Are you interested in starting your own business. It seems like just about everyone in America must be interested. We recently searched Google on the term “starting your own business” and found 68 results on just the first four pages. Add this to the fact that Google returned more than 17 pages of results on this term and it’s likely that there are more than 290 pages where the keyword is “starting your own business”. And according to most of these pages starting your own business is just drop dead easy,
However, there are a number of things that none of these articles will tell you about starting your own business and here are nine of them.
You may not be good enough to win
According to a study released by the Small Business Administration nearly 50% of new businesses never see their fifth years. You may have the talents and skills required to start a new business but to succeed you’ll have to learn how to continually get better. There’s the old adage that “you don’t know what you don’t know” and this is absolutely true about starting your own business. When you first launch that business the thing you don’t know about running it would fill a book. If you want to be successful and see that fifth year you need to never stop learning and never stop working to improve your skills.
You need to be your own first customer
If you don’t use your own services or products, why would anyone else? Using your own products enables you to test and evaluate them and then see how to make them better in version 2.0. As a prime example of this, how many web designers have you seen that have crappy websites themselves? Top chefs would never send food to the table they hadn’t tasted themselves. If you want to be successful in business you absolutely need to be the first person to use your product or service.
You must make yourself a priority
In addition to prioritizing the activities and tasks you will need to do to reach your goals you need to make yourself a priority. This can mean getting coaching, networking, taking classes and anything else that will help you do a better job of running your business.
Be your own biggest fan
If you don’t root for yourself why would anyone else? When you start your own business you have to be your own biggest fan. And you have to be your own support team. You can’t be one of those entrepreneurs that are afraid to promote their businesses for fear of being called arrogant or a shameless self promoter. Use every opportunity you can to promote yourself and your business. For example, whenever you attend a meeting – whether it’s a fraternal or trade association meeting – find ways to talk about something amazing you did the previous week. The fact is that if you don’t toot your own horn no one will toot it for you. And be sure to set aside time for networking. We understand that when you’re working 60 or 70 hours a week it’s hard to take time out of your schedule to network but it’s absolutely crucial as this is one of the best and easiest ways to learn the keys to success.
Read three or four articles about starting your own business and you could come away thinking it will be really easy. Well, you’d be wrong. Running a successful business will take more blood, sweat, tears and effort than you can possibly imagine. If you have dreams of taking a day off every week to play golf or go fishing, you need to forget them. To be successful means long days, long nights, long weeks and even weekends. This is just what it takes to build a successful business.
Get ready to give up some things
If you’re definitely committed to building a successful business, you’ll need to be willing to make sacrifices and eliminate things from your schedule. You do need to plan some down time to be with friends, family members and your kids but you must totally scrub your calendar to eliminate or cancel anything that takes time away from what you need to do to make your business successful. If you used to love spending money, that should be avoided now. You need to train yourself to be financially smart or else you might end up with a bad credit situation and in need of a debt consolidation loan. You say you love to golf every week with your friends? That’s probably not going to be happening anymore. So could you sacrifice that golf game in order to make your business more successful? If not, you shouldn’t be starting one.
Your best idea probably won’t be your first
It’s easy to have ideas. In fact, if you’re not careful you could get bogged down trying to execute all those great ideas that come to you. Whether your first idea is for a product, a website design or a blog post title you’ll eventually replace it with something better. Don’t make the mistake of falling in love with that first idea. As you become more experienced in running your business you’ll see that your ideas will improve as they mature. For that matter never fall in love with any of your ideas. Test them out with friends or other business owners before implementing them. One of the hardest things for some new business owners to accept is that not every one of their ideas is a good one.
Not everyone in the world is your customer
If you think just about everyone in the world would be a customer for your product or service, you need to think again. Your target market isn’t “everyone”. You need to determine who would be the best prospect for your product or service and then target all of your efforts against them. For example, if your product fights arthritis you will need to target people over the age of 55 as they are the group most likely be suffering from it. In addition to this tip here’s a video with five other tips for marketing your business without spending much money.
You will leave some people behind
The sad fact is that not all of your friends will make this journey with you. Some of them will fall away – either because they’re jealous of what you’ve done or because you no longer have much time for them. However, that’s okay. True friends will stick with you.