Am I Ready to Start a Business?
Now think of what you enjoy doing outside of work, say rooting for your favourite soccer team or going for marathons. You set aside your personal time to do it. Many soccer fans take annual leave just to catch that exciting Tournament final involving your team at 4am in the morning while the runners train regularly with the utmost dedication for a sole objective, to better their personal best timing in the upcoming marathon.
If you have a business idea that relates to you just like how you adopt your favourite soccer team as your “Home Team”, would you take a different path and come up with a plan to turn the idea into something tangible?
You may start asking yourself some important questions that only you yourself can answer:
Am I willing to give up my current job in the future? Yes the progression is there, the pay is decent but I absolutely have no interest in what I’m doing.
What happens if I fail in my business attempt? Do I try again or do I go back to my current bread and butter role?
Will my family support my decision? Can I convince them that this is the right path for us?
Do I go do this alone or rope in my best partners to do it together? Can I do all the things alone or do I have people who are able to add value to the business?
Do I see myself as a boss for this business for as long as I want to? Can I lead? Can I decide? Can I manage?
The biggest inertia against starting a business is FEAR.
The fear of losing something so stable, so consistent and so secure. If you consistently have these doubts… it means that you are fairly risk-averse and it is better off for you to either:
A. Continue with your way of life, or
B. Start the business on the sidelines and organize your schedule between your main job and your startup business.If your responses to the above questions are mainly positive, we encourage you to start planning for this new and exciting phase in your career and life as a business entrepreneur.
Overcoming the initial inertia against carving out a business of your own is a brave step to take. However bravery can only take you that far and it’s the intangible qualities that you display and develop that will make the business a success.
This is one of the most important trait that will determine the longevity of your stay as the owner of your business. Every business will have its difficult moments, especially so at the startup stage, where every figure seems to be red. You will need to have an unwavering belief that the products or services that you are offering will draw customers.
Owning a business means that you are personally accountable for the strategy, sales, cost, marketing, infrastructure development and compliance aspects within the business itself. You may be a genius at sales in your previous sales role and you will need to pick up real quick on the other aspects of the business that you do not have sufficient experience and competence yet. The success of a business depends entirely on how you mesh up all these important ingredients to drive your business forward. A wrong mix of recipe may either result in slightly lower profit margin at the end of the day, or in the worst case scenario… total failure.
Attracting the Right People
Two heads are better than one, so they say. To a certain extent this is correct if you are able to get the right people to complement your qualities in running the business. Sometimes, trying to do too much at one time by yourself may not be the best way to move forward. The lack of time and skillset may impede the fulfillment of business potential. Having said that, attracting the wrong people may have a disastrous effect on the well-being of the business. You will need to have to ability to pinpoint the exact type of partner or employee that you need to further your business.
Your desire to make things right will burn the brightest at the startup stage, especially in the first month or two. Can you keep this fire burning for the next 3, 5 or 15 years? The concept of work-life balance is something that employees can yearn for and achieve in due course, be it increased efficiency with experience or simply a change of job to achieve that. For a business owner, no amount of hours will be enough to make your business become better. In an ideal state, if work becomes a way of life that you truly enjoy, you will be in the best position to continuously develop your business skills and potential in the shortest possible time.
One big change in your career when you switch from being an employee to an owner is the sudden realization that you do not need to account to anyone why you are 1 hour late to start work, or why you are absent from work the day before. DO NOT ABUSE THIS FREEDOM. No longer will you have supervisors or managers dishing out orders and instructions to you (at will) as you are now solely ACCOUNTABLE to yourself.
Out of the Box Thinking
Think about how you want to make use of this new liberation that you experience. Think along the line that now I can do things my own way which I always know is a much better way compared to prefixed instructions given. How startups succeed is usually because they do things differently… and better!
New businesses often work on the basis of providing stuff at a lower price, faster speed, higher quality or an entirely new out of the world experience. A combination of these fundamental ideas in varying mix will work out extremely well if you get it right, and it all starts with seeing things differently and at the forefront compared to your peers and future consumers. See Google or Facebook period.