Don’t Let Your Dream To Start a Business Become a Nightmare

There’s no shortage of people who are tired of dealing with a lousy boss, being overworked and overlooked. Then you have people who have a dream to get their own business started and handle their own future. There’s great joy in being in your own business. The big challenge is moving forward without as they say: “due diligence.”

The term literally means, “A legally binding process during which a buyer evaluates the assets and liabilities of a company.”  You may not be buying a business, but the “process” still applies.

Starting a business requires analytical thinking, determined organization, planning, finances, and detailed record-keeping.

The process includes, in terms of the basics:

You will absolutely need enough funds to prep, launch and sustain the business. Being undercapitalized is one of the biggest causes of business failure.

If you can, find a bank, or an investor you can partner with while you grow the business.

Connect with someone who has experienced starting or buying a business. Don’t go it alone.

A good advisor can save you much heartache. There’s an old saying, “Islands look great on postcards, but no man is an island.”

Do not believe the old myth: “Do what you love, and the money will take care of itself.” NOT! The money never ever takes care of itself. You must be on top of all costs and expenses to run the operation. And in so doing you have to make a profit or else you don’t really have a business.

Be realistic. You may be head over heels in love with barbequing and making people happy with you foods. Business will require you to handle many other factors, not just grillin.’ You will have many hats until you grow a great staff.

The work really starts after you start. The lead-up to starting your business is hard work, but after you open your doors, your work has just begun. As well as you prepare it’s a certainty that you will be surprised by the amount of work and thought you will be required to bring to the table.

Speaking of staff, you will need exceptional people to make your business a success. People with the skills to be in a service business where they are constantly in touch with customers.

It’s important to be aware of your competition and either mimic or improve upon their successful tactics.

Marketing is another value component. You have to get your message out with a clear differentiation, so you don’t get mixed in with the crowd. If that happens you will be judged on price instead of the value you offer that is in some way unique. I don’t have to tout the value of social media, it’s already a big part of your life.

Owning a business is no easy task. You’ll almost certainly end up working harder for yourself than you would for someone else. Forget vacations and playing golf for a while, you will not have time, nor will you have the energy.

Mental strength will be a necessity especially when challenges arise and they will, more than once. Make sure you are ready and capable of enduring hard times

Be prepared to make many sacrifices in your personal life when establishing your business.

Providing good service to your customers is crucial to gaining their loyalty and retaining their business.

Learn organization. To achieve business success you need to be organized. It will help you complete tasks and stay on top of things. A good way to be organized is to create a to-do list each day. As you complete each item, check it off your list. This will ensure that you’re not forgetting anything and completing all the tasks that are essential to your business.

Look into business software that can simplify your tasks.  Many tech tools exist to increase organization quality. That being said, a simple Excel spreadsheet and Quick Books will meet many of your business’s organization requirements.

Record keeping. Some of these factors mentioned can seem boring but they are critical. Detailed records help you know where the business stands financially and what potential challenges you could be facing. Keep two sets of records: one physical and one in the cloud.  Just knowing this information gives you time to create strategies to overcome those challenges. Be absolutely certain that you are constantly uploaded and backed up.

They say that competition breeds the best results. To be successful, you can’t ignore studying and learning from your competitors. They may be doing something right that you can implement in your business to improve. Also, you want to know when they run specials so you can counter.

With every reward there is a risk. The key to being successful is taking calculated risks to help your business grow. A good question to ask is “What’s the downside?” If you can answer this question, then you know what the worst-case scenario is. This knowledge will allow you to take the kinds of calculated risks that can generate tremendous rewards.

Creativity is a strategy. Always be looking for ways to improve your business and make it stand out from the competition. Recognize that you don’t know everything and be open to new ideas and different approaches to your business.

There are many outlets that may lead to additional revenues. Take Amazon for example. The company started out as a bookseller and grew into an ecommerce giant. Not a lot of people expected that one of the major ways that Amazon makes its money is through its Web Services division. The division did so well that Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO.

