Starting a business is a lot harder than it seems. Sure, some people instantly focus on the number of startups out there and point at this figure claiming that – if it’s so hard, then how come there are so many emerging businesses out there? Well, it’s one thing to start an enterprise and something entirely different to start a successful enterprise. With that in mind and without further ado, here are ten things every startup entrepreneur needs to hear when starting a business.
Validate your idea
The simplest way to describe this piece of advice is to say that you need to make sure that there’s a market for what you intend to sell. A lot of entrepreneurs make the mistake of believing that selling something that people need is enough when, in reality, you need something more. What people need is not good enough, what people see as high enough of a priority to actually spend money on is what you’re aiming for. The problem is that sometimes you’ll be too biased and seeing as how you already have high stakes in this idea, chances are that you’ll need some help from the outside. Now, due to the fact that a business idea is a valuable intellectual property, be very careful who you’re telling it to.
Come up with a business plan
The next thing you need to do is put your idea on paper and describe it in full detail. Sure, it may all sound clear in your head, yet, your investors (something we’ll discuss in the following section) will want to have all of this in writing and it’s your duty to oblige. Here, you need to include an executive summary, a mission, a vision and main objectives of your work, as well as keys to success. By pulling this off right, you’ll have something to cling on to, as well as one more reality check before you embark on the path of becoming a proper entrepreneur.
Think about the fundraising
Once you know what you want, it will be fairly easy to make an estimate of just how much money you’ll need to make it come to life. The hard part is actually gathering these funds, which makes fundraising into the first major challenges that you’ll encounter as an entrepreneur. A loan or personal funds are the most common way of getting the money you need but sometimes, you might find it easy to just find a partner or a wealthy investor (angel or venture). Other than this and depending on your industry, you might also consider the concept of crowdfunding.
Prepare for best- and worst-case scenario alike
A lot of entrepreneurs only think about launching their business and meeting the break-even point, which means that they often fail to consider what happens next. In case of the failure of your business, you need to have a contingency plan. Sometimes pivoting can save your business but only if you act in time. The problem, however, lies in the fact that success can be just as dangerous if you’re not careful enough. You need to be ready for growth and expansion (by having a plan for it, as well) in order to use the opportunity that’s in front of you.
Be careful what you do with your profits
Once the money starts coming, the last thing you want is to be irresponsible with it. Look at it this way, the incoming money needs to be spent responsibly, which means saving a part of it, reinvesting another part into your business and diversifying your portfolio in order to protect your wealth. When it comes to the latter, you need to invest in stocks, buy bonds, as well as allocate at least 10 percent of this fund for commodities like precious metals. Gold and silver are not your only option, seeing as how platinum bars are getting more and more popular with each passing minute.
Make sure your business is scalable
Previously, we’ve discussed the issue of growth, well, this is a lot easier to pull off if your business is scalable, to begin with. This means that as an entrepreneur who is just establishing their business, what you need to do is pick services and business model ideas that will allow you to grow seamlessly. Relying on a remote workforce is one such measure. Picking various cloud-based solutions is another thing you could try out.
Prepare for the amount of work that you’ll meet
A lot of people are overworked as it is, which makes them believe that things couldn’t get much worse than they are at the moment. Well, this is usually so until they become entrepreneurs and start running their own business. There are some who keep their day job in order to have an additional stream of income to invest in their business, yet, there’s not a lot of those who can keep up with this tempo. Simply put, running your own business takes time and energy, as well as it pushes your mental strengths to its limits. Speaking of which…
Prepare for the pressure
When launching a startup, you’ll be under a lot of pressure from people who depend on your business. We’re talking about investors, partners, suppliers and employees. However, you won’t be able to get a respite even in your private life. Every single person who has overheard that you’re launching a business will ask you how it’s going, your family will repeat this question 24/7 (thinking that they’re being sensible and supportive) and this will go on and on. Of course, things aren’t going to be exactly as you’ve planned, which might make you feel like you’re under a lot of pressure.
Take care of your work-life balance
When you take into consideration the last two sections that we’ve mentioned, it’s more than clear why so many entrepreneurs retreat inward, which makes their social life to suffer. No matter how much you work, you’ll constantly feel like you’re behind on a schedule, which will make you work even harder, thus making your personal life to suffer even more. Due to reasons described in the previous section, some startup owners start avoiding people who are closest to them, which is another practice that can hurt you in the long run. The best way to handle this is to try and remind yourself why you’re doing this in the first place and try to find a safe haven in your private life, instead of just chasing professional success 24/7.
Create your own network of contacts
The last thing you need to understand is the fact that you just can’t do it all on your own, which is why you need to start surrounding yourself with the right people. We’re not just talking about having the right agencies and experts on your side. The list of customers and potential customers is equally as important and, nowadays, it can be reflected in your email list. According to this research by AccuWeb Hosting contains an elaborate list of email verification and validation services, which can ensure that the entirety of your list is valid and effective.
This list contains actionable business tips, as well as personal tips on how to cope with all that will be coming your way. Think about it, in the early stages, you are your business and if you burn out early on, get demoralized or start making mistakes, your business has no chance of making it. This is why you need to take a careful approach to this situation and give it your best to take slow, steady moves forward.