Entrepreneurs aren’t born; they’re made. If you have the drive to make your dreams come true, then there are steps you can take to make them so. But of course, you do need to take them, even if you generally think that you’re made for the business world. You’ll find everything much easier if you’re fully prepared for all that running a business will throw at you before you begin the journey. Below, we take a look at a number of essential steps. Take a read, incorporate them into your life, and you’ll be able to get your new venture off on the right foot.
This is a contributed post. Please refer to my disclosure for more information.
What Do You Want to Achieve?
Before you begin the momentous journey of developing a business, it’s important to think about why you’re doing it all. What’s the motivation, and where do you want to go? Thinking about these issues can help keep the ideas that sound-good-but-actually-aren’t at bay. For example, you might come up with a business that you think you will make you a lot of money. That’s what you want to achieve. It would not be a good venture, because a business that is created with only the pursuit of wealth in mind is less likely to succeed than a company that stems from a place of passion.
What You’ll Be Giving Up
Running a business might be a dream, but you shouldn’t get too lost in a daydream of all the good things that being in charge will bring, though there are benefits. If you only focus on that before launching your idea, then you’ll be blindsided by the negative aspects of entrepreneurship, which all business owners must come to terms with. For example, you’re going to find that you have much less time to socialize that you used to, and some of your hobbies might have to be put on pause, too. It’s worthwhile considering how poorer your life will be without these things, even if it is just on a temporary basis. If you’re not able to do the things that make you happy, will running a business make up for the loss?
It is possible to go from “complete beginner” to “successful entrepreneur,” but it’s not the usual route. Most people who go on to have success have already cut their teeth in the business world. They’ve worked on the inside of successful businesses, and know what’s involved to ensure everything ticks along properly. They’ve essentially had an intense internship resolving all that it takes to do big things in the business world. So even if you’re raring to go, it’s very often worthwhile working in a “regular job” for a period. This will also help you to raise the money you’ll need to launch, too.
Talking With Others
Try as you might, you won’t be able to grow your business all on your own. You’re going to need other people and companies, who will have the resources and tools to help develop your business (it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement; you’ll also help them). But of course, in order to do this, you’ll need to know how to talk to other people, how to network. When you’re a business owner, you’re always in networking mode! If you’re getting tongue tied every time you’re speaking with others, then you’re going to have difficulties. It’s worthwhile pushing yourself to speak with others before it’s essential, such as attending trade shows even before you’ve got your business underway.
Get the Skills
You’re not just a person with ideas in your head and the will to make them a reality. When you decide to start your own business, you also choose to become a leader. Now, if you’ve never seen yourself as a leader before, then you might be wondering how you’re going to manage to talk with other people, making decisions, and, with regards to your staff, functioning as “captain of the team,” so to speak. All of these skills, like all skills, are learnable, so take a look at receiving business coaching. You’ll find that you’re more able to perform the duties that running a business demands of you if you’ve got the necessary skills under your belt.
An entrepreneur should be confident, but they shouldn’t be arrogant. Confidence is having faith in your abilities; arrogance is believing that you’re better than you are. To make sure you stay on the right side of the confidence/arrogance line, it’s worthwhile conducting a little bit of self-analysis. This will show you your strengths and, more importantly, your weaknesses. If you identify your weak spots early enough, you’ll prevent your professional gaps from becoming your company’s gaps.
The financial aspect can sometimes dominate the thinking when it comes to a business. It shouldn’t; you should try to keep this thinking as a part of your company, not the whole thing. Still, there’s no getting around the fact that it is important. You’ll need to spend a significant amount of time figuring out how you’re going to fund your venture, but don’t overlook your personal finances, too (they should definitely be kept separate from your business finances). You’ll want to make sure that you have at least six months worth of expenses to hand, so you that you don’t fall into financial difficulties while you’re trying to grow your business (you might find that you’re unable to pay yourself for some time).
Of course, it’s enjoyable to think about all the fun aspects of running a business. But those tasks might account for, say, only a quarter of all the tasks that need to be completed on a daily basis. To make sure you don’t end up regretting getting into the mess in the first place, make sure you’re fully aware of everything that’ll be involved. It’s not just going to be things you already know or want to do; they’ll be some boring work to take care of too.
Do Your Research
There are plenty of important aspects when it comes to creating a business, but research might be the most important one. After all, it’ll be your research that tells you whether you have a viable business. It’ll tell you whether there’s a demand for your business, and who your competitors are, and what profit margins you can expect. If you don’t do these things, then you’ll be walking into your business blind, which is essentially setting yourself up for failure.
Find a Mentor
You don’t have all the answers. In fact, you probably don’t have any of them, since you’re so new to the game. But there are people who do have the answers, or at least some of them: people who have done it all before. Having a mentor is often underrated by entrepreneurs, but it’s worth more than its weight in gold. If there’s someone who has inspired you, then reach out and ask if they’ll be your mentor. Most people are more than happy to be involved.
Attack Your Idea
You have faith that your idea for a business is a good one. But is it as good as you think it is? It’s not going to be perfect, because there’s no such as a perfect company. So what are the flaws, and is it possible that the flaws might be too large to overcome? Don’t have a crisis of confidence, of course, but rather attack your idea. Look at it through a critical lens, and make sure that it’s really as strong as you think. It’s better to get a sense of the weaknesses in the idea now rather than when you’ve sunk too much money and energy into the project.
Riding Out the Bumps
Every entrepreneur starts out with grand optimism that everything’s going to work out perfectly. It’s a logical approach. However, it’s not going to work that way, not all the time. There will be bumps in the road – they’re unavoidable – and it’s how you manage those tough times that’ll matter. If you freak out every time everything goes wrong, then you won’t get too far. Learn how to ride out the tough times without doing too much damage to your business.
Is this your Passion?
Humans are malleable. They can convince themselves of anything if they try hard enough. In the business world, this might mean getting an idea underway that they’re not fully on board with. If they squint, they can see that it’s for them, but they have to squint. Before getting too attached to the money or prestige that may flow your way from your business, ask if it’s really your passion. If it’s not, then the adulation might not count for all that much in the end.
Finally, remember that you can prepare and prepare and prepare yourself for your business, but you’ll never be truly “ready.” The best approach, eventually, is to dive into the process and get moving. Things have a habit of working out if we just stride with confidence.