Patience and planning to stay the course.  Just because you open a business doesn’t mean you’re going to immediately start making money. It takes time to let people know who you are, so stay focused on achieving your short-term goals. Avoid the greatest danger to success—discouragement!

The colors of business. Many small business owners don’t even see a profit for a few years while they use their revenues to recoup investment costs. This is called being, “being in the red.” When you are profitable and make more than you need to spend to cover debts and payroll, this is called being, “in the black.” A business always looks better dressed in black. If the business is not turning a profit after a substantial period of time, it’s worth looking into if there are issues with the product or service, if the market still exists, and other possible issues that might slow or halt business growth.

Customer first service. It’s almost become a cliché but there are many businesses that forget that providing great customer service is everything. If you provide better service for your customers, they’ll be more inclined to come to you the next time they need something instead of going to your competition. And they will refer others and that is the best way to grow a business.

Another myth. You’ve heard it said, “Under promise and over deliver.” This is just plain stupid! What customer is going to feel confident if they feel you under promise and in the end overdeliver? That approach is a lack of confidence and self-belief. This is just one of the worst thoughts bouncing around out there. Plug your ears. You are in business (or should be) to be extraordinary!

Consistency is so valuable. It’s the key component to making money in business. You have to keep doing what is necessary to be successful day in and day out. This will create long-term positive habits that will help you make money in the long run. Stay with what works and improve it if you can. Do what you do well, over and over and over.

Businesses will grow at their own rates just like plants in a garden. Well, okay you could throw in some Miracle Grow and speed plant growth up. But there is no Miracle Grow in business and many times this is out of the control of the business owner. However, there are some aspects to running lean that may help a business grow quickly, such as focusing on a small product line, scaling up instead of scaling down, and providing some sort of obvious edge over your

Plan “B.” Before you start a business, join a partnership or launch an initiative, take your time and consider the following question: “How will I get out of this if it fails?” Having an exit strategy is a very good way to start a business and puts you ahead of most start-ups. Knowing your way out reduces the risk and keeps you on your toes.

The most important thing is that it will force you to identify the point of failure. But be careful! This is not easy.

Starting a business is something you do to enrich your life and to enjoy. It is not meant to replace your life. I heard a business owner give a talk and this is what he said:

“I’ve spent so many hours in the office and on the road, neglecting my family, friends and social life, that I lost the reason for starting a business in the first place. Let’s face it, there is a high chance that your business might not survive.

“This is okay if your family and friends are still there with you, but a disaster if you’re left on your own to pick up the pieces. On the other side, if your business becomes a success you have the right people around you to share the success with you. Keeping the balance between your life and your business is a win-win situation and having the support of your family and friends

“If you are anything like me, full of passion for the things you do, you probably only see the positive side and don’t want to think about failure. However, don’t make that mistake. Be clear about your life after the business and discuss these points with the important people in your life.”

Don’t buy what you don’t need. This is one of the biggest problems in most start-ups. It’s so easy to get dragged into a buying frenzy when watching YouTube videos about the latest gear that will bring your business to the highest level. There is a saying: “It is not what you have that counts, but what you do with what you have that makes the difference!”

Only buy things you can directly relate to revenue. If it doesn’t bring any money in don’t buy it. There will be a time when your business runs well when you will buy that car or whatever it is you want. For now do the best you can with the least you need.

Do not stop learning. This is more about self-development and the understanding that you will never know it all. Times are changing and force us to change. The only way to deal with this change is to welcome it into your businesses. A curious mindset certainly helps. And positive thinking and excitement for the things to come are the cornerstones of staying ahead. It is not just your business that needs to be the best in its market, you need to be the best for the business to make it work. So take some time to work on yourself to be the best entrepreneur your business could wish for.

Tough to hear statistics. According to 2021 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 45% during the first five years, and 65% during the first 10 years. Only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more. It’s up to you what statistic will be defining you.

Leave a Comment

five × five =