Have You Got What It Takes?
Lots of people toy with the idea of starting a small business at various stages of their life. Some think of starting a small business after their educational career is over. Some think of starting a small business because of unpleasant or unhappy situations they have encountered in their work places or like me, there are also those who want to start a small business to allow them to work without constraints giving them much more freedom and flexibility within their lives overall doing something that they enjoy.
Regardless of the reason, toying with the idea of starting up your own venture is one thing, but if you are taking positive steps to get started, then certain myths associated with starting and running a small business need to be quickly dispelled from your mind starting right now!
To some, the idea of starting a small business might initially appear to be an easy option, especially to those who are desperate to get out of a monotonous 9 to 5 situation, but running a business may not be as easy as it first appears and your new venture could quickly see you craving back those days of clocking in and out at set times, particularly in the beginning.
When it comes to running your own business, there’s no room for ignorance. If you are unsure what to expect then a great way to get an insight into how business in your niche works is to network with those already in it. Follow business pages, join forum groups specifically aimed towards your product or service. Comment on posts, join in discussions and make connections.
Not only is this a great way to gain knowledge, it could also be invaluable in the beginning to have brands who are already established, supporting your new venture.
I grew up in an environment where not only my parents but also other close relatives were self employed so I saw first hand the hard work and volume of hours that it took to build up and run a business. There’s a saying that goes “Once you have created the beast you need to be able to feed it” in my experience there’s nothing more true than when it comes to running your own business.
Starting a business is a serious commitment and you need to be in it for the long haul in order for it to succeed.
In my experience self motivation, dedication, resilience and the ability to work independently are non-negotiable personal attributes needed to get your venture off the ground, let alone maintain it.
Preparation Is Key
Like most people nowadays, I have an online presence both personally and professionally and I follow various individuals and their business pages. It never ceases to amaze me that so many enter onto the business scene one minute and after an initial burst of followers and flurry of orders for their products or services they seem to loose focus and momentum and fall into one of two catogories.
There are those who enter into a business with little or no knowledge and once their limited understanding is exhausted they begin reaching out for others to help them, whilst this isn’t necessarily a negative thing because we all need help sometimes in one area or another, they seem to have got their priorities a little muddled up. Instead of steaming in head first and asking questions later, by doing their homework in the beginning, they could have started off much more consistently giving themselves time to grow and learn new skills whilst still maintaining a level of professionalism.
The thought is never lost on me that if I see their desperate requests for help popping up on my news feed regularly then potentially, so do their customers which will hardly fill them with confidence in their brand, a negative double whammy for any new venture!
Others seem to start off strong, realise that the promise of an easy ride advertised by affiliate up sellers is nothing more than a sales pitch and fall at the first hurdle.
Either way, I feel that as a society we miss out on so many cracking businesses purely because those who start them are blinded by the promise of little work for big money, they have motivation in the beginning but lack the determination and work ethic that it takes to create longevity.
Show Me The Money
In financial terms, the general consensus by many is that you can make a lot of money by running a small business, and whilst its certainly possible there are also many people who loose a lot of money unfortunately due to lack of proper research and planning.
While its true that setting up a business, particularly online, the initial monetary outlay be may considerably smaller than one of bricks and mortar but at some point you will have to speculate in the right areas in order to accumulate so a basic understanding of how finance works is a must.
Many are under the impression that a small business requires much less than a larger enterprise but the fundamental elements of success are the same regardless, marketing, online presence and development are key to business growth and over time will require investment.
For a greater insight into the considerations and potential costs involved in the practicalities of setting up your own business, please check out my next blog post.
Although it may be possible to generate a small amount of profit in the beginning, capital to invest, even if it’s a minimal amount, should be factored into the equation. You should also take into account the fact that if this is your main gig, you will need to have funds put aside for basic living costs until your business is sustainable.
It should come as no great surprise that the landlord, mortgage and utility companies will not accept an IOU yet strangely so many people fall into the trap of believing that their financial commitments will somehow take care of themselves until they are able to pick back up where they left off.
Another common myth which always makes me smile when you begin working for yourself is the one that goes you are the Boss, so you can work when you want, relax when you want and go on holidays when you want. Your the Boss that is all to it.
Ask anyone that is self employed and they will tell you that they have never worked as hard as they do now, there’s no holiday pay, sick pay or pension scheme already in place when you run your own business, the book literally starts and ends with you.
Living The Dream
The realisation of the aforementioned fact can be a huge shock for some but its something that any budding entrepreneur needs to be prepared for.
Surprisingly it seems to be just one of the many important details lacking from the endless reels promising a saunter down easy street by the vast amount of creators on the big social platforms, which is why they can be so dangerous.
They sell the dream which for many, rapidly turns into a nightmare. People automatically question their ability because things are not shaping up quite as easily as advertised and once self doubt sets in, they give up yet ironically that’s when the real key to success starts.
There really is no substitute for hard work, when it comes to your own business , shortcuts simply don’t exist and in the beginning, you realistically need to accept that there may be more lows that highs.
From Small Acorns
So, I hear you ask, is it really worth all of the relentless hard work and personal and financial investment, not to mention the countless hours spent, starting up your own business?
The answer, in my honest opinion, without question…………… YES!
Realism is key, forewarned certainly is forearmed in the business world and as long as you enter into it with your eyes wide open then you already have a sound foundation to build upon.
There is nothing quite like the feeling of turning a dream or ambition into reality, taking those first steps can be scary but in the world that we live in there are so many opportunities out there to equip you with the knowledge that you need to not only start your new venture but also to make sure that you have the right ingredients to continue to feed it and watch it grow into something pretty darn amazing!
If you would like to take a look at my other business blogs, you can find them here: