Richard Branson of Virgin Group and Bill Gates of Microsoft are all billionaires that dropped out of school to pursue their dreams. While your business’s success story may not be quite as dramatic or unusual, there are some universal signposts that indicate to businesses that they are on the right track. If you are thinking of starting your own business, keep reading to find out some important tips.
It takes courage to succeed
Starting a business can be scary. Many entrepreneurs have a huge emotional investment in their business idea and take the highs and lows of their business personally. Additionally, starting a business or taking your business to the next level usually requires funding. For most people this means taking on debt, which can be very scary. But the good news is that courage is 50% fear. If you can harness the hesitation that you feel and work through it towards a goal, you will drive your business to succeed. The more you believe in the idea, the more fear you are willing to battle through.
Don’t get into it for the money
Many start-ups shut shop within the first few years. Starting your own business may not be very profitable for the first few years and usually involves long hours of hard work. If you are in it for the profit alone, you might find yourself quickly becoming disheartened. Starting your own business is a decades or even lifelong investment. That is why it is so important to start a business that you are truly passionate about. Your commitment and drive will see you through even the hardest and leanest times.
Just do it!
Many people stop before they even start. They may be too scared to ever take the leap and start their business. Alternatively, some entrepreneurs are simply obsessed with perfection, telling themselves that they need to collect more data, find the right staff or wait for the best time.
Justifying fear and hesitation may seem rational, but it hamstrings entrepreneurs. You may have created a business plan and think that you are on the right track, only to realise that you have spent too many extra months making graphs, charts and spreadsheets that drive your launch date further and further away.
It is definitely very easy to over-plan a business. You need to take the plunge and know when to get started. No one can tell you the best time to start a business except for you. Trust your gut and know when to stop planning and open shop!
Get a great mentor
Do not underestimate the power of fear. It can be extremely overwhelming and other people might pick up on it. Fear uses all kinds of tactics to keep you caught in its grip. Your mind will use any number of rationalisations to prove to you why you should be afraid and why anyone trying to tell you otherwise is wrong.
To truly benefit from having a mentor you need to be open to their suggestions. You need to trust that they have what is best for you in mind. Be sure to select your mentor carefully. Don’t get caught overanalysing this either. The more time you spend with your mentor, the more your gut will tell you if they click with you or not. The most important role a mentor serves is pushing you to question your viewpoint, actions and reasoning.
Keep your overheads low
Unless you are lucky enough to have a lot of capital at your disposal, you probably won’t be able to start a business that is immediately worth millions.
Be humble and keep your overheads down. Many small businesses have great offerings and generate heaps of revenue but don’t turn a profit because their overheads are simply too high. Growing your business is so much easier than cutting it down, so be sure to keep your business profitable by not taking on more debt or expenses than you can handle.
The usual expenses associated with starting a business. Technology and subscriptions, office space and payroll can really add up. Check your books monthly if not weekly and cut back on unnecessary expenses wherever possible.
Choose the right business partner
Should things go south between you and your business partners, a nasty lawsuit could ensue.
A bad partner isn’t always a litigious partner. A bad partner may simply share a different vision to you, go about business in a different way or not pull their weight.
That is why it is so important to be savvy when selecting a business partner. Make sure that your values and goals align. Make sure that they possess a strong sense of integrity. If they don’t, they may try to maximise their profits at your expense.
There’s nothing to be ashamed of in keeping site of your vision and sticking to it. Control is required. This includes self-control, control over your business’s operations and control over the decisions that you make. You need to honour your vision by firmly sticking to what you know and believe is best.
Starting your own small business is one of the hardest, most rewarding things that you can do. You need to possess courage, not be in it for the money, avoid procrastination, have meaningful mentors, keep your overheads low, choose the right business partner and keep focused. These key points will give you the greatest chance of succeeding as an entrepreneur.
Protection for your business
No matter what type of business you want to open, it’s important to consider taking business insurance. It is mandatory for certain business to take public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance. Find out more about business insurance with BizCover.