Starting a business is the biggest roller coaster you will ever ride. There are more downs than ups, and the ups never last long. In the show Mad Men, Bert Cooper tells Don Draper when they re-launch their ad agency, “You’re going to need a stronger stomach if you’re going to be in the back kitchen seeing how the sausage is made.” In other words, you need to have a strong stomach to handle the downs, even if it means you aren’t collecting a paycheck or payout until you reach the next “up”.
Therefore, it is important to understand WHY you want to start a business. At IOOGO, our “why” is to simplify processes that other companies have made complicated in the spirit of making money. Here are some “whys” to avoid:
1. You want freedom.
2. You hate your current job.
3. You want to be your own boss.
4. You want to become rich quick.
Starting a business requires more than wanting it. It requires a solution to an existing problem, planning, and preparation. A business requires all of your time, attention, and money. Consider the following before you go out on your own and start a business:
1. Are you starting a business or a hobby? A business will eventually have to turn a profit in order to succeed. A hobby is something that you do on the side to make extra money.
2. Do you have the time to invest in your new venture? A business requires your attention full time and a half.
3. Do you have a plan for your business? Many people who start a business underestimate the power of planning. Planning gives you a destination, similar to GPS directions, but over-planning can slow you down. Don’t be afraid to fail, but be agile so you can adjust quickly to failures.
4. How are you going to pay for the creation and growth of your business? Yes, you need money to start a business. Some businesses require little capital to start and some require large amounts. Think about how much money you will personally invest from sources like savings, credit cards or loans. Depending on the kind of business you are opening, you may be able to attract investment from friends, family, angel investors, or venture capital firms. Be ready to explain how your business will make money and profits for your investors (see point #3 above about planning).
5. Opening a business means SALES, SALES, SALES. If you are not selling your service or product, your business will die fast. Most people see sales as this magical tricky process of convincing someone to buy their products. The reality is that selling is as simple as supply and demand. Don’t spend your energy convincing someone that you are the right option, but instead show them how your solution solves their problem.
Although starting a business is not easy, nothing is more rewarding than seeing your blood, sweat and tears start to pay off in revenue, but more importantly, customer satisfaction. If your “why” is pushing you to make the leap to entrepreneurship, then stay tuned for more tips on starting a business.