Caribbean Startups: Six Essential Tips on How to Start Your Own Business
by Lou-Ann Jordan Nov 6, 2023
Starting a business is a dream for many people, yet perhaps only a few of us realise it. Why? Possibly because, though incredibly liberating and undeniably exciting, it is also paralysingly daunting. Doubts about our skill level and subject matter knowledge are just the tip of the iceberg of barriers we must overcome, or at the very least, silence, before continuing. Of course, there’s also the gnawing question of whether we will be successful.
The financial crisis resulting from the pandemic forced many people to overcome their fears and courageously begin new projects. The need to stymie the tide of debt caused by unemployment or cut salaries prompted notable resourcefulness. Many revolutionised into action, monetised their skills and established the startup they had been dreaming about.
With a seemingly brighter economic horizon, there is no reason for would-be entrepreneurs and solopreneurs to shrink back. Don’t let old doubts resurrect or stifle the question of “How to start my own business?” With zeal, resolution, and planning, take the bold step of starting your own business.
Undoubtedly, several things are needed. Most importantly, information, and that’s where we come in. We applaud your entrepreneurship endeavours and want to help. Therefore, we’ve come up with some aspects of small business ownership that you should consider before setting off.
Even if you’ve already established your small business, you can still review our tips and make adjustments where relevant. Now, let’s begin. Here are six essential tips for starting your own business:
Don’t ignore the present. It’s often said that the only constant thing is change. The current economic climate must be considered if you’re looking to start a business. Ask yourself if your product or service is suitable at present. This question is not to deter you from starting. But, evaluating the viability of your product or service based on current or developing trends can impact your probability of succeeding.
Identify a market. Don’t waste time, and certainly don’t waste money. You can’t afford to invest in something for which there is no market. Ask yourself: “Will my product meet a need today?” Determine whether there is a demand for what you want to offer because that governs its profitability. Also, don’t be discouraged by that answer. Even if there isn’t a demand today, things may change in the future. So don’t throw out the idea. Keep your eyes and ears open to pinpoint the right time.
Be passionate about your venture. Do you love what you’re venturing into, or are you motivated by the thought of making money? There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make money. However, as an entrepreneur, and even more so if you’re going it alone, establishing your business will require a lot of dedication and hard work. You will be responsible for everything! Also, usually, small businesses don’t make a profit right away. Being passionate about your product or service will motivate you to persevere.
Know your customers. From the onset, know who you’re targeting. To whom are you selling, or who do you want to buy your product or service? Ascertaining this will guide who you market to and how you devise your strategy. It may also reveal how to enhance your brand or create new products or services. Also, don’t be afraid of competition if your product or service is in response to a need and the market has several options. You can still get in the ‘race’. Simply do a bit more investigation. Look closely at your potential customers to see how you can enhance your offering. Give them a greater reason to pay for your service or product.
Don’t be deterred by a lack of funding. You will need some startup capital. However, people often shelve excellent business ideas because they lack funding. We encourage you not to do so. Get started. There are institutions that you can approach for financing. You can also seek out investors. Don’t let money be a deterrent to pursuing your dream. An excellent book on this topic is The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau.
Get advice. Speak to people in the industry in which you want to get started. Get expert advice. Having them share their experiences with you can help you avoid pitfalls. But remember, there is no one way of doing things. So, learn from others but be open to creating a new path or having a unique experience.
There is no exact science to small business ownership, but certain practices can help you succeed. We hope these six tips help you to feel less intimidated and more intentional as you embark on entrepreneurship.
Also, for more information on small business financing, you can visit your financial institution and speak to a customer service representative. You can also search FindYello’s “Financial Services” and “Bank-Investment” listings.
Sources: Forbes and World Economic Forum.