Stepping away from the security of a corporate job to set up a small business is not an easy task. Some things seem to fall into place, but often times things don’t always go as planned. Nobody ever said that it was going to be easy. But it can be one of the most rewarding experiences that you can have. Here’s some good entrepreneurial advice to those who have set up their own small businesses.
It’s going to take longer than you think
Running a small business is certainly not for the faint of heart. Everywhere you turn it seems as if there is another overnight success. Business coaches tout their multi-million dollar businesses that they started in their kitchen and claim to spend about 5 hours