By Ella Woodward
Starting your own business may appear daunting but many people from all walks of life and all ages, with limited skill sets, money, and time, have gone on to live the life they’ve always wanted by just taking that first step in attaining their dream. Entrepreneurship, like any other skill, can be taught and learned.
Understanding the odds and avoiding the hazards can help you beat the numbers and pursue your dream business venture. Here’s what you’ll need to remember to make your entrepreneurial aspirations a reality.
Hard Work Pays
Success is built on a foundation of constant hard effort. This sounds self-evident — a strong work ethic is crucial in almost every professional path — but working hard in your own business isn’t always the same as working hard in a regular day job. Being an entrepreneur is difficult and takes hard work, time, and effort. Good ideas are not enough.
Knowing what it takes to establish a business is also part of hard labor. Do you know the fundamentals of accounting, marketing, financial analysis, insurance and liability, and negotiating with commercial real estate agents? In theory, getting in with both feet is always a wonderful idea, but to make your effort valuable, you need to know the essentials.
Do the Legwork
Market research is the number one thing you must do when dreaming of starting your business. You should be aware of the present state of the economy in your area, as well as market saturation and any other statistics that may affect your chances of success in your chosen industry.
The economy should not be the only reason for conducting research. You’re less likely to succeed if you don’t know everything there is to know about the field you want to enter. Try to avoid what’s trendy: a fad may fade away in a matter of months, so it’s important to find a niche that has sustainability and can grow with you and the target market.
Ask yourself some very important questions with regards to your dream. Will this idea work? Is it possible to make money doing/using it? Is there a void in the market that needs to be filled? How are you going to pay for it? What obstacles stand in the way? What are the risks? Is it possible to start this while continuing to work elsewhere? Is this merely a fantasy? Can it be a reality?
Starting a business without a financial strategy in place can be fatal. You need to know where the money is coming from and how much you need to establish a firm foundation: whether you have enough saved, have generous friends and family, want to acquire a loan, or wish to explore outside investors. Making a financial sacrifice is the key. If you are unable to invest financially (rather than simply with your time), it is evident that you do not trust in your idea enough to see it through when times are difficult.
Draw up a business plan to get it all down on paper and make sure you are following the right steps.
Some experts will advise you to devote your entire attention to your project but that isn’t always possible or practical. You almost certainly have bills to pay. Reduce your costs as much as possible and get part-time work that will help you relieve financial stress as you begin planning your new life. The worst that may happen is that it doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to and you learn something new in the process.
Patience is a Virtue
Too much, too soon can lead to risky decisions. Remember that it takes time to realize your dreams. The procedure required to start a business doesn’t happen overnight, so you’ll need to be patient as things get going. Allow yourself enough time to carefully manage every aspect of your young business, and don’t let zealousness take the place of accountability.
Comply with the Process
Be sure to investigate all aspects of your dream business. Registering your business is, in reality, the first step toward making it a reality. Take your time to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of various company structures. Work with an attorney if at all possible. This is not an area where you want to make a mistake. You’ll also need to obtain the necessary licenses and permits. There may be city, county, or state regulations as well, depending on the type of business.
It’s also a good idea to hire a good accountant and look into insurance. Fortunately, there are various options available when it comes to finding tailor-made insurance packages for whatever you need to cover. For example, a yoga instructor starting in a new studio or doing home sessions will need yoga insurance whereas a DIY Handyman Business will need handyman insurance.
Staying humble is an important part of being a successful entrepreneur. There will always be new things to learn and new problems to conquer, even if you have a business degree, decades of on-the-job experience in the area you are aiming to enter, and advice from a mentor. To be fully productive, you must accept the fact that you do not know everything and will never know everything. Approach problems with humility and see every incident as an opportunity to learn. Don’t be offended by criticism or feedback from others – use these as a way forward.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll need a lot of time and energy to achieve your goals, however, that doesn’t imply they’re impossible to achieve. You will never know if you can make your dreams come true unless you try!