Running your own business is incredibly exhilarating – and scary. There are so many challenges to navigate through and no way to ensure that any of it will work.
If you’re thinking of starting a business in the new year, or are already on your entrepreneurial journey, it’s important to consider several factors to ensure you’re well-prepared for the uphill climb.
For that reason, here are 9 things for entrepreneurs’ to consider when running a business.
1. Are you doing something you love?
If you’re setting out to do something you think would be successful instead of something you are passionate about doing regardless, then you need to rethink what you’re doing. Building and then running a start-up requires a lot of time, money and personal sacrifices along the way.
If you’re not fueled by passion at every step you take, you will end up doing a job you hate. – Get some quiet time and contemplate what you are really passionate about – what were you really create to do in this world. How can you be of real service to the world?
2. What customer problems are you resolving?
Have a clear vision of what problems you are trying to resolve for your customers and then make sure these problems are excruciating problems for your prospective customers… our solutions must be like painkillers as opposed to vitamins – vitamins are optional, but painkillers will be hunted for by people in pain.
The internet makes all this research super easy – simple google searches done to a plan will provide you much needed preliminary data that you can then further refine by one on one interviews with up to 5-10 of your ideal customers.
3. Setting clear goals
Now that you know what problems you are resolving – Set a clear vision of what goals you hope to achieve – how many customers you seek to serve what revenues will you achieve – set them high – as Michaelangelo said, “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
4. There will be many failures along the way
It would be perfect if your business immediately takes off and brings in revenue, but that rarely happens without any bumps along the way. You will encounter several problems, big and small, but that’s all a part of the learning process.
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The main thing is to learn from your mistakes so you do it better the next time. Additionally, when your goals are clear and you are passionate about them – challenges you find along the way will be way easier to be met and acted upon successfully.
5. Statistics are important but don’t be ruled by them
People love to throw around statics about companies failing and strategies that do and don’t work. Don’t let that deter you from following your passion. Statistics are just numbers and numbers can’t replace the resourcefulness of a determined mind.
This is really an important aspect of starting any business. It doesn’t matter what kind of statistics you have because at the end of the day, statistics alone shouldn’t be the deciding factor for your business decisions.
Use data powerfully! Do your research on the market, what needs are not being met, how much pain is that causing your prospective customers, what is the size of the opportunity in your local area, your state, in your country and then globally?
Talk to your ideal customers, understand first hand the problems they are facing, the extent of those issues, how these issues are affecting them personally and from a business perspective, what solutions are currently available. And are these solutions working, where do they fail, what will it mean if these problems are resolved for them?
6. Managing your costs
Depending on what kind of business you have in mind, running it can be costly. So, make sure you create a budget that will give you the finances to back up your ideas and a buffer for any hidden costs. If you find yourself spending way over budget then stop immediately!
Take a moment to go over everything, and then scale down. It’s always better to start off small and then slowly build as you gain more knowledge and experience.
7. Get the knowledge you need to succeed
Read – a lot! Follow some webinars and programs that provide you with the immersive knowledge and confidence you need to succeed. The right knowledge will save you years of struggle, instead of learning the hard way through trial and error. Some mistakes can be fatal, so get the right knowledge first.
The more knowledge you have of your business, the industry, customers etc. the better you will be at making decisions. And don’t read up on just business books either, acquire a collection of biographies, motivational books, success stories and anything else that can help prepare you. Furthermore, if you don’t have time to read, audiobooks are a great way to consume information while on the go.
8. Get professional advice
It’s always wise to seek the advice of professionals when embarking on your entrepreneurial journey. This will help to avoid pitfalls you wouldn’t have previously been aware of and set you on the right path. Even after your business is up and running, consider going back for a review session, to see what areas could be improved.
9. Don’t neglect yourself
Building your own start-up is stressful, time consuming, and will have you up all-night going over paperwork. But, always remember to take care of yourself first – this means signing up at a gym to making sure you exercise, eat right, and relax. Spend time with your family and friends, nothing is more important than that.
When a business owner is in a positive mindset there’s is generally 80% of success in any organisation. So ensure you have strategies to manage your state and mindset. Meditation is an excellent practice that can help. In addition, listen to audio books (audible) and videos (YouTube) that will help you manage your state of mind and levels of motivations.