Expectations are half the battle. If you are prepared in advance, it can give you an extra boost to stick with it until you are successful. Here’s a look at what you’re getting into and the possible outcomes when you start a business (don’t worry, it’s not all bad!)
1. Not every business idea is going to be a home run (or even work).But that doesn’t mean you’re not cut out to own a business
We all love the idea of hiring a private chef and traveling around world first class, but it takes a lot of work to make money with a business.
When starting a business, be prepared to earn very little, nothing, or even lose money at the start after you factor in the start-up costs. Knowing this ahead of time will help you get through the initial rough patch and give you a chance for success. That being said, not all ideas pay off. Sometimes it depends on the timing (you can be too early or too late), market demand, or even you. You may not be able to give this particular business the attention it deserves to make it work.
Having said that, that doesn’t mean you aren’t meant to own a business. Don’t read in it! It may just mean that this business will not work at this time.
Want a glimpse of the viability of your potential business in the future? Read this article on validating your business idea.
2. Just because a business didn’t work one way, doesn’t mean it won’t work ever.
We strongly believe in choosing a business model, pricing, and marketing that matches your resources and goals. If you don’t have a ton of capital to work with, going with a brick-and-mortar business model with a lot of overhead sets you up for failure. But maybe that same service or product could have been sold differently Or priced and marketed to a higher income demographic?
If you can’t figure out what it takes and you know it will work (even if it already failed!), Don’t give up just yet. Thomas Edison failed A THOUSAND times before he made the light bulb work. These three quotes from him sum up this section perfectly:
You might be thinking, “Well, I’m not Edison. But even if you tried an idea a fraction of the number of times it has, you’d be way ahead of anyone who stops when they hit an obstacle.
Do you want to succeed with your idea? Get to work to get there and don’t give up!
3. Sales aren’t the measure of success – profits and impact are.
Am I doing something to help others? Am I able to pay myself a reasonable salary? These are probably the two most important questions to ask yourself when starting a business. It is quite normal to be in the red or not to make a lot of money at the start. But if you’ve been working at it for a while (years) and still aren’t able to make a decent profit, you might have a hobby on your hands – not a business.
One HUGE thing to remember: sales are just the income you bring in. The profitability (and success) of a business is determined by what is left after deducting the costs to perform the service or manufacture the product (materials, labor, overhead, marketing costs, etc.). Many who are just starting can factor in the obvious things like material costs, but it’s the little things that can add up and kill your profit margin.
However, don’t underestimate the impact part – if you’re helping others and making a difference, that’s important. But if you also have to make a living, you may have to change course to make this work.
4. Starting a business requires sacrifice & perseverance, so you better pick something you love to do.
Burnout is a very real thing, and it happens to people who are incredibly passionate about what they do. So imagine how quickly you would exhaust yourself working tirelessly (sometimes without pay) for which you are “meh”.
Passion is so important in a business. If you can’t be very passionate about the topic. Then focus on the impact and other benefits a business has to offer, such as freedom and flexibility. But ideally, you would like everything!
5. A fancy education or years of experience don’t guarantee success when starting a business. Hard work, a willingness to learn and adapt, and a desire to help others matter way more.
Starting a business is the great equalizer and that’s why it’s called the “American Dream”. You can start from scratch and be wildly successful (check out most sharks on Shark Tank), or you can be born with a silver spoon in your mouth and fail miserably. Money won’t make people buy your business if you’re a jerk, and 175 business courses won’t prepare you for the day-to-day situations you’ll face in your specific business. This is a theory, not real life.
But good news! We live in the Information Age, where a kid can upload a video to YouTube and become a millionaire pop star a year later. All the information you need to run your business is available, along with business coaches and other support from people who have done it. It may take longer if you DIY.
Many make the excuse that they are not qualified or that they will not be taken seriously because they are starting and have no experience. you might be in a better position than those who start a business thinking you know it all and spending a lot of money (a great book on this is “The Power of Broke” by Daymond John). They have an ego and a false sense of confidence that will likely get them in trouble immediately.
Business is about providing a service or a product that people want. NOT what you think they want. Billions of dollars have been lost because of pride and thousands of businesses have failed because of it.
So if you are a good listener, ready to take feedback, adapt, and think beyond the simple profits, we are putting our money on YOU.
6. Marketing and sales won’t matter if you don’t have the basics built.
Everyone thinks that if they got more people to come to the door, or more prospects, or if they had money to advertise, everything would explode. But all the money in the world won’t help you if your business is down. Things like bad customer / customer service, spending money on bad tactics, or even developing products without solid research and feedback are just a few examples. Build a solid business first, then promote it. It takes time and it’s not sexy, but that’s the way it should be.
7. Get ready to be uncomfortable, feel awkward, and get rejected if you’re going to break through.
We hate to spoil the cute dream, but not everyone will like what you do. And not everyone is kind to tell you that. For haters, this often comes from a place of jealousy and insecurity. They don’t have the guts to do what you do, so they want to bring you back to their level. Whether it’s family or friends, they often don’t get it and they don’t want to be left behind. To be successful, you are going to have to accept that it can happen and learn how to get rid of it and YOU.
Fear is perhaps the number one reason people never start a business. Fear of criticism, fear of failure, fear of rejection, and so on. They love their safe space where everything is stable and predictable. If you haven’t already figured it out, owning a business can often be the opposite. But man, this is FUN! And very, very rewarding both personally and professionally.
There are a million quotes on why you should chase your dream, take the risk, be brave, and do what you feel called to do. But the truth is, entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. The point of this article is to keep it real and give you a little insight into what it is – the good and the bad.
We hope you read this and choose to move forward. The world needs you and what you have to offer!
8. Don’t try and do everything yourself
Letting go is a great strategy. I love my business so when it got too much for me alone I had two choices: either hire someone else or do it all on my own and risk running out before the business got enough large to allow other people to occupy managerial positions. Asking others to help me has worked very well for me as they are able to take on more responsibility as my business grows. This way, I don’t have to handle all aspects on my own while doing what’s required of an owner and manager role.