You have an idea, and that’s where it will all start. One single idea can blossom into a successful business. It may be a simple vision of a product or service that makes someone’s life easier. And your ambition is to turn that into a profitable venture. Dreams of fame and fortune, accolade and adoration all creep into the mind when you know you have something special. But that doesn’t mean your startup will be plain sailing. Many entrepreneurs of note have tried and failed to get their startups off the ground. So what are the hazards and highs of following your dreams into entrepreneurship?
Some would say ploughing money into a new business idea is a lot like gambling. There is certainly a degree of risk involved. Others would say that it is a calculated risk. After all, why would you throw your hard earned cash at something you didn’t truly believe in? Anyone with good business sense knows to research their investments thoroughly to be sure of a good return or profit. However, without that initial investment, it’s nearly impossible to get your startup off the ground.
Every business needs an initial investment. It may be in the form of raw materials, or simply business stationery. You may need formal premises so there is rent, rates, and utilities to consider. It takes money to make money. And this investment can appear in many guises. You may feel it is necessary to gain further qualifications to help boost your confidence and skill set for your business. Or you may just need a little bit of cash behind you while to feed your family while you’re getting things started.
Your family will miss you when you leap into the world of the entrepreneur. There will be many occasions when you need to travel for meetings. This could involve a lot of overnight stays in strange cities away from your family. You’ll miss mealtimes because you’re busy calculating a profit projection. And attending soccer games and recitals could become a thing of the past. It’s easy to feel guilt when you need to prioritize your business over your family life. But you know that you’re doing this now to secure your family’s future.
If you have a partner, chances are they are incredibly understanding and supportive of your new role. They know this business is important to you, and they will do what it takes to make your home life worry-free. Of course, you want to spend time with your family. And if this start-up goes well, you may have a lot of time when you can retire early! But right now, your family may have to take a back seat. This can be incredibly challenging for all of you to cope with.
Your lifestyle will also change as you work harder and harder to get your business off the ground. Social engagements may be put off for weeks or even months. Those lazy Sunday mornings could become a thing of the past as you leap out of bed to prepare the next contract. You know that your time is money. So many other things in your life, like hobbies and interests, have to be put aside for now. Life has become fast-paced and focused. And it’s all on you to keep up with it.
You may find you are living out of a suitcase more and more as you travel for work. Strange beds and strange cities become the norm very quickly as you try to secure more clients. Eating in restaurants or rest stops may also leave you missing the taste of a home-cooked meal. And you may not remember the last time you went for a leisurely walk.
All this hard work, convenient meals, and lack of exercise will quickly take its toll. You may feel you don’t have enough time to sleep. But a lack of sleep will impair your cognitive function. This can lead to poor decision making and mistakes. Stress will also quickly take its toll on your health. High stress levels can lead to high blood pressure. This can be incredibly hazardous for your heart.
Hard working people who don’t give themselves the breaks they need can appear older too. Deep lines and wrinkles may start to appear. You may even start to gain weight now you can’t make it to the gym as frequently. Of course, health problems may motivate you to work harder. You want to provide for your family, so you’ll work hard while you can to make sure life is easier for them. You can look here for info about how one entrepreneur uses his own mortality as a motivator to push for success.
No matter how hard you work, the economy is going to affect your business. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the startup phase or you have a multinational, billion-dollar enterprise. A good entrepreneur is aware of the potential for crash and boom. Staying up to date with business and economy issues is easy. There are plenty of websites, online publications, and newspapers to detail the trends and movements.
A tough economy needn’t be one that beats you, though. Preparation for the tougher times will help prevent disaster for your business. We can’t all run businesses that are recession-proof. But we can tailor our companies to the needs of the customers as their spend needs to fluctuate. Cheaper versions of the products we sell or providing products to a new market that is less influenced by the economy could be a way to manage tough times.
Your competitors will also be working just as hard as you to make sure you don’t steal their market share. One way to overcome this is to create a new market. Of course, everybody would love to have the ability to do this! Finding a completely new product that has zero competitors is almost impossible these days. Instead, we have to settle for a share of what may already be a pretty crowded marketplace.
Drawing a competitor’s customer toward you to increase your market share is the secret of success. It can feel a little cut-throat, but healthy competition is considered best for the consumer. The choice is important for the consumer. If you can provide the service, product, and access they desire then why wouldn’t they come to you?
It all comes down to marketing. You may have the most incredible product idea in the world. You may even have found investors to mass produce it. But the stock will sit in the warehouse forever if you don’t let the paying consumer know they can have it. Product and brand awareness are enormously important if you want to sell anything. You need to carefully craft your marketing strategy to reach the maximum number of people that will want what you have.
Many entrepreneurs have a clear idea of the channels they wish to exploit. You may need to hire an agency to manage the creation and placement of your marketing messages. This can be incredibly expensive. It’s no wonder that the bulk of startup investment funds goes on marketing. However, no customers mean no sales. That will quickly translate into another failed business.
As well as contracting outside agencies, you will undoubtedly need some staff working for you to build the business up. Sales, production and administration, are the most common areas that startups struggle to cover. You may need skilled machinists. Or perhaps you need a good closer to secure those big corporate clients. Don’t believe for a second you can go from zero to global without some help. Hiring can be expensive. You might prefer to use temps or freelancers in the beginning. Be wary of taking on staff if you are not well versed in the legal implications of doing so.
Contracts And Deals
Your business relies on the goodwill of suppliers, business partners, and customers. And your customer relies on your assurances about the product quality and service you provide. Contracts between your business and others will define the expectations. They also give you legal backing should disagreements arise. Some suppliers will expect payments in a timely fashion. And you should make sure your contracts bring in the cash flow you need to honor them.
Making a deal with another business could be the boost your business needs to go from startup to successful corporation. Always use legal representation to ensure good deals don’t go bad. If all of your income is derived from just one or two key clients, you could be setting yourself up to fail.
Some may say that the success of a business relies on hard work and luck. In reality, this may have an element of truth. But it is down to the entrepreneur to carefully navigate all the hazards and highs of running their startup. Without you and your good health, your company could fail. And without your due diligence, your business could fall foul of any number of hazards. Take care of you and your business to better your chance of success.