Have you thought about having your own business but not sure if you could really do it? Thinking that you have the know-how but not sure about how much money you need to get your idea off the ground? I have been working with some clients recently who have been considering going into business for themselves, so I caught up with Business Coach Eric Gregory from Gregory Business Coaching to find out what tips he has if you’re thinking about quitting your job and flying solo!
Jane “Job Whisperer”: Eric, you must see a lot of people who have gotten into business for themselves who need assistance and perhaps should have assessed whether small business is right for them. What skill do you think is most overlooked when people go into business for themselves?
ERIC GREGORY: I would say the skill of ‘Entrepreneurship’. By that I mean, most people start or go into business with a lack of knowledge about business in general, the finer details of running a business and an understanding of the market and capitalism as a whole. Too many people lack the ‘financial and business intelligence’ when starting a business. The broader and deeper your view and understanding of how successful businesses run, how they fit into the market and capitalism overall and how far into the future you can ‘see’ or clearly visualise your business path, the better. The ‘stereo-typical’ and unfortunate path for most people is that they start a business, learn on the job (while chewing up money or capital which they most likely tipped into the business from their personal home) and try their best to keep going. More times than not, they just plod along just surviving and by the time they learn the lessons of entrepreneurship, they have run out of capital or can’t get access to any to put their knowledge to use. Knowledge can be expensive, but nowhere near as expensive as a lack of it.
Jane “Job Whisperer”: If someone was considering leaving their job and going into their own business what three things would you say they need to consider before starting?
ERIC GREGORY: 1. Your job is not your future job if you’re going into business, whatever you do now is most likely a specialised skill. You will be a ‘Business Owner’, or what I call a ‘Business Builder’, an Entrepreneur and will be hiring people just like yourself (employees who work in a business), never ever confuse what you do now with what you will do as a business owner, what you do now is 10 times easier than building your own business, be realistic about the skills of being a business owner, no guarantees whatsoever.
2.Understand the numbers that will make you money. Your financials, P&L, Balance Sheet and Capital overall. If someone asked you to pitch your idea and how and why it will make money, if you can’t, with confidence, sell that idea in a believable way with a clear path to profit, you may not be ready.
3.Have a clear Business Model, an assembly line of how your business functions, starting from when a potential customer contacts the business all the way to happy and satisfied customer with job completed and then prove the math of how it works, numbers of customers, average sale prices, time needed and by how many people doing what at what margins etc… If you have a workable, functional, repeatable business model you can grow your business.
Jane “job Whisperer”: What is the greatest challenge you see for business owners who have previously had a full time job and made the transition?
ERIC GREGORY: Lack of understanding of what really lies ahead for them in business and almost being caught by surprise, too much ‘learning while you go’ type of stuff which interferes too much with what the business needs to be successful.. they find themselves in a spot where they realise that to make the profit or money they had hoped they would, they will need to do much more than they thought and grow the business to a larger level than they thought due to being unrealistic before they started which is due to a lack of knowledge.
Jane “Job Whisperer”: What would you say to someone who has their own business and may be considering giving up and going back into the employment world?
ERIC GREGORY: If you’re still passionate about it, get some help to improve. Ask yourself honestly why you wanted to go into business to begin with (if you want to be realistic, there two real quantifiable items a business can give you: Time and Money). Ask yourself how much of both you want in return for being in business, if you can get the same amount of either working for someone else then realistically, that may be a better bet for you. Otherwise, educate yourself and do it extremely quickly. Read, read, read and read more. Knowledge is your financial currency (not money), you can turn knowledge into money, very hard to without it. Finally, attitude, mindset and your ‘worldview’ are unbelievably important. In other words, if you need help, get it (immediately) and be prepared to continually invest in your own knowledge as a business owner.
Are you feeling unhappy in your job and have throught about having your own business. If so, contact us and we can discuss your career options or refer to to Eric.
Eric J. Gregory is an author, business owner, presenter/guest speaker, and business coach/consultant who specialises in working with Small and Midsize Companies, Owners and Leaders to grow and improve their businesses. His business, Gregory Business Coaching is based in Brisbane, QLD but he speaks and helps businesses across Australia and the world.
He has created a range of coaching programs, books, videos and education tools exclusively for this market.
In his book, ‘Would you like Profits with that?’, he takes you step-by-step through his proprietary ‘10 Keys to a Profitable Business’ method which underpins the principles, strategies and systems he uses when coaching businesses to and through extraordinary growth. Packed with entrepreneurial lessons and insights, this book is a must-read for every Business Owner serious about taking their business to the next level.