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What every entrepreneur needs to know before starting a business

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by Startacus Admin

starting a business
You’ve had a great business idea, you may even have gone as far as registering your company but now the real fun begins.

Starting a business is extremely exciting but also terribly daunting. Whilst a good knowledge of your industry and business in general is useful, there may be a few unexpected twists and turns that no business school can prepare you for. To help you succeed, here’s our list of what every entrepreneur needs to know before starting a business:

Focus on succeeding, not failing

While it may be true that around 90% of start up businesses fail, focusing on this won’t do you, or your business, any good. By continually making decisions from a position of fear you will only be preparing your business for failure. Instead, focus on those positive goals you have for your business and inch towards them. Of course learning from failure is critical but keep focused and positive. Yes, it’s scary, but never knowing what could have been is much scarier.

Follow your passions

Okay, so you may have a great idea for a moneymaking scheme in renewable energy, but if wind turbines fail to get you fired up, it probably isn’t the route for you or your business. Things are tough when you’re starting your own business and it will be your passion for your product or service that gets you through those difficult times and it will be your passion that customers and investors buy into.

You won’t stop learning

In a big business, everyone has his or her set role. HR deals with staffing issues, the accounts team has your finances covered and the marketing department makes sure that the company is getting their name out there in the right way. As an entrepreneur however, you’re suddenly the HR department, the accounts, the CEO, the PA and the CMO. Inevitably, this leads to constant learning. Just remember-it’s okay not to know stuff, just as long as you are always willing to learn. By constantly learning on the job you’ll soon have a wider skill set than ever before.

starting a business

You need conviction

Having the idea is actually the easy part. The hardest part will be sticking with that idea and seeing it out until the bitter end- be that selling your business, retiring early or the business failing. In this time, like most entrepreneurs, you will probably have a thousand other business ideas that distract you. Stay focused. Finish one before you start on the next, or nothing will get done properly.

Choose your employees wisely

A good team will provide balance and ensure your business is in the strongest position to push forwards. Choose badly however and you could be stuck in not only an unpleasant situation but one that is bad for your business. Choosing a good team doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything, but you should share a view on your business and where it is going. Employees shouldn’t be identical to your skill set either. There is no point in having five marketing geniuses, if no one can work out the finances. Find the areas you are weak in and employ experts in those areas.

You need to learn how to manage people

Not only do you need to battle with selecting the right candidates, you then need to manage, and most importantly, inspire them. This can be tricky in the early days, but is a necessary part of running your own business that will come with time.

Don’t get distracted

Now your time is your own it can be easy to ‘prioritise’ all the wrong things or end up distracted without the threat of deadlines or your boss peering over your computer. Try to maintain discipline by putting in place strict work hours that are free from distractions. By doing this it will also make it easier to create that important switch off time, free from work.

Throw the business plan out the window

Okay, so you probably need more than just a vague idea to start a business and writing a business plan can be a great way to articulate your thoughts and ideas. However, as is the nature with start-ups, even the most detailed business plan will constantly change. Don’t waste your time getting bogged down in the planning when you could be doing much more important things like actually getting your business up and running.

DON’T listen to the naysayers but DO listen with an open mind

Sounds counter intuitive right? Our whole lives we are told to listen to others, but when it comes to starting your own business, you will find that everyone has an opinion. Some of these will be useful, but it is important to not take any of them too seriously. Some of the most disruptive start-ups got negative feedback because they were radical in their approach, but that’s what ended up making them so great. Air B’n’B struggled in the early days as the thought of having a stranger to come sleep in your house seemed crazy. These were the same issues Uber initially encountered too, with people being adverse to the idea of hopping in a random persons car instead of a taxi. If the founders had listened to the naysayers, they never would have created the wildly successful businesses they are today.

starting a business

Quit your hobbies before you quit your job

Hear me out. A morning yoga routine that helps you think clearly for the day ahead? You keep on going. Propensities to come home from work and binge watch five hours of your favourite Netflix series before bed? You can probably go right on ahead and give that up. Realistically, your day job may be time consuming but it also means you have financial stability in the early days when setting up your business. You’ll be surprised how much free time you can find around your job when you truly reconsider what is both essential and important in your life. That said, be open to knowing when enough is enough and it’s time to take the leap away from the 9-5 to focus on growing your business to the next level.

Rise and shine

No more pressing snooze until the last available minute. Getting up earlier means more time to squeeze in all the things you need to and will lead to a more productive day. This is especially true if you want to find time to exercise or squeeze in some work before your other 9-5.

Don’t forget your friends and family

Starting a business is time consuming, especially in the early days if you’re balancing it with your full time job. This may mean that socialising gets pushed down the list of priorities but make sure not to disappear entirely. Your friends and family are important and will be there through any success but also failure you may encounter. Make sure you leave some time each week to reconnect amongst all the madness.

Ask for help

While it may not be a good idea to listen to the opinion of every man and his dog when it comes to your new business venture, don’t be afraid to ask for help and expertise when you need it. Whether it is industry specific advice or just some area you’re struggling to get your head around, sometimes Google doesn’t have all the answers.

starting a business

Network

One of the most important aspects in starting your own business is creating a community around you. From creating relationships with potential customers to finding like minded business owners who can help you brainstorm through similar challenges, your network will be invaluable to not only the success of your business, but at times your sanity.

Keep reading

Business books are a great way to keep expanding your mind, but don’t limit yourself to business books only. Motivational books, autobiographies and journals can all be great sources of inspiration and learning. If you’re struggling to find time to read, or you just don’t enjoy it, try audio books and podcasts to keep broadening your mind on the go.

Start lean and the money will come to you

Too many people put off starting their own business due to money worries. The reality is that through begging, bartering and some savvy spending, businesses these days can be started on much less than you think. Seek out freelancers to fill the gaps you can’t afford to miss and make your start up the most lean and efficient company it can be. If you can build a lean business on a great idea, investors will soon be knocking down your door to get a piece of the action.

While starting a business is a tough experience, remember that your journey is your own and that each entrepreneurs experience will vary from one to the next. Just keep working hard, keep that passion alive and you’ll find the way to achieve those goals. Plus remember- the only thing stopping you is yourself.

Bio - Written by Chris Woods from www.rapidformations.co.uk


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Published on: 16th March 2018

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