Critical Factors to Consider Before Starting A Business
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Entrepreneurship can be one of the most rewarding paths one can take in life. The fulfillment that you get from meeting an unmet need in society is nothing short of incredible, but starting and running a functional business is not for the faint of heart. This can be particularly true if you have no one to go to for insight and advice, or if you are young and do not have much life experience.
If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of work required when starting your business, you are hardly alone in your struggle. Thankfully, there are many who came before you that blazed a trail, and many have provided their stories of trial and error to help you and others not have to make the same mistakes. These can be found on YouTube, TedTalks, podcasts, blogs, books or even directly communicated to you if you know someone that has previously taken a similar path. Here are a few factors to consider before you take that leap into entrepreneurship.
Have a Solid Business Plan
There are several questions that need to be confirmed when planning on starting a small business.
- What is your product or service?
- Is there a need or desire for it in your community or elsewhere?
- Who is your target audience or demographic?
- Does your business require any financial capital to begin? If so, how do you plan on achieving those funds? Do you already have it? Will you save for it? Will you apply for a small business loan?
- Do you have one or multiple people willing to invest in your business? If so, what are their expectations? Will you retain majority control of the business? Be cautious with whom you do business, not everyone has your best interest at heart and going into business with family or friends can backfire. However, it can also be beneficial, as long as everyone is on the same page and all expectations are in writing, so there are no assumptions or hurt feelings.
Breaking down the different parts of your idea into manageable chunks allows for less stress. You can also utilize companies such as Cannabiz for help with creating a business plan and registering your company.
Creating a business plan can help you anticipate the challenges you might encounter, as well as give you a check list of “To Do” items.
Qualities an Entrepreneur Should Cultivate
When it comes to starting a business, it is best if you recognize certain challenges that may come, so you can be prepared for them, instead of reacting to them.
Three qualities that an entrepreneur should cultivate are resilience, self-discipline, and flexibility.
As an entrepreneur, prepare yourself for hearing “No.” A lot. This is normal! You are not the first, and you certainly won’t be the last, to endure rejection when it comes to business. This can be incredibly devastating to us who experienced bullying and/or rejection in our childhood, as we are programmed to feel the pain intensely, but if we know it’s a possibility and prepare ourselves accordingly, the blow can be weakened. Whatever you do, don’t sell yourself short. Too often too many of us don’t even try, for fear of this rejection and in the long run, we are the ones that suffer from lack of self-confidence. We must overcome this, we must believe in ourselves and in our dreams, even if we are the only ones. This is resilience.
If you are resilient, you are not easily shaken when faced with challenges. You will still find the strength to go on, despite the disappointments. Not to say that they don’t affect you, just that you have adapted the capability to go with the flow and will get up when you are knocked down. If you learn to cultivate resilience, your business is likely to flourish.
Secondly, an entrepreneur must possess self-discipline. You must be willing to stick with your plan even when it’s easier to give up, especially if you don’t have the financial ability to devote your full time to starting your business. Many begin their small businesses as side hustles and work their way up to quitting the rat race, but this requires you to wake up and devote a specific amount of time to building your business, even if you are not yet seeing any return.
Discipline also looks like cutting back on certain luxuries or indulgences (but not all) in order to invest in the growth of your company. No, cutting out your morning coffee or an occasional trip to the movies is not going to break the bank. Many whom want to quit the rate race for something that brings them more fulfillment are not yet financially stable, so never give up the small joys in your life.
A third quality to cultivate is flexibility. Yes, you created a business plan that is helping project you forward, but sometimes things don’t go as planned and it’s best if you’re willing to be open to a different route to your main goals than you had originally anticipated. If you know you are the type of person to resist change or want full control, this is worth reflecting on and working towards shifting. A plan should provide general direction, but you must be flexible.
It is wise to network with as many like-minded individuals as possible because self-motivation is definitely a commendable quality, but it will not be faithful to you 100% of the time. For those moments, it’s imperative to have others who have similar goals as you to connect with and find inspiration. I hear you, introverts! This step can be difficult for those who feel as if they lack verbal communication skills, but it’s important for you and your future business to get out of your comfort zone and practice.
Starting a business can feel daunting, but it’s not as difficult as you might imagine. Just look around at all the businesses you see who have already done it! As long as you create a plan, cultivate these qualities, and seek support, you will ultimately succeed as an entrepreneur.