Are you thinking about starting your own business? Congratulation is in order, but so are a few words of warning. You will learn the most from experience, that’s true, but sadly, such lessons are often expensive and bitter. Starting your own business is not going to be an easy feat, and you want to arm yourself with useful information and plenty of patience if you’re hoping to be successful. Here’s what you absolutely need to know:
It’s not all fun and games
A lot of entrepreneurs think that coming up with a great business idea is the hard part and that after that things are supposed to be going smoothly. Well, it can’t be farther from the truth, unfortunately, and everyone gets greatly disappointed at just how difficult everything is. Even if you know it’s not going to be smooth sailing, multiply your assumptions by ten just in case – and you’ll still be far off. You’ll need a lot of motivation, so prepare for hurdles and mishaps too.
Turning a profit will have to wait
Even though you should think about the money, you have to come to terms with the fact that there might not be as much money as you might have hoped at first. Your goal shouldn’t be turning the profit in the first month anyway. What you should focus on are your customers – helping them solve their problems and improving their customer experience. This way, you will be focusing on people, and they will keep returning because of the excellent service you’ll be offering.
It will feel like stagnating
An important thing to remember is that ‘growth’ isn’t the same for everyone. Different businesses have different growth rates, but more importantly, they consider different things as testaments of their businesses’ growth. You’ll be growing when you improve your service when you start making a profit when you add more features to your most popular product when you start recruiting more people when you relocate to a better office… Keep in mind that growth equals improving your product and keeping your customers. Everything else is just a bonus.
There won’t be enough room
Depending on what kind of business you’re thinking about starting, you’re going to need to build an inventory first. When you’re just starting, your supplies will likely take up a small corner of your room or perhaps your garage, but if everything goes well, you’re going to have to look for a bigger place soon. If you feel like supplies and goods are taking over your life, look into hiring a freight forwarder. They will take care of the difficult dispatching so you can focus on administration and customer communication.
A business plan is a must
Before you start your business, you should have a solid business plan in place that outlines all the steps you are going to have to take in order to be successful. With a good business plan you have your goal in writing and this, along with an established focus and mission, will likely attract both potential employees and business partners. Don’t forget to include a detailed description of your business with an accompanying list of your services and/or products. If you also add in-depth analysis of the current market and your financial plan, you will come off as very professional, and it will be easier to fundraise in the future.
Be picky with your team
You might think that you’re a one-man-band and that you’ll easily be able to handle everything on your own, but unfortunately, that’s rarely the case. A successful business requires people in order to run smoothly, and sooner or later you’re going to have to start recruiting people and building a team. The key is to be very picky about who you’re going to invite to join the said team since it’s often the team that can help make or break a business. Your goals should be aligned and they should be ready to help you out, but you should also offer good conditions and fair compensation in return.
You’ll be alone a lot
When you think about all of your previous jobs, you’ll probably remember your work community fondly because you’ve been in a very similar position. That is going to change when you become a business owner – you’re going to feel alone and sometimes even lonely. It’s you making the plans and calling the shots, and it’s also you making mistakes and learning from them. The burden of decision-making and responsibility is very heavy, and you should be prepared to carry it alone.
We’ve put together a list of the most useful things you might need when you start your own business, but it doesn’t mean that you’ll avoid all mistakes that way. What is more, mistakes are what help us learn and grow, and if you change your mindset just a bit, mistakes can be a great source of wisdom too. Being a business owner is a huge challenge, but it brings a reward to match, so don’t be afraid to follow your entrepreneur dreams.