“You’re crazy!”, “Are you sure?”, “That’s going to be hard . . .” These are all things entrepreneurs hear when they talk about starting a business. The critics aren’t wrong; all those things are true, but they don’t have to stop your business from being successful. As long as you plan well and read these things to know before starting a business, you’ll be well on your way.
Learn our tips below.
1. It’s Still About Who You Know
When you start your own business, you may have done so for an array of reasons. One of them may be because you didn’t have the right contacts to get a job where you wanted in the first place.
Unfortunately, opening up a business solo isn’t void of other people. You’ll need partners, potentially, and at least other business contacts to help you advertise. Don’t delete your contacts because you don’t think you need them.
Believe me, you do.
2. You’ll Want to Quit
As passion driven as you are, there are still times when you’re starting your business that you’ll feel like throwing in the towel. Even if you “do what you love,” running your own business is hard.
Work can exhaust you, so make sure you’re taking breaks. Even if they’re mini-breaks between phone calls or meetings, giving yourself a little breathing time is essential.
Contrary to what you believe, taking breaks doesn’t cut into your productivity. It’s quite the opposite. A well-timed and well-deserved break can re-energize you and help you get through the rest of your day faster.
3. It’s Non-Stop
When you’re opening your own business, there is always more work to do. When you can always be working and there’s no one to put restrictions on you, you’ll find yourself working all the time.
Don’t do that! Set boundaries for yourself and for your workday. Some days you’ll have to work later or earlier than others.
If you can, only schedule meetings or consultations within your personal work hours. If you have to work late one night, make sure you stick to your limit the next day.
Burnout is a big reason that businesses have a hard time getting off the ground or never launch at all. Don’t let your hard work go to waste!
4. Everyone Will Have an Opinion
If you have kids, you know that everyone has something to say about raising them. The same goes for when you’re “raising” a business.
You might mention to a friend that you’re having an issue with something to blow off some steam. Then, when you only needed to feel listened to, they go off with three ways to fix your problem.
They mean well, so try to remember that. You don’t have to listen to them or take the advice.
5. You’ll Have to Ask for Money
Whether you thought you had enough capital or you underestimated the loan you need, you’ll have to ask for more. This is true for a reasonable percent of startups.
Asking for money is hard, especially if you’re asking for more from the same person/entity.
Don’t feel guilty about it, though it may seem like that’s all your brain wants to do. Come up with a plan on how you’ll use the money and how you’ll pay it back.
If you’re borrowing from the same person again, show them that you have a plan about how you’ll use their money so you don’t run out again.
6. You Can’t Double Dip for Customers
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking their friends and family will be their first clients. While that’s true for maybe 20% of your personal network, that doesn’t mean you can count on them to get your business off the ground.
You have to invest in marketing, both digital and traditional. Where can you go and promote your business to interested customers? Too many small business owners spend so much on start-up costs, they forget to advertise.
That’s the kiss of death for a new business. Make sure you don’t doom yourself by using at least 10% of your budget for marketing. You can always buy more decor as you make profits, but you can’t buy back under-utilized time.
7. You’ll Need to Reinvest
It’s exciting when you make your first profit as a business owner. You stressed all that time about being able to pay everyone, the rent, buy supplies, etc.
So you may feel like spending your profit on a reward for yourself or something new and exciting for your shop. But stop and think; how can you reinvest that profit back into your business?
Buy up some more ad space or add to your cost-per-click budget. Maybe you need to hire a new employee or pay off a debt that has a high-interest rate.
What I’m saying is, your profit should cover your expenses, then go straight back into your business to make a bigger profit next month.
Don’t worry, once you do this for the first month, you can invest a little less the next month, and a little less the next. Then you should be rolling in enough profits to reinvest and keep a chunk for yourself.
Things to Know Before Starting a Business
With these tips in mind, some capital, and the right kinds of business loans, you’re all set to start out your business. Know that it won’t be a straight road to the top and it’s okay to have some roadblocks along the way.
The best thing to do when these happen is to ask for advice from a network of start-up professionals. They’ll have more things to teach you that are unique to your niche and help you learn more things to know before starting a business.
I’ve spent the past twenty years growing and nurturing businesses just like yours. If you need help getting your start-up off the ground, click here to get connected.