After nearly 10 years in the skincare industry, I've had my share of failures (which I all too readily admit to) but for all of the setbacks, I've never regretted the decision to start my business. It had taken me to trade shows where I won industry awards, allowed me to meet and become close friends with folks I would've admired from afar, and gave me the ability to take control over my own life.
What's interesting to me is the amount of people I meet via my blog and podcast that desperately want to start a business, but don't know how or where to begin. So many wantrepreneurs overthink or overplan and never just jump in.
So if you're reading this, and you've felt that way, take this article as a sign of serendipity. Jump in and start your business. Mikita Mikado, a much more successful entrepreneur than myself, gave me the rundown of why he feels people get stuck in this rut and how to get out of it
Just for a little street cred: Mikita started his entrepreneurial journey hawking red currants from a farmers market in post-Soviet Belarus so he knows a thing or two about getting a product-based business off the ground. Today, he's the co-founder and CEO of PandaDoc, a company that makes all-in-one sales software that enables easier, faster delivery personalized proposals and contracts.
If you were speaking with someone that just started a business in their home, what would you tell them is the most important thing to do?
MM: I'd tell them to start small, move fast, fail fast and learn as much as you can from each failure. Never stop trying, because sooner or later you will succeed.
I've noticed a ton of small business owners are terrified of letting go of control (whether or not they want to admit it out loud). I was totally one of them...it's like one of those freeing moments once you let go where you wonder what took so long. Why do you think so many small business owners are afraid of delegating things?
MM: Delegating duties requires that the person you are delegating to is experienced or trained. If the person you're delegating to is not experienced or trained well, the results will not be satisfactory. Small business owners normally don't have a lot of time on their hands, and thus don't invest in training. As a result, any time they try to delegate, the results are often subpar - and then refrain from doing that in the future.
Makes sense, I guess. It's just one of those hurdles you need to get over before you can grow. Obviously you're a big fan of delegating due to all of the stuff PandaDoc does. Say I'm starting a soap business, and I want to wholesale but I'm not there yet. Do you think I need to start looking at delegating services right off the bat and grow with it, or do you think it's something that should be saved for when I'm really ready to reach out to accounts?
MM: Yes, I'd definitely recommend you start building good business habits from Day 1. Things like a website, LinkedIn profile, email, and contract management and invoicing tools are essential at making sure your business can run as smoothly as possible. Once you begin to grow, start looking at more options to help continue the growth. Remember the end goal is to make sure your business runs without you if it needs to (and it will!) so investing in good habits and good tools will set you ahead so much faster than trying to go at it alone.
The moral of this story? There are thousands of tools available to help you at any stage of your business, but if you don't start today you'll miss the opportunities that are available. Don't wait for perfect. Just start. You got this.