What no one tells you about starting a business

5 min read
Tanya Jamal

If you are starting a business or thinking about giving up your nine-to-five to devote yourself to a home business, this blog entry might be the best thing you will read today.

The energy surge you get when you imagine the freedom and financial reward of self-employment can be heady.

But the reality of starting a business needs to be tempered with the truth that no one ever tells you about.

4 things you should know about starting a business

Yes the autonomy of working for yourself is wonderful. It can also be hard, since there’s only you making the decisions. Here are just four things you should know about starting a business.

  1. There’s no best time to start a business.
  2. You need to understand financials.
  3. Those who succeed believe in themselves.
  4. It takes a village.

Every challenge is easier once we know what to expect.

1. There’s no best time to start a business

Even if you study the markets, the local economy and every rise and fall of your industry, there will NEVER be a perfect time to take the plunge.

The only thing you can do is to make sure that you have a number of controllable factors on your side.

Start by researching your market and making sure that you have an idea that solves a big enough problem to provide you with initial and repeat customers.

Startup planning starts at home

Starting a Business Man Leaping into a Lake

Few people think of their home lives when starting a business. But the emotional support of your significant other is probably the most important factor in startup success. Because your new business will:

  • Eat up your time, money and energy
  • The redirection of those resources will directly impact the major relationships in your life

So, if you’re seriously considering starting a business, you should discuss it openly with your spouse, partner, family and/or colleagues. This will allow you to get an idea of the support you can expect from those around you.

2. You need to understand financials

The bottom line of every successful business startup is just that: the bottom line! Writing in Inc.com, Melanie Curtain notes that one of the reasons many startups fail is “running out of cash money.”

This usually stems from not having a good handle on your startup’s financial requirements.

If you currently have a poor grasp of how money works and moves, take the time to learn about things such as bookkeeping, accounting, tax incentives and loans.

As Gini Dietrich of SPINSucks says, ”You’re going to spend more time than you like, or could imagine, on financials.

“Even if you hire someone to do them for you, you still need a really good understanding of them, what they mean and how they can change. Don’t be afraid of numbers!”

Having a solid understanding of the various financial indicators will help cut down on panic when you’re forced to make decisions in money matters.

3. Those who succeed believe in themselves

Starting a Business Streetside Art Stall
Successful small businesses owners are good at positive self-talk.
Photo: Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Making a business work requires a willingness to be flexible and tackle tasks outside your comfort zone. Your challenges might include:

  • Managing people if you are not a people person
  • Negotiating lease terms with landlords
  • Reworking your business plan because the market didn’t react the way you expected

The truth is, starting a business can be one of the most challenging endeavors a person can undertake in their adult working lives.

But the rewards are equally huge.

The key to perseverance is focusing on why you started the business. Focus on what you love and you’ll do fine.

4. It takes a village

True achievement for startups occur when entrepreneurs connect with people and organizations that have taken similar journeys.

Starting a Business Advisor
You’ll find the journey much easier if you ask for help along the way.

In the early stages of planning and starting your business, networking should be a priority. Finding reliable and experienced sources of moral and financial support as well as guidance will help you establish your business.

No one person can accomplish the myriad tasks required for even moderate success.

You may start out as a jack-of-all-trades, pulling all-nighters filling orders and balancing the books. But to carry your business through to stability, you will need to find the right people, products and services to take the over the specialized tasks.

Learning how to:

  • Incorporate hired help
  • Be open to criticism
  • Reevaluate long-held personal beliefs
  • Automate routine tasks
  • Change course

All these come when you are exposed to the knowledge and support of others with more experience.

Be one who succeeds

When daydreaming about the future success of your company, visualize yourself surrounded by the people who will help get you there:

  • Your capable staff
  • The knowledgeable mentors who’ve befriended you
  • The valued customers who will have championed your business

If you know what lies ahead of you as you launch your startup, you can ride the waves of excitement and frustration. Yes, starting a business is a challenge, but now you know what it takes to succeed.

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