When you aim for perfection,
you discover it’s a moving target
You’ve finally decided that now is the right time to start your own business. You’ve weighed your options and the possible outcomes, and you’ve come to the conclusion that you can end up losing more if you do not take the plunge right now.
Starting your own business can be equally exciting and nerve wracking. On one hand, you’re taking a path that a lot of people talk about yet hardly take. And on the other hand, there’s that sense of looming uncertainty.
Fortunately, you do not have to take that journey alone. Through the collective experience of those who took the same path as you, you can avoid some common pitfalls. Here are 10 things to know before you start your business.
The business side of things
You might think that starting your own venture will give you the opportunity to do what you are truly passionate about. But that’s just one aspect of striking out on your own.
On the converse side of the coin, you will have to spend an immense amount of time, effort, and yes, even money toward the business side of things: marketing, networking, accounting, etc.
You have to embrace yourself, flaws and all
One truth that entrepreneurs face early on is the fact that they have to embrace themselves, both positive and negative attributes. That will include your fears, limitations, excuses and even poor time management skills.
There is no other recourse here but to accept and embrace yourself. But beyond that, you also have to learn how to transcend your boundaries and step up your game.
It’s highly likely that you’re no unique snowflake
You might think that you have the right product, the right plan of action to reach success earlier than the others. However, life has a way of throwing curve balls down your path and you have to accept the fact that almost every entrepreneur has the same trajectory for success.
You’ll probably run out of money
You might think that you’ve got everything covered with your loan, savings or even help from investors. However, it has become some sort of rite of passage for entrepreneurs to find their funds dwindling close to zero.
A rite of passage? See, for some people, running out of money may be a sign that starting their own venture was a wrong idea. But for some, this is simply one stumbling block that they can overcome.
You will need a second source of income
You might think that you are undermining your business if you take on a side gig to augment your current income. However, it will always be better to divide your resources rather than go crazy thinking about your financial status. Simply put, when you veer away from being in survival mode, you will attain a greater sense of clarity and focus over the long term.
Stop thinking, start doing
The time that you are fully ready will most likely not come. Sometimes, you have to put yourself out there even if you do not have a clear idea of what you need to do.
Sure, you have to spend time researching and studying. However, do not let this become another excuse for your inaction. Reading all the start-up and management books in the world without ultimately taking action will soon become the biggest waste of time for you.
At the start, you might want to get your hands on every available project so that you can build a solid portfolio. But being picky about who you work with has a few advantages. Simply put, there will always be projects that are unprofitable and you’ll only end up wasting your resources on these.
Remember, you start your business by saying “yes” to all projects but you will only grow your business when you learn to say “no” to those projects are a simply not a good fit for you.
Marketing is key
You might want to focus on your craft but again, you also have to do the business side of things. Marketing is one of the key areas that a lot of startup business owners wish to avoid, believing that customers will magically appear.
If you are hesitant about doing marketing, it is a good idea to first determine your marketing personality. Determining your personality will help you find what works naturally for you.
You always waste half of your marketing budget.
You just don’t know which half.
You need how to learn email correctly
Email can be an invaluable business tool. It can also be a big distraction. Learn how to set filters that will help you determine whether the sender of the email is a prospective client or not. Remember, you have little resources to go around and you need to use these wisely.
Remember to take lots of breaks
You do not need to work for your business 24/7. Set aside ample time for personal matters. During the work week, remember to take frequent short breaks. The important thing to remember here is that success in business should not come at the price of your personal life or health.
Thank you for reading. Until next week, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR)