Reality Checks before Starting a Business
When it comes to starting a business, a good idea does not always translate to a good start-up. This is especially true if one does not have an idea how the bridge the gap between the two. If you have an idea that you think might translate into a good business start-up, take a pause first and find out if the effort involved in making it a reality will be worth it. Read on as I share about reality checks you need to perform before actually starting a business from my experiences as a small business coach.
Be prepared for a lifestyle shift
People who are eager to start their own company often have this mindset that doing so is the quickest route to becoming rich. Many forget about the effect this is likely going to have on their lifestyle. If you think you’re working hard now as a regular employee and would better use that energy working for a business that you actually own, that’s just but a fraction of the kind of work that you will be expected to put in if you are to start a company.
Start-ups require a lot of hard work. You are building everything from scratch. You’ll need determination and a great deal of stubbornness to keep going. If you’re not confident that you’ll be able to pull something like this off, it may be best to reconsider.
See if people will actually love the idea
For your solution to be a hit among your prospects, they must first have a need for what you are offering. It does not stop there. They must also have the necessary amount of money to spend for what you are offering to them. Just because people love the solution you’re presenting doesn’t mean that you’ll start making profits moving forward. See to it first that you’ll have customers who will actually be willing to spend money to buy your solutions. Make sure that there is a need and not just a want for a product so you know that convincing people to buy it will be easy.
Find out if the space isn’t too crowded yet
Do some research to find out if there are other providers offering a similar solution to what you have in mind. Competition is always something that you’ll need to contend with if you are to become an entrepreneur. Before you start, find out first if the marketplace is still not that crowded. You can use the internet to find out if there are other similar providers offering the same thing where you are. If you see that there are more than ten other businesses with a similar concept, it may not be as unique an idea, after all. You’ll be better off pursuing a different one.
Consider the market opportunity
Find out if there is a large market opportunity for what you want to sell. See too if there is still growth in the area. It is not enough to just base things on your passion alone. Look for credible market analysis from third parties that do not have any stake on the decision that you are about to make. This way, you are confident that the data you will gather will be useful enough to help you make the right decisions.
Find out if there are hidden dependencies to your products
In the years that I have been a business consultant, I’ve noticed that one of the reasons why start-ups fail is due to hidden costs and dependencies attached to them. This is why it is critical that you get a good understanding of the costs, marketing requirements, sales channels, and even cultural issues attached to the products you are offering. Otherwise, you’ll fall in the same trap.
Can you create a team?
If you are to build a business, understand that it is not just possible to do it on your own. You’ll need the right people who are qualified and motivated enough to help propel you towards success. You do not just need customers. You also need partners, a sales team, as well as those who will be in charge of development. Even with the most passionate and dedicated founders around, start-ups are going to be tough. Having the ability to source the right people that will help you achieve your goals is imperative if you are to succeed.
Get a good grasp of the costs
A lot of would-be entrepreneurs tend to look at their plans through rose-coloured glasses. Many even make the mistake of overestimating their sales while also underestimating the ensuing costs. If you want to get your passion converted into something with tangible business value, create a business plan- one that makes sense financially. Consider your future goals and incorporate that into the business plan.
To succeed, you’ll need skills and stamina too. As a business consultant, I emphasize on clients how they are responsible for the business. As the owner, you just cannot give up that easy when you see things are not going quite your way.
Many of the start-ups that did not make did so not because they simply run out of funds but because they just decided they had enough and gave up. Learn from your missteps, as you are bound to commit many of them. Capitalise on them so you will be able to make better decisions next time.