What to know before starting a business so you can be prepared
There are lots of things to know before starting a business. While some things will probably not have much of an impact on your business, others can determine whether you fail or succeed.
Many people jump into entrepreneurship on a whim. They don’t take the time to educate and prepare themselves, so they end up struggling after they launch their business.
If you are thinking of starting a business, consider learning everything you can about entrepreneurship, so you can be prepared for the challenges ahead.
And, if you have no idea what you should know before starting a business, this post will show you some of the most important things you should be aware of.
Let’s get started.
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1. YOUR REASON FOR STARTING A BUSINESS
When I started my first business, I thought it was a cool thing to do. At the time, I had a full-time job and was pretty happy with it. But, some of my close friends were starting their businesses, and I didn’t want to be left out.
In case you haven’t guessed, things didn’t work out so well.
And, one of the reasons things didn’t work out was that I didn’t have a strong or compelling reason for starting a business. And, that probably explains why I wasn’t too bummed when I failed. Though, I hated losing all the money I had invested.
I shared this story because having a strong “why” is often the difference between success and failure.
When you have a strong or compelling reason for starting a business, you tend to approach things a bit differently. For example, someone who depends on their business for their livelihood would likely put in a lot more effort to succeed than someone who needs a side hustle.
So, before you invest time or money into your business, ask yourself, “what is my why?” ” Why do I want to start a business?” ” What do you want to get out of this business?”
Your reason can be anything, as long as it is big enough to keep you motivated.
You are going to need a lot of motivation in the early stages of your business. Your reason or “why” is what will keep you from giving up. So, keep that in mind as you move forward with your plans.
2. HOW HAVING A BUSINESS WILL AFFECT YOUR LIFE
Unfortunately, when many people think of starting a business, they don’t consider how a business would affect their lives. Like everything else, there are pros and cons to starting a business.
Many people focus on the advantages or benefits of entrepreneurship but give little or no thought to the disadvantages.
As someone who has been in business for a number of years, I can tell you that it’s not all sunshine and roses. There are some downsides to being a business owner, and you need to think about them too.
For instance, how will having a business affect your life or relationships? Do you know you will have to make some changes to your life, and also make some sacrifices?
Do you know what sacrifices you have to make, and will you be happy making them?
As a business owner, you may need to work long hours. That could affect how much time you spend with your family or friends, and in some extreme cases, your health.
Are you prepared for that?
When you think of becoming a business owner, you need to think about the impact this will have on your life. Make note of changes you need to make, so you can easily adjust to your new life.
Preparing yourself in advance is the best way to minimize any negative effects.
Don’t focus only on the benefits. Consider the disadvantages too.
If you’d like to know more about the advantages and disadvantages of starting a business, check out my guide, Business Startup Advantage: What You Need to Know to Get a Head Start.
3. SOME OF THE COMMON MISTAKES NEW BUSINESS OWNERS MAKE
While you can’t completely rule out making some mistakes in your business, you will do yourself a world of good, if you acquaint yourself with some of the most common mistakes new entrepreneurs make.
One of your goals as a new business owner is to avoid making costly mistakes, especially while you are still finding your feet. It’s going to take you some time to understand how to run your business, so you need to know what to expect, so you can be ready to make the best decisions.
It’s easy to make mistakes as a new business owner. However, some mistakes can be avoided if you are proactive.
While the fear of making mistakes shouldn’t hold you back from starting a business, I have to remind you that some mistakes could potentially end your business.
Some common mistakes new business owners make include not having a business plan, or underestimating how much work is involved in starting a business.
Of course, there are lots of other mistakes you should be aware of. However, these two are fairly common and they make up some of the main reasons new businesses fail.
If you are interested in learning more about some of the mistakes to avoid, or some more tips for aspiring business owners, you can get a free copy of my guide, 5 Things to Consider as an Aspiring Business Owner.
4. KEY CHALLENGES BUSINESS OWNERS FACE
Many new business owners struggle to make progress because they are unprepared for some of the challenges they face.
Contrary to some of the things you have heard, starting or running a business is hard work. You are going to face some tough challenges, and how you handle them will determine whether you stay in business or not.
Business owners face lots of challenges including finding new customers, finding the right people to work with, funding their business, or time management.
There’s a steep learning curve to navigate as a business owner, so you have to be prepared for the journey. And, one of the ways to prepare yourself is to understand some of the challenges business owners face.
In my new book, Business Startup Advantage: What You Need to Know to Get a Head Start, I shared some of the most common challenges business owners face. They include staying motivated before seeing results, and lack of focus and clarity.
When I became an entrepreneur, I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know how challenging starting a business was. I struggled to gain traction because I had no clue how to navigate the challenges I faced.
I have come a long way since then and learned a lot of lessons (including many painful ones). So, take it from me when I say you need to familiarize yourself with some of the challenges business owners face.
You will thank me later!
5. MOST IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK
Starting a business is one of the most important decisions you could ever make. That’s why it’s really important for you to go into it with your eyes wide open. And, one of the best ways to do that is to ask the right questions.
Far too often, the reason why we are stuck or not making progress with our goals is that we don’t know what we don’t know. And, you can’t ask the right questions if you don’t know what you should be asking.
If you want to make progress as a business owner or find the right answers, you must start by asking the right questions.
So, are you asking the right questions before starting your business? Do you know the most important questions you should be asking?
I spend a lot of time online, and I often come across questions from new or aspiring entrepreneurs. A lot of times, some of the questions I see are really not that important. I am talking about questions like the best logo, brand colors, the best host for their website, or how many blog posts they should have before launching their blogs.
Frankly, those are some of the least important questions to ask before starting a business. There are far more important things to concern yourself about. I am talking about things like how to market your business, and what kind of business you want to start (along with everything that involves).
So, make sure you are asking the right questions before you start your business. Here are some examples to get you started.
- What do I need to start and run my business?
- What are some of my fears about starting a business, and how will I overcome them?
- Do I need to develop some skills? If yes, what are they?
- Are there things I need to learn before I become a business owner?
Asking the right questions like the ones above will help you prepare for entrepreneurship more than questions about your logo or branding.
Final thoughts on things to know before starting a business
Starting a business is not a small undertaking. Many aspiring business owners never make it to the launch stage because they lack guidance or they become overwhelmed with the process.
It’s difficult to find a step-by-step guide to starting a business, so you have to put a lot of things together on your own. However, this shouldn’t stop you from becoming a business owner. There are lots of resources out there to help you.
If you are serious about starting a business, learn how to ask the right questions. Find out everything you can about the challenges business owners make and some of the mistakes to avoid.
Think seriously about how a business will affect your life and be ready to make some sacrifices.
If you need more help, check out my new book above. or the free guide for aspiring business owners.
Are you thinking of starting a business? How far along are you? What is your biggest challenge right now?