Starting a business can be both exciting and scary - that early enthusiasm can sometimes blind you to the risks that won't ever happen to us.
Recently I have been running a series of workshops aimed at helping people either transition from employment into self-employment or to boost the fortunes of new business.
Many start ups struggle for a variety of reasons:
- Simply their idea is not properly researched and is just not viable
- The business is not well resourced
- They are passionate and excited, dont believe that anything bad is going to happen to them
- Love what they are trained in and just dont want to think about business issue
- In the early months when its harder to generate income they fall victim to distractions – quick fix ways of making money
Recently I spent a day with a new business owner and we discussed her journey and she realised that she had fallen into the traps many do. She had perceptions about the steps she should take and hadnt really known who to talk to, to hear advice that would really help her. She has spent money on advertising her services and that hadnt worked, she had attended seninars where she had listened to a great deal of generic ideas, made lots of notes and still didnt know how to implement them in HER business. She came to me really as a reluctant referral but she trusted the person who introduced us. The day we spent focused very much on her reality, discovering the really effective ways of implementing her plans so that she could move her business forward in simple and proven ways. She left happier, motivated to take action and got on with it.
So some simple guidelines for anyone thinking of starting a business:
- Even if you are convinced that your product and/or service is brilliant – do your research, ask people – will they actually hand over £s for it!
- Ensure that you are prepared for self employment – it will consume you and if you are not prepared in terms of resilience and stamina it will burn you out quickly
- Have someone to support you – outside of your business who will tell it like it is, it can be a friend or another business person – pick someone without an agenda
- Learn as much as you can – understand your own strengths and weaknesses
- Delegate business functions that free you up to do what you do best – Think of it as an investment not a cost
- Consider carefully how you will present your business, your marketing activity needs to be focused, simple, consistent and done little and often. You really can be very successful in building your business brand without having to spend a fortune.
- If leaving a corporate life for self employment – you will need to adapt the way you work – you will have to do everything in the business which means you have to learn a great deal quickly and wont have the resources you were used to, readily available.
Critically, we all are confident working within our comfort zone, for many people starting business it can be a real shock how scary it is – you have all the reward and ALL the responsibilities! That can suddenly and without warning undermine your confidence – that in turn can completely paralyse you from taking action in your business.
However, when you you get it right it is the most exhilarating and wonderful experiences – earning a living, making a difference or building a legacy. When you put in the right foundations you are more likely to catapult your business to success. Go for it!