Of course there are going to be mistakes when opening your first business, but try not to slip up on the basics.
You and your friends cannot go into a business blind, especially if none of you have any experience. You’re going to need to spend a lot of time behind the computer doing some research. First of all, you need to research what is involved in opening a business. Research questions include how to rent a space, how to find a product manufacturer, and how to get business insurance. All of these things may seem like common sense, but being presumptuous could get you into trouble.
Secondly you need to research the elements that will directly affect your business. This is the likes of your target audience, competitors, and trends in your industry. If you don’t do this, you could end up settling in a location with too many competitors, having no idea who your target audience is, or even setting up a business with a bad plan for the industry you are going in. For example, if you are looking to start up a fashion business, you need to pay close attention to the latest trends. If you don’t, you could end up stocking up on all the popular items of clothing from two years ago. Although some people would still be interested, you would be missing out on lots of business.
Be Prepared to Give up Time
It’s no walk in the park opening a business. Yeah, the idea of working closely with a group of friends sounds fun, but it is a lot of work. One mistake people commonly make is assuming that the biggest expense when opening a business is financial. It’s not, The biggest expense is your time and effort. Starting a business isn't something you can work on on a Saturday morning. It’s going to be a lot of late nights and early mornings, especially in the start-up phase. If you are not willing to give up large chunks of your free time, then you probably should consider doing something else. After all, when it comes to business, you get what you put in. So, no effort put into the business will mean no success coming out of it.