“A big business starts small.” – Richard Branson
You’ve likely already done your research if you’re thinking about starting your own business. Written your business plan, done your market research, decided on a name, and figured out the funding. But some things are only really understood once you’ve started.
That’s not to say, though, that you can’t mentally prepare for them. Here’s what other business owners wish they’d known before they started.
"The key to success is to start before you are ready." - Marie Forleo
Starting your business will probably take longer than you think, so the sooner you start
And that’s ok. You’re in this for the long haul. It’s essential to keep in mind that you’ll go through some tough times, and you’ll need to be resilient and persistent to make it through them. Remember that you’re growing a business, it’s not going to happen overnight.
"Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you." - Tony Hsieh
When choosing your environment to build your business within, make your decisions carefully. If this means taking more time to decide on office space or the team that you’ll work with, then so be it. The environment that you choose can impact your success, so you need to ensure that it isn’t going to be counterproductive in the long run.
Your environment should be inspiring. Surrounding yourself with supportive people can help boost your creativity and productivity.
"To be successful you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart." - Thomas Watson Sr.
A passionate business owner is much more likely to succeed than one who is not. One way to ensure that you continue to be passionate about your start-up is to make sure that your business is a reflection of yourself and that it is always aligned with your personal goals.
"Business is a fight, a continual struggle, just as life is." - Elbert Hubbard
Understanding that a business is an entire entity that should be treated like another life makes decision-making a lot easier. One of the most important factors in every business is managing cash flow. An improperly managed cash flow means that you’ll be spending more money than you’re earning. If this continues to happen, eventually, you will no longer be able to keep up with the expenses needed to allow your business to live.
So start small and ask for help where you can, the best people to get involved in your business are those around you that would be happy to support you from the get go without remuneration. Although it’ll be nice when you get to that point and can show your appreciation for the help they’ve given at such a critical stage of your business development.
You’ll need to know your business’s profits and losses, taxes and charges to determine if your business will be financially viable. If budgeting and accounting are not your forte, you may need to consider getting someone in to help you, as cash flow can, very obviously, make or break a business.
"The last 10% it takes to launch something takes as much energy as the first 90%." - Rob Kalin
Knowing who your potential customers are and creating value for them is essential in learning how to pitch your product or service to them. If you understand their needs, you’re better equipped to approach them with a solution.
This is a continual process of growth and learning, so be ready to change tactics as time goes on, and don’t be disheartened if the finish line doesn’t come as quickly as you’d hope it would when it comes to launching.
Legend has it that Walt Disney was turned down 302 times before finally getting financing for his dream of creating Walt Disney World. It's also been said that KFC founder Colonel Sanders was rejected 1009 times before finding a taker for his chicken recipe.
“If you are not willing to risk the usual you will have to settle for the ordinary.” - Jim Rohn
Starting your own business can be a lonely venture when all the decisions and responsibilities fall on your shoulders, so try to network with other business owners and keep your friends and family in the loop. So long as you have a strong support system and you are determined, equipped with persistency, and without the fear of failure, you can only succeed.