Starting a brand new business comes with many challenges amongst which is not knowing what to expect. I have put together 6 important considerations to make when starting your first business.
1.Don’t be quick to get funding.
Many times when people think of starting a business, the first thing they will think about is funding. This is usually one of the reasons we have 9 out of 10 startups failing, according to Forbes. I am not being pessimistic here, but out of experience starting up in different ventures, I have learned that funding at the start of a business actually suffocates creative potentials.
People are naturally more creative when there is no money. I have worked with an extremely brilliant friend while I was still in high school. In all my life I have never met such a brilliant soul, he had extremely magical thinking and birthed potential ideas just overnight. He would actually make us 1000dollars within single deal in one or two phone calls, in a few hours! One of the things I noticed about this guy was the fact that while we had money at hand, all the creative potentials in him were locked and unlocked when he was broke again.
This is the concept that Daymond John lays out in his book – The power of broke-How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage.
Where is the problem?
When starting up a business, there is a tendency of looking at the perfect and complete picture. Many start-ups look at others who are already doing the same type of business and have been in the field for years. What they will not see are the steps in between. Some of those steps will not be uncovered unless you get started. This is where starting on a lean budget becomes helpful because you will not throw money at every problem. Money is not the solution to all the problems in business.
What if you don’t have enough to even kickstart?
Okay let’s say you are really broke, no savings at all but you want to start a business.
My answer: If you must get funding then you can try the non-traditional ways of getting your start-up funded. With these you can be sure to keep off the pressure from the money lenders while focusing on your business. They include; family and friends, crowd funding, self-financing, grants for small businesses and others. You can look at the non-traditional ways to fund your start up in this post.
2. Spend less, close the money tap.
During start-ups, you will most probably have to lay off some work and do part-time or if you are courageous enough, you will have to stop 9-5 completely. This means that there will be little or no money coming in but this does not mean the bills will stop. Also, you may not make your first dollar until months later, depending on the nature of your business and how hard you work.
One thing you have to try to do is to close the money tap. Save the fancy things for later. Only spend when you really have to. And in some cases, go for the bare-minimum.
- Paying for the basic plan of the website hosting where possible
- Doing without a logo for the start.
- Enduring your older hp laptop as instead of buying anew mac.
Spend most of your time being creative rather than spending. Only buy things or items that you cannot do without. This will lessen the pressure and help you focus on being more creative.
3. Act quickly.
You must have heard of the saying “opportunity knocks once” This is somewhat true! Many times you will receive an idea upon which if no action is taken will become stale. This doesn’t mean you act without thinking, rather, take quick calculated steps. Ideas become stale if we do nothing about them.
Also, it’s important to put into practice what you learn, especially from research or other successful people in the same niche. The action you take is the lesson that will actually stay with you, even if you never succeed in that very business. I have started over 10 businesses between the age of 18 and 22, and for every time I quit ( for whatever reason), I moved on with priceless lessons that were of more worth than a university degree to me. The reason is because every time I learned something, I put it to work.
4. Don’t do it just for money.
This sounds rather conflicting and unreasonable, but hey hear me out….if you do it for money, you will compromise your product value, you will get overwhelmed and eventually will burn-out. It will be a sad stressful journey for you. I would rather that you develop a love for what you do (if you dont have it already). Let it be about helping others and changing someone’s life.
I have realised through the years in many start-ups that actually, its not about the money! Even though it brings in the money! Focus on doing your best to solve a problem. In business, the greater the following you have, the more trust you have and hey, that means more money! These are the very people that will buy your product and recommend it.
This is the answer to burn-out!
5. Mantain a clear vision, have the end in mind.
What would you like to achieve? It’s very important that you take out time to do good research on what you would like to do which doesn’t mean you take too long! Read books and stories of successful people in your niche to help you get a clearer picture of the process. Often time, we know where we want to end up, for example, you may want to be the trader that makes a 7-figure income.
This is the end result and it’s not a bad thing to do, in fact, it will always help you to push on when things don’t seem to be so pleasant. However, while you have the end in mind, remember that it’s those little daily tasks that you do every day that will lead you to the results that you want to achieve.
How to keep focused on your goals when starting your first business.
There are many ways you may think of, however, my best way to do this is;
- Creating dream boards. Dream boards are visual representations of your goals. You can include pictures or anything that inspires you and hung them nicely on your walls. This will give you a constant reminder of your goals.
- Always priotise your daily tasks. I prefer to firstly do those that produce more results ( the ones that are most important).
- Plan your days ahead of time. For example; you can plan your next day the night before.
- Avoid procrastination.
- Analyse your progress and reward yourself for the achievents.
6. Never, Never, Never Quit!
During the process of starting your first business, quitting is the absolute guarantee for failure, just like in any other ventures. No matter how many doors you have knocked at and been rejected, you are another step closer to your success. Failure is not the problem, but our interpretation of it is. If you decide to learn from it, the better.
Did you know that the most successful people we have today have record hight number of failures? So….. what made the difference? They never gave up…..they never quit…..they never threw in the towel. Thats simply the reason why they are who they are today. They heaped lesson after lesson and eventually set structures on solid foundations.
Take a look at the example of Thomas Edison, the inventer of the light bulb.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison
Now, i am not saying its going to be this hard for you! However, if you are really serious about what you are doing and are not just ‘doing it for money’ , then you gonna have to stay no matter what happens. Obviously knowing there is hope at the end of the tunnel.
Changing business strategy for any reason does not in any way mean you have given up; in fact, it is important knowing when you need to employ a working strategy or even start over in another niche. However, if you are starting out and have done good research on an idea, get to know what steps you will take and have the end in mind, then very rarely will you be overwhelmed to the point of starting over again in something else.
Through years of doing business, I have realized that you may not immediately succeed at what you venture in even though that may not help your bills! I have considered starting a side business that brings in the money, even if it may not be in the niche that I would have wanted to go into in the first place. The idea is creating a cash flow as soon as possible while hanging onto that dream.