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Seven tips for first-time business owners

Published:Tuesday | April 18, 2017 | 4:00 AMSashakay Fairclough

Starting a business for the first time can be a daunting process. Here are seven things every new entrepreneur must consider before taking the plunge into the unknown.

 

1. Make sure you have more than start-up capital

 

Running a business is far more complicated than simply starting it. The day-to-day activities cost a lot of money, and you have to ensure that you have enough capital to keep it afloat before it begins to turn a profit. Rarely are businesses significantly successful straight away. You need time to build up your clientele so make sure that you have enough funds to tide you over.

 

2. Location

 

This is crucial in so many ways. Think about the people you wish to appeal to and where they are located. Also think of the level of crime in the area you are considering. It will seriously affect your business if you have to close early because of crime and if people are afraid to venture into the area where your business is.

 

3. Make sure you have a market

 

Research is pivotal to having a successful business. Do not start a company unless you are positive that there is a market for it. It is a waste of money and time. Know the area you are in, know what the people can afford, and what they want but find it difficult to get.

 

4. Adequate parking

 

This is a lot more serious than people think. If you own a store and there is no adequate parking in the vicinity, you may be losing customers without realising it. Shopping must be convenient otherwise people will take their business elsewhere.

 

5. Be Prepared to work hard

 

If you are not prepared to put effort into a business, do not start one. It is very important to have a good work ethic and good time-management skills. It is your business, and if you do not manage it properly, someone else will - for their own benefit.

 

6. Hire the right people

 

Hire people you trust. Ensure that they have good customer-service skills and are knowledgeable abut the business.

 

7. Knowledge of industry

 

There is no point in venturing into an industry you know nothing about. If something fascinates you, research it and study the intricacies. Ask others who have done it before you, for advice. Be prepared to learn new things every day, but you must know as much as possible about an industry before you invest your hard-earned money.