These days it’s quite frequent to find more and more people taking the leap to start their own business. Be it due to not finding another job elsewhere, or simply deciding you’ve had enough of working for someone else and would rather start something of your own, the truth is that often there’s a powerful personal reason for taking that huge leap.
It’s scary. It’s a lot of work, and it takes a great deal of planning and organizing. These aspects often go unnoticed by those looking from the outside. I speak from experience, because while I’ve seen a few friends starting their own businesses before, I never really thought about everything they had to go through to get there… until now…
I’ve been playing around with a business idea that came about some months ago, but it’s only now that I’ve really started to take it seriously enough to run with it. And let me tell you, it’s been a challenge!
While my business is still getting started, I feel like I’ve been through enough to point out some of the challenges of starting something up, just in case someone is toying with the idea of getting their own business going, or simply dead smack in the middle of it and going nuts because of it. Hang on, you’re not alone!
- Make a business plan – yes, I know you´re pretty sure that you have a clear idea inside your brain of what you want to do and how to make it happen… but chances are there are details that you’re not taking into consideration. I thought I had it all figured out, but working on my business plan has helped me realize not only what I actually need to get my business up and running in terms of resources, but also get to know more about the industry I’m going to jump into, the possibilities, opportunities, the competition and the challenges I’m going to be facing. Also, a business plan helps you establish immediate and long term goals that are likely to be needed in case you’re looking for outside help for financing your project (more on this later).
- Come up with a brand name – how are people going to take you and your business seriously if you’re not going to take yourself seriously first? Hire a designer if you need to, but find an image or logo that identifies you. Believe me, just having to think about what you want it to look like in order to explain it to a designer will help you a lot in terms of deciding what your business is all about. Once you have it created, trademark it. Own it, and a sense of pride and excitement will invade you! I found this (in appearance) small step helped me see my business as something tangible, real that you’re going to work on to make happen. It helped me to take myself seriously.
- Consider setting up your own webpage – whether it’s a business set up physically or if it’s something online (for which obviously a webpage is a must!), it’s very important to bring your business to the people in this connected world we live in today. There’s plenty of easy webpage creators out there, so you no longer have to be a technical wizard! Just a few clicks, and you can have your own personalized webpage up and ready to get your products or services to those looking for it.
- Know how much money you’re going to need to start up – yes, this gets covered when you make your business plan, but I wanted to expand on it. You can have the most solid, amazing idea, but if you don’t have the means to make it happen, then you’re stuck. ¿Do you have the money to get going? ¿Do you need to borrow money? ¿Is someone willing and ready to invest? If you borrow money, what’s the interest rate? ¿How long will you take to pay it back? These are just some of the questions that you should have the answers for. Whether you need plenty or not much, it’s important to know your situation financially, so that you can manage your resources accordingly.
- How much time do you have to invest in your business? – It’s very, very important to know whether you’ll be doing this on the side while having another job, or whether you’re just going to be doing this fulltime. I won’t lie to you, it might be easier to start your business as a side project while you have another job with secure income flowing in. Buuuut, if you’re in a similar situation as mine, and you just don’t have much of a choice in the matter because you can’t find a job, it’s very important to plan and distribute your time accordingly, because it’s quite easy to get lost in a sea of procrastination (I’m looking at you, social media!).
- Don’t-freak-out! – yes, it’s quite easy to feel overwhelmed, doubt your plan and even your ability to make this happen. If you need help, look for it. Find a friend, relative or mentor that knows about the industry and the type of business that you’re going to start, and ask questions. Find someone you trust that you can just vent to about your frustrations, and let it all out. Support is so important! It can feel as though you’re all alone in this enterprise, but trust me, you’re not. There’s plenty of people out there going through the same, or who went through the same as you when starting up. These are the type of people you might want to network with.
- Stay the course – if you decide this is a business that you believe in, don’t allow the challenges that you’re going to face to deter you from your goal. It’s easy to find reasons to quit or why you’re going to fail, but since when has taking the easier road worked in terms of providing you with the lessons and experiences that shape your core? We truly find what we’re made of when we face those challenges and push through them. There might also be a few people that will make you think that you’re crazy for taking such a huge risk. Nay-sayers are always at hand! Learn to distinguish when a criticism is constructive and when it’s just jealousy. You’re very likely to find people who don’t have the guts to do what you’re doing, and they’re just a bit jealous of your bravery. Bless them, and keep going!
- Learn to adapt – if something you originally thought would work best simply doesn’t when push comes to shove, don’t be afraid to discard it and find an alternative. It’s a very dynamic world that we live in today, and our ability to adapt can be the deciding factor that makes the biggest difference in whether we make it or not. Also, give yourself room to breathe. It’s easy to be stubborn!
- Enjoy the process! – all of the challenges, the successes and failures, the milestones you reach (whether big or small)… all of that is what life’s all about. We’re in an adventure that we should enjoy. Stop, look around. Take a deep breath. Smile. Shrug it off. Push through. Pick yourself up and dust yourself off. Go for it again. Don’s stop. Our biggest joys come from seeing something we longed for (and probably worked for!) come true.
My business is still a work in progress, but I’m hoping that very soon I’ll be able to unleash it to the world. So stay tuned, and I’ll try and keep you updated in my progress!
¿Did something in this entry ring true to you? ¿Do you have anything more to add from your own experience? Sound off in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you. Your experience just might be the saving grace for me or someone reading this.