Business is no mean feat and the volatility of our business clime advocates caution while the spirit of business inspires risks. How do you manage to balance this healthy tension like a performer balances himself with a pole while traversing a wire 100 feet up?
These tips will be helpful for the business beginner to be cautious and daring at the same time. It will also help him to lay building blocks that will give his business relevance through it all. Here are a few of those tips.
1. On Capital; You Need A Sound Not Necessarily A Bang
I love Hip Hop Music, but whenever I hear a beautiful classical tune, I still stand aside and listen. Soft can be beautiful and beautiful is just as noticeable as a bang.
I guess what I am saying is, don't break yourself trying to get it all in place and fall into debt. You don't need to start big, you just need to start. I remember when I was just about starting my first business and the capital wasn't enough to achieve what I had in mind. I got what I consider to be the best business advice I got from my mentor ;
"Start small". According to him, even though I had a global idea, I needed to start locally.
There are a number of ways you can get finance for small business at the beginning. For instance, you could use your savings and limit yourself to that, contact angel investors, or get soft loans in urgent cases. But don't put yourself in financial slavery right from the get go. You need to be heard because your business speaks, not because it is screaming.
2. When Ideas Seem Way Too Big; They Probably Are
I am not advocating that you give up on that big pretty picture in your head; rather I am advocating that you break it up into phases. You cannot start it all at once. A friend of mine had the idea of starting a business; An Auto care business ranging from Car washing and maintenance to car detailing, to repairs, restructuring and sales.
After calculating the capital, He almost gave up on the dream. He knew about the car wash and maintenance industry, but knew nothing about sales or detailing or repairs.
Investors will invest in workable visions, not extravagant ones. So break it into phases and show the timeline for each transition. This way you can get ready investors after your prowess is proved per phase.
3. Get A Business Mentor
There are a number of reasons why every startup should have a business mentor. As a startup entrepreneur, you need that one person that has gone before you to hold your hand.
Business is a 'maze' and we often all get lost at times. You can reduce the casualties by having a 'maze' guide.
A shoulder to lean on, a refocusing force, a present help and a resource provider; a good mentor will be all this and more. Relevance is often maintained by following someone relevant.
4. Don't Be Too Quick To Quit Your Job or Side Hustle
"Business is all about risks" I am sure you have heard that one too many times. But what I consider a better description is that business itself is a risk. As harsh as this might sound, your marvelous business may even fail before it gets to start. This is not because there wasn't something there to begin with, but sometimes it is just a sign to change strategy or location.
At these uncertain times of business infancy when you are throwing in money and not assured of returns, it is wise to still hold on to your regular job if possible and keep your hustle strong. You need to give your business your strength while still having enough to keep body and soul together.
There are crucial steps to take before moving from employee to entrepreneur, and it is wise to consider them carefully.
5. Make Sure You Know Why You Want To Start a Business
We all start businesses to make profit... I know, but what do people or the society profit from your business? You see this is what people want to see and feel when they come in contact with you. You need to sit down and think long and hard about the purpose of your business.
I am not talking about having a well crafted mission statement. I mean the benefits people get when they touch you. This is what keeps customers loyal and keeps your business relevant over time. When you find it, you structure your business to accommodate it and crystallize it.
Then you craft a well written statement to reflect it... yes, that's important too.
6. On Competition; Know That It Is Good
"Competition is good for business" I read that in almost every business textbook I read before I started up. Still all I see are people observing their competition and perceived competition and strategizing how to beat the competition as a part of their business plan.
Just as a green color is very noticeable when placed against a pink background, you are noticed for your difference and not how well you try to beat anyone. Competition is just an avenue for you to be you... to be unique and your uniqueness and excellence will sell you.
Don't focus on beating them, fight to bring your vision to life and be you while at it.
That being said; I wish you longevity!