Many people dream of starting a business, but very few of us actually get there. Of the ones that do, a large percentage end up failing early on. This is usually because the founders are not prepared enough – or have not thought their business idea through. Here’s what you need to know if you are planning to start a business any time soon.
Let’s start here: it’s hard. Really, really hard. Be prepared to work more hours than is legally recommended, sleep less than you ever have in your life, and take on stress headaches that have you wishing you could stay in bed. If that sounds like enough to put you off, you probably won’t make it. Most entrepreneurs will tell you that the only way you can make something a success is if you are truly passionate about it. The passion and drive to keep going through those tough first years – and yes, it will be years – will be what brings you through to the successful phase.
Starting a business requires a lot of investment, though some fields require more than others. For example, setting yourself up as a sole trader is cheaper and easier than running a large company. However, whatever happens, you will need to invest some money. You may also have to face the reality of not making much profit, or any at all, for a long while. Whatever you have estimated for your overheads so far, you should raise that figure by a significant amount. Overestimate the cost of everything, and you won’t be far out. There are always hidden costs and unexpected emergencies that need to be paid for, so a tight budget will be easy to break.
They say it’s not what you know, but who you know. This is true in business more than anywhere else. To start your business, you need to start building connections. Network as if it was going out of style! You will need investors who might be interested in helping you launch or upgrade to the next phase. You will need customers who know you personally and are therefore more likely to come back for repeat orders. When it comes to hiring employees, you need people with proven track records who you can rely on to get the job done. And it’s also useful to meet people who are in business themselves: you can support one another, share tips, and grow together.
It’s time to make it happen
If you have read the above points and still feel that you have what it takes to start a business, then do it now. Too many people wait around and never really get off the ground. Go all in and launch head first. There may be things you need to figure out along the way, but that’s fine. Once you’re launched, don’t wait around: keep going after leads, keep networking, and keep improving your business. The second you stop to pat yourself on the back, it will all tumble down!
Don’t forget about the tech side of things, and to keep upgrading your business. There is always a piece of software that you could use to run your business easier and make the experience more enjoyable for your customers. For example, a retailer could use automated online shop software, a social media posting tool that covers all networks at once, a stock check system, or HVAC Software. There’s something out there which will increase your sales, so don’t rest on your laurels – keep upgrading!