How To Start A Business And Not Fail At The Beginning
Founding a company is one thing, but having a plan, idea and motivation is a different story. Without it, you’re on a good path to fail.
This week I had a business training session with young entrepreneurs and they broke my heart into tiny pieces.
‘What’s the idea of your business?’, I asked one of the participants.
‘It’s an accountant company’, she claimed.
‘Do you know how many companies like that are on the market? How are you different from others?’, I asked another question.
‘I’m ambitious and hunger success’, she answered.
‘And where do you see yourself in the next five years? Do you have a dream maybe? Something big for example?’
‘I don’t really know’, she answered with tears in her eyes.
‘So why did you start a company in the first place?’ — I asked the last question staring directly into her wet eyes.
‘Because I lost my previous job and had no idea what to do’
I really support ambitious, creative people. And don’t get me wrong I like working with start-ups and young companies from the scraps. It’s sad, but according to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. To be an entrepreneur you need to change your skill set. Without it, you will fail at the very beginning and I want to protect you from that.
Big dreams and whales are important
Few months ago I was in the cinema watching ‘In the Heart of The Sea’ — a movie adaptation of ‘Moby Dick’ with Liam Hemsworth and Benjamin Walker. And you know what? It suddenly came to me that I have never seen a whale before in his natural habitat. So it became my dream — going to Maui or Arctic on a whale-watching trip.
I know where I’m going now and what is my personal goal to achieve. I’m working on something that is important for me and gives me the motivation to go on. That’s why I encourage you to find your own ‘whale’ and follow it as an entrepreneur because every person should have goals — both professional and personal and your company should help you to achieve them.
To be honest not everyone has what it takes to start a company. You can still have a great idea, though. It just means you may not have the right personality traits to handle launching and managing company on your own. Key traits are flexibility, focus, humility, decisiveness, vision, confidence, positivity, self-awareness, salesmanship, motivation, ability to listen. Before investing time and resources try to evaluate yourself and see if you have some of the typical traits of an entrepreneur.
Don’t be another face in the crowd
It’s nice you always dreamed about running your own language school. It’s great that you’re finally ready to do so, but think for a minute if your desire to open a language school don’t be blind to the fact that there are already such schools in your town and it will be awfully hard to break in the market. Don’t start a business just because you don’t have a choice or because it is in vogue and you think it will make money. Develop a business concept and model you’re passionate about and find this little one thing that will be your market differentiator. Also think about what problems you will solve and how you can enhance your clients’ lives.
Be sure you can transform your idea into business
It’s a myth that a business plan isn’t worth the effort. It’s the best way to be sure you can actually transform ideas into businesses. Your business plan should include a mission statement, a company summary, an executive summary, a service or product offerings, a description of a target market, financial projections and the cost of the operation. With a good business plan, you can also figure out if there’s a need for the business like yours and outline strategies and timelines for your company.
Be present and in touch with clients and prospect
When you can’t find something, you will not use it. These days, your location on the Internet and your social media presence are as important as your company’s physical presence in a shopping mall. So develop a smart marketing plan. Choose the best channels of communication where your prospects are.
With good market research, you can create your buyer personas and buyer’s journey that will support all your marketing, social media, and sales efforts.
If you don’t have a budget to start with or financing resign from the office or boutique in the shopping mall. Try to sell products and services via the Internet first. It will allow you to make money for the office or place in shopping district you dreamed about so much.
Remember to always ask your first clients about feedback. It will help you to upgrade your services or products.
Take baby steps, stop and learn
After taking every step, stop and try to learn. If you fail just learn from mistakes and ensure that the same problem will not occur again. One of your traits is a skill to adapt to the market. Without evolution, learning and changing you can’t move forward.
Think and move quickly. Develop, fail, learn, act, repeat and nail your business. Otherwise, you’re in the 80% bracket.