While Australia is one of the most conducive environments in the world to start, own and develop a business, it’s worth thinking about whether you have the stamina and vision to follow this pathway (Hajkowicz et al. 2016). It’s you, and you alone, that will make it happen. You can’t delegate this job to someone else and you will need to ride out the inevitable highs and lows that come from starting a new venture. Many people including technical experts and professionals day dream about the idea of starting a business, but the reality is that not many people have the courage to follow this pathway through from the beginning to start-up. These moments of entrepreneurial enthusiasm often happen when you have been employed for a number of years and you are really great at your job (Gerber 2004). Leaving the security of employment with regular pay is at the opposite spectrum of the uncertainty you will face when you start a business. However, ‘man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore’ (Andre Gide 1869).
Simply put, if you are going to start a successful business, its useful to know a little about yourself, what you are good at and how you are going to do it. So, to start a business you need the ability to:
- Develop a vision and product or service that meets customer needs
- Utilise, in combination, your financial, people and management skills
- Plan, organise and follow through on ideas
- Communicate, develop networks and use IT skills
- Develop a business methodology
Now it’s the business methodology or business model that is really interesting. This is the part that is unique to you. It’s the way that you do business with your customers and when its right, business becomes effortless. When the business methodology aligns with both your skills and your customers’ needs, you have found the business ‘sweet spot’ that is unique to you.
Today in Australia, a business can be started in less than a week with very little infrastructure or equipment. Entrepreneurs can start and operate a business anywhere in the world, travel while working and use a range of freely available digital tools and social media to measure and improve how customers respond. The Build/Measure/Learn concept of the Lean Start-up principle is at the fore of this concept and is ideal for those who want to test out their business ideas/models and find out what works for their customers (Hajkowicz et al. 2016). Its principles are based on learning from customer feedback while building your business, knowing that it’s not right – just yet.
So before you take the plunge into business, set yourself some goals, test out your ideas and find out a little more about yourself and what might work before you leave sight of the shore.
Gerber, M 2004, The e-myth revisited: why small businesses don’t work and what to do about it, Harper Collins, New York.
Hajkowicz, S, Reeson, A, Rudd, L, Bratanova, A, Hodgers, L, Mason, C & Boughen, N 2016, Tomorrow’s digitally enabled workforce: megatrends and scenarios for jobs and employment in Australia over the coming twenty years, CSIRO, Brisbane.