Starting your own business can provide a strong appeal that can be hard to resist. Being your own boss is a powerful incentive in today’s world, especially if you think you would like the freedom. In spite of the appeal, there are some potential downsides that should be considered first because not everyone is cut out for a start up business. These downsides may be why 50 percent of business startups will not last more than five years.
Knowing Your Strengths and Weaknesses
When it comes to running a business that relies on your leadership and strengths, it is important to know your weaknesses. Your weak points – if not handled correctly – could destroy your business. Consider how well you can handle the finances, leadership, planning, solving problems, working long hours, marketing, motivating yourself, hiring staff, etc. Of course, having a partner means that some of the tasks that you do not want to handle can be relegated to him or her.
Having Realistic Expectations
If you hope that your business will be making a large profit within the first six months, or that you will be able to only work four hours a day shortly after your business opens its doors, you need a reality check. Before opening the doors or launching your online business, you need to be sure that there is a strong demand for your product or service.
Your business also needs to be something that you are interested in doing for a long time. It needs to provide you with some excitement to keep you motivated for the long run – even when business is not doing so well. You may also talk to other business owners of similar businesses not near your location to learn what to expect in the way of day-to-day operations of the business.
Thinking that you are ready to launch your business and actually being ready are two different things. To be genuinely ready means that you have performed the market research and discovered that there is a real need for your product or service, you have identified your target market, you have a unique selling proposition (USP), and you have studied the competition.
A startup company also needs a usable business plan that you took time to prepare and thought through possible problems and solutions that you may encounter. Although a business plan is only needed if you must raise money, going through the research and development of an actual plan can be a great benefit, especially if you complete all the sections.
Financially, you should also have several months of savings ready in case your business does not take off as quickly as you expect. You may want to keep on working at another job just in case you do not see the desired results. Money will also be needed for materials, employees’ salary, rent, the monthly bills of the business and for your personal bills, insurances, and more.
Having a good product or service is only valuable if you know how to get the word out to your target market. This will include using several methods and keeping track of the results so that the methods can be tweaked – or swapped for other methods.
Successful startups require being informed about what to expect and knowing what to do when it does or does not happen. You also need a good amount of self-discipline and to be able to motivate yourself when needed. You should also know where and when to go for outside help and counsel from a mentor to quickly eliminate issues and to help ensure the success you want.