Launching a new small business is no small decision. It requires physical and intellectual time, strategic planning, and nerves of steel. Stress is, of course, something inevitable, as well as that awful feeling of uncertainty. Yet, if you asked a small business owner who survived that initial year if they would do it all over again, 84% percent of them will tell you ‘’Yes!’’.
Talk about commitment – that sounds very encouraging. For all of you who have that one idea that keeps you awake at night but still having second thoughts, this is for you. Maybe your idea is the next best thing in the world, something people will go crazy about, or maybe it’s not. You will never know if you should have bet on yourself until you take that leap and do it.
Never give up on your dreams or you will wind up working for someone else’s dream. If you are trying to find the courage to embark on that new business (ad)venture – read this list and visualize the future.
Talk About Your Mission
Always keep this thought in your head – what is my mission? What primary function does my idea serve to the greater whole? Make decisions from that mindset. Everyone has heard the adage that a salesman has to believe in his product to really sell it. That idea follows for the mission of a small company startup. Think about what problem you are solving with your product or service. You need to understand your future customer and market succinctly so they understand you – in the end, they will determine if your vision will fail or succeed. Think about your target audience: demographics, buying habits, and potential. They are not just numbers or statistics – they are the core of your business. Your mission is the powerful message you want to share with your audience – always return to the core of your company.
It’s A Full-Time Commitment
Every small business is like a serious relationship. It is a full-time commitment. We are talking 24-7 type of commitment. Getting a new company off the ground lands in your hands alone as no boss is looking for your work or waiting for your idea. You will make it happen or you won’t. It will come down to time commitment. Hopefully, you are passionate about coffee and insomnia – congrats, you now have amazing market potential.
You will probably need to work overtime, work on tasks you never imagined, and have a lot of improvisations going on with your operations. Yet at the end of the day, you’ll feel content because you did the work that was needed and stuck to your mission.
Study Your Competitors
Competitors are an important part of your business. Your business can’t live with them or even worse – without them. Competitors are out there, and they have your clients or they want your clients. If you are wise – you will learn from your competitors. They can spark new ideas, motivate you to work even harder and smarter, and keep the market electric. The market shouldn’t be a battlefield – it’s a sprinting marathon.
Learn Your Strengths & Weaknesses
When you are starting the best thing you can do is be honest with yourself. Maybe you think your plan is flawless but somewhere in your mind, your humility is reminding you that can’t be true.
Your weaknesses are something you shouldn’t be afraid of. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from professionals. Maybe you are a jack of all trades but initially need an accountant, a lawyer, and a marketing expert that will help you with your desired strategy. That’s okay! Depending on the industry, your needs could vary. If you are in IT and you need software to start with, you can schedule a meeting with experts from a custom development software company. If you are not sure about something, always ask for help. Mistakes cost money and clients.
Rent, Don’t Buy. At least at the Beginning
Leasing is a great option if you are a beginner. It could help you save a lot of money. We know that you want to leave a lasting impression on your clients with all the glitz and glamour but be careful. Renting a shared office space could be a great opportunity.
You will have a chance to meet other entrepreneurs. Who knows, maybe one of them is your next business partner. You will be at the right place to discuss ideas and benefit from the aesthetic resources of a shared space while you focus your capital elsewhere.
Also renting equipment could be pretty handy. Your next business presentation could be flawless with the most modern iPads, laptops or projectors – and your new venture will instantly have a more polished look.
Establish Cash Resources & Always Have a Backup
You can rely on your own cash resources – but there are other ways. Raising funds or looking for investors who understand your message and support it. It is up to you to choose which option is great for you.
Financial planning is also crucial because you need to know what your expenses are. Considering the practical side, you can run your own personal website instead of a large commercial website, for instance. You can always change this later. Prepare reserves for at least one full year of operation without making a profit.
Test Your Idea
Before you decide to commit fully, test your idea. It will give you a better understanding as to if your idea is ready or not. Let’s face it – there is no such a thing as a ‘’can’t-miss’’ plan. Your audience is fluid, constantly changing shape and habits, so googling is not enough for this stage.
Research and gaining reaction of a few new customers is something that will help you learn how to adjust your service or product. You don’t know what you don’t know…so find out! It could take a lot of time, but on the other hand, it is time well spent if you learn what is not working
Prepare To Fail
We know this doesn’t sound too optimistic but it’s a reality check. The fact is, most new business ventures will fail in the first 5 years. Yes, times are going to be tough. Sometimes you will have a feeling that you weren’t ready for this. And then go back and read this again. Return to your mission and message.
We mentioned also creating reserves – this also means a good backup plan. The most important thing is if you fall – you need to learn to get up. Never give up. Bounce, don’t break, and you will be one of the few who is still standing.
A Small Victory Is The Best Victory
One step at the time. While you are dreaming big, make sure to take baby steps. Every little triumph you have is one step toward stability and growth. But one victory doesn’t mean that you’ve won the war. That is just one milestone on the road to success. Create a plan, stick to it, and build your stamina… start slowly.
Do It With Passion Or Don’t Do It At All
When something is done with pure passion, people can see it. The way you deliver your message to potential partners, investors, and customers can translate strongly. We all have that kind of passion somewhere and it gives us the fuel for our best ideas. So if you are doing something, do it the right way. It’s not about trends. It is not about popularity. It is about innovation, creativity, and doing things differently and authentically. Show that you are not some sort of copy-paste startup – make your story a great one.