I just thought I would publish this post from David (a new reader of the blog)
He has some very good insights useful for anyone wanting to start their own business.
I have a few points to add though.
Apart from the publically listed shipbroker companies and some with active private investors - which make up 5-10 percent of the industry, I would guess that with the vast majority of players you would be very hard pressed to find even 10 percent that have any plan whatsoever - be that a business plan, a marketing plan, a strategic plan, budgets etc etc....strange but true.
Historicall speaking the modus operandi is as follows - Am broker, have customers, want my own business, register company, start making phone calls, fingers crossed, fix first ship....
This method has been extremely successful for many but also presents some problems for the unprepared. I think the major highlight of Davids post below is that their is lots of room in this industry to do things in new ways. Many ways to skin a cat as they say.. (also revealing that in shipbroking a PLAN is considered a new way of thinking)
I think the most important thing is to have somesort of real 'plan'. It might not necessarily look like a formal business plan but you need to be sure of your goals and how you intend to go about achieving them.
Anyway enjoy the post
I think being an entrepeneur may be time consuming, frustrating and risky sometimes but is also rewarding. When you fail is your fault but when you have sucess is product of your effort too, so having your own company is not just about earning more money but to grow personally as your company does it. I agree totally that being a former employee in a larger company than your start up may be a good way or even the best to have sucess.
This way you will have not just the technical knowledge of the industry but also knowledge about how a company is organized inside. Sometimes small companies or sole traders tend to minimize the importance for them of writing a well organized business plan prior to start operations or quality management. A lot of people think those things are just for large companies, but all the companies whether big or not need to have an strategy finding its own place in the market and need to apply quality in its services to satisfy clients to have sucess.
I agree that outsourcing is very powerful and even desirable for the entrepeneur when starting. This way you can have your costs under control on an on-demand basis. You always have time later to hire skilled employees if demand for your services grow.
Thanks for the contribution David!
- The Virtual Shipbroker
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