Why starting a business isn’t as hard as you think
A lot is said about the risks of starting a business, and the need for unrelenting hard work just in order to see yourself survive. This sort of conversation, while important in highlighting areas that some potential business owners fail to consider, can also dissuade many from leaving their desk jobs to run their own businesses. The perceived scale of commitment necessary to survive as a new business owner is sometimes seen as Herculean, leading some to find excuses to not make the plunge. However, starting a business isn’t necessarily as hard as you may think.
Here is how you can minimise the challenges of starting a business that may be keeping you from moving forward. Remember that those successful business owners that you admire don’t necessarily have any personal quality or intellectual advantage that you don’t have. Knowing that there is nothing stopping you from starting and running a successful business apart from yourself will help you take those first steps.
Talk about your plans
Talking about your business plans with not just friends and family but to potential mentors or those with experience in your industry can do two things. Firstly, you will begin to construct the metaphorical scaffolding of your businesses within your mind the more you talk about your plans. The collective pressure of having more and more people hear about your plans will act as a pressure to solidify these plans and give you the scaffolding on which to start the real job of construction. Secondly, talking about your plans will provide you with exposure to new ideas and concepts that can help you succeed as a business owner.
Start off small
You may want to own your own digital marketing agency, or instance, leveraging your years of experience working for other agencies, but this does not necessarily mean you start your business by offering all of the same services that usually come with such a business. The same can be said for any kind of business. You may want to run a fullscale restaurant or cafe. Instead of reaching for this final goal immediately, you may want to scale it down and just perfect a small part of this business. It could be making coffee or one particular kind of dish if you are in hospitality, or it could be creating clear designs as a digital marketing agency, long before you start incorporating other disciplines.
You can build on something small, but it is much harder to strip back a business if you take too large a bite from the start.
Building a strategic plan for the lifecycle of your business will help in simplifying the processes behind getting started with your business. Literally writing down and having a visual representation of your short, mid, and long-term goals will help you prioritise what aspects of your business to focus on when starting out, such as when deciding how to ‘start off small’. Having a clear business plan will also communicate to others how prepared and realistic you are, which may encourage them to help mentor your progress in those early stages of starting a business.
Use the goodwill of others
In the end, nobody, aside perhaps from a few competitors, wants to see you fail. Starting a business is not as hard as you think if you draw from the goodwill of customers and those in your community to bolster your own productivity and positivity. If you see yourself as going it alone, then you will have a harder time of succeeding. If you see yourself as a community and a contributor to that community, a lot of the challenges and setbacks that come with starting a business will be easier to navigate.
We hear it everywhere, but the message that you should learn from your mistakes should never go unmentioned. Beyond the time pressures and stresses of starting a business, the biggest thing that can threaten your viability as a business can be your unwillingness (not inability) to accept failure and learn from your mistakes. Everyone has the ability to concede the reality of their mistakes and identify what these mistakes can tell them. Failure can be as small as not providing the best service to your customers right through to having to close your business. But whatever happens, there is always an avenue for future growth, even if it means starting a new business based on what you have learned.
Make time to enjoy the process
While the realities of finding a work-life balance sometimes do mean pushing yourself to the extreme, this does not have to be a constant. Make sure you schedule time for reflection and fun as you build your business. If you are not ultimately enjoying the experience of starting a business from the very beginning, despite the amount of hard work it requires, then there is little reason to believe you will ever truly enjoy the experience.