The challenges of starting a small business can be substantial, and marketing, accounting, design, inventory management and sales are just a few of the areas that most business owners (both old and new) have to deal with. For people looking to start a new business it can seem daunting.
After setting up multiple companies myself and assisting clients in getting off to a good start, here are 5 things that will help deal with the headache of starting your own business…
1- SIMPLIFY – The challenges of running a business are hard enough without us overcomplicating situations and adding to our own stress. Take a step back, take a deep breath and break it down; do you really need to create every invoice in word or can a cheap software solution speed that process up AND keep things organized? Creating simple processes and sticking to each step as it comes along will help you avoid becoming so overwhelmed that you become paralyzed.
2- OVERCOME – Don’t be afraid to learn new things! At times the budget will not permit you to hire people with the skill set that you need. Success, more often than not, is dictated by your attitude to problem solving. Take web Design for example. You may not think of yourself as creative mind or even know where to start, but there are simple options available. Platforms such as WordPress were designed to be used by bloggers not designers, so the modular setup will help you get things going without breaking the bank. You may even surprise yourself at what you can accomplish.
3- NETWORK – Do you have one? If the answer is yes then you will probably find that people within your network can assist in solving some of the headaches that you have. Partnering up or doing trade can be a great way to move forwards. If you find yourself struggling to have a network, then going to networking meetings is a must! Here you and other “like minded” people who are also striving to be successful business owners, can come together to help each other succeed. The entrepreneurial community is unlike any other, with great support for one another’s ventures and a desire for mutual success!
4- FUNDING – Although some companies truly do need start up capital, others could get by without it. Don’t forget, there’s no harm in bootstrapping! I have seen over funded companies fail while zero capital ones move on and dominate the market, so money is no guarantee of success. Wiki states that “Bootstrapping or booting refers to a group of metaphors which refer to a self-sustaining process that proceeds without external help” I love that, it truly embodies what being an entrepreneur is all about, understanding what it takes to self sustain and move forwards under your own steam.
The last thing that can be the decider between success and failure;
5- PASSION – I’ll start by saying, if you’re not passionate about what you are trying to create and build, you’re going to have a harder time than others where it comes to the sacrifices that business owners make. Shikhar Ghosh, a senior lecturer at Harvard, reports that an astonishing 95% of start ups fail, with the definition of failure being “failing to see the projected return on investment… a specific revenue growth rate or date to break even on cash flow*”. Although this doesn’t happen overnight, it typically happens over a five year period, this is an alarmingly high statistic. If you want to be the minority and survive the fate of the masses, then remember that your level of passion will directly impact your ability to survive. Sheer drive and a desire to succeed against all odds will help you overcome the obstacles that all businesses ultimately encounter at one point or another.
Remembering these five things will help you to keep you on track and hopefully have the staying power to be one of the 5%.