Being independent gives many people a hallelujah mood, because you do not have to be accountable to your manager, you set your own times and you are as free as a bird. Besides the fact that it is all a bit more nuanced, there is quite a lot that goes into starting your own business.
Given the economy and the associated unemployment, the municipal institutions that provide benefits and help job seekers get back to work will only welcome an initiative such as self-employment. Of course welcome, but come with a well-thought-out plan (business plan, action plan, entrepreneurial plan, whatever you call it), because just starting out will generally not lead to great success. A number of basic points that should be included in a plan:
- introduction (how did you arrive at)
- principles (what are the principles of your company, your vision on business, which products and/or services do you offer, what sets you apart and gives your company a chance of success)
- current situation (make a SWOT analysis with your strengths and weaknesses, how do you shape this)
- the project (how do you plan the start-up of your company, how do you position yourself in practice in the business, etc.)
- action plan (there is a lot involved, so an action plan with timelines, who does what and when should things be accomplished is not an unnecessary luxury)
- budget (the figures, what is the investment, what are your (fixed) costs, possibly how to finance, income, etc.)
Assuming that you have secured financing from the bank, the UWV has given approval or you are ready to switch from an employed position to your own business, there must come a point when you want to start. Your planning must be realistic and an action list with timelines is a must.
An action list does not have to be complicated, as long as it is clear and you and any partners stick to the list of action points and timelines.
What goes into an action list?
- what has to happen
- who will do it or is responsible for the deliverables (for example, if you let someone else do something)
- when should it be ready
- settled? (important so that you can tick more and more boxes towards the start date and fully implement your plan until you can actually start)
What kind of things do you have to think about?
- Establish a Chamber of Commerce sole proprietorship, private limited company, general partnership, etc
- Insurance: find out which ones are needed and take out insurance
- product or service: well defined – provided with cost price (ex VAT) (if new product may apply for a patent)
- website: design – create – manage
- expressions: logo design – letter/follow-up paper – business card – power point
- brand name: have it registered if necessary
- materials: depending on the business, but computers are usually the least needed
- draw up general terms and conditions
- find an accountant / tax advisor and enter into an exploratory discussion
- plan how to get customers: network, leads, chamber of commerce files, etc.
It goes without saying that depending on the business this list can be much more extensive, but this is a basic model.
It goes without saying that cost price calculation is essential. All costs must be included, such as office/material, marketing/sales, website, accountant, insurance, salary, car, reserves, etc. Sounding boards with people from the field are not an unnecessary luxury, something is easily overlooked. Don’t start headlong, let everything sink in, read things through several times and slowly but surely you will perfect your plan more and more and the possibly overlooked matters will now be visible.
In this economy it is not always easy to get in somewhere, but companies realize that they have a problem even if they do not call it that and so there is room to start your own company now. Qualities such as perseverance, being a self-starter and being able to profile yourself are inherent to the self-employed entrepreneur. But if you didn’t have these, you wouldn’t have gotten this far.