What is the best way to start a business?
I guess the first thing is to ask yourself “Why do I want to start a business?”. To get rich? Forget it! Freedom? Forget it! To make a living? Sounds good! To satisfy a dream? Also good!
Sure, some people in business actually do get rich. But I haven’t met many in the last 30 years or so that I have been with Harbour and Associates. And freedom? Freedom is going to work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, leaving about 55 hours a week to enjoy other things and that’s not including the 13 public holidays when you get paid for doing nothing.
So, the reality is that being your own boss is a tough game. The responsibility for success or failure falls squarely and totally on your shoulders, so you’ll probably be working in your sleep!
OK, but you’ve decided to dive in and do it. Good for you. I’ve been doing it all my life and wouldn’t change it for the world.
Generally, someone making, or buying and selling would usually be better off with a company, whereas a service provider may be better off starting as a sole trader.
Now you need outside help. All businesses need to keep a set of books (if only for the tax return), and perhaps need to register as employers, as importers/exporters, for VAT, with CIDB, HBRC or any of a myriad of other regulatory bodies. Tax returns must be submitted and, if it’s a company, CIPC returns. If you try to do all of this on your own, you won’t have the energy and drive that you need to get your business where you want it to be.
If you can find an experienced professional who will invite you to book unlimited meetings at no charge, you’re one of the lucky ones. His name is Derek Springett. He’s a Pr(Eng); CA(SA) and the CEO of Harbour and Associates Management Services. That’s me!