An amateur in the field of business might think that a steady flow of cash and a fabulous idea is all you need to make it to the top, but there is more to it than it seems. Personally, I have encountered countless businessmen who watched their dream shrivel up and die because they were not ready for it. You have a great idea, a product you’re sure will sell, and maybe you’re even on the verge of getting an investor to fund your company, but the million dollar question is, “Are you ready for it?” “Do you have the skills necessary to run a business?” These are some questions that you need to ask yourself.
Once you are sure that this is what you’re meant to be doing and you have what it takes, you can proceed step by step. But before that, as a word of caution, let me tell you about 7 things that you must accept before taking the plunge.
Failure is Almost Inevitable
Face it, you will most likely not get it right the first time. Every businessman who has achieved his goal today has tasted failure at one point or the other in their life. Who could express it better than Bill Gates who said,
“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of of failure”
Failures indeed will be the pillars of your success the second time round. Unless you fall, you’re never going to find out where you’re going wrong. That way, you can rectify your mistakes the next time. I agree with Richard Branson, he believes that all businessmen, even the ones who appear unconquerable now, have battle scars to tell the stories. Failing at your first business just gives you the chance to start all over again.
It is a Competitive Market
Today, every second person you see is unhappy with what they’re doing and wants to start a business of their own. They all have innovative ideas and are struggling to make a mark, just like you. More often than not, you will find your voice inaudible amidst the bellowing businessmen who have already established themselves at the top. You have to step into the business knowing and accepting this fact, and you have to be ready to fight all competition that comes your way. It might so happen, that you end up competing with another start-up who had the same idea. And what’s more, they might be superior to you, with more money to spend, more employees to help out and more influence to help them get forward.
You Will Require a Lot of Money, A Lot!
Why do most businesses fail? It is probably because they get into business before planning out their financials. We all know that starting a business requires a significant amount of capital, and mind you, this is just to launch your business. Then comes employees, legal costs, maintenance costs, service providers and so on. How are you supposed to pay for all that if you do not have a flow of cash at your beck and call? Even if you do, it is likely to exhaust itself within a few months of launching. What you could do is get a small business loan. Such loans are mainly for small businesses, meaning the amount is small too. But it’s a start nevertheless, and might just be enough to support you till you start making money.
Stress is a By-product of Business
If you are going into business, you must understand the seriousness of the undertaking. It would mean long hours of working (often spending nights in the office), no time for yourself or your family and a panic mode that never seems to end. The competition, finances, stock market- these are enough to bring about an attack of paranoia, especially when you’re nearing your launching date. What you can do is find ways to convert this stress into something productive, as Lee Lacocca, the businessman who helped the development of Pinto and Ford Mustang cars, said,
“In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always better to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive”
Passion, resilience and the strength to endure all adversities will help you get ahead, and you should start working on that if you’re planning to start your company. That is the only way to combat stress in the struggle for success.
Money will Not Come to You at First
If you’re entering the business thinking you’ll start earning from the very first day, then I’m sorry to say you’ll be gravely disappointed. When you launch your company, there will be mixed reactions. Some will criticize your product, some will be curious and most will not even be interested. You have to grab their attention, and make them really see your product. That calls for some aggressive marketing and you have to be ready to do that. Spreading your brand’s name is what will ensure a flow of revenue. As more and more people will come to know about you, your sales will experience a surge.
But you do realize, that this whole process takes a lot of time? It will be a while before your brand is recognized and you start making money; it is you who will determine if your company earns sufficient revenue and for that you require a mind that makes great money. But in the meanwhile, you cannot lose hope.
Learn the Laws by Heart
Before starting a company, you have to be absolutely thorough about all the laws related to this field. Follow the advice of Stan Bril, the CEO and founder of MCG,
“Know the laws, industry standards and guidelines, and competitive market in the business that one is opening”
Find out how to register as a business, what taxes you have to pay and the licenses you have to obtain. It would be a shame to have to delay your launch because of legal issues.
Accept the Harsh Reality
Last but not the least, you have to come to terms with reality. Some businessmen fail even after showing due grit and determination, it could be because of wrong timing or that luck wasn’t on their side. And to be honest, the odds will definitely not be in your favour in the beginning, and but with perseverance, the tables might turn. There will be times when quitting might seem the best way out, but as Conrad Hilton said,
“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes but they don’t quit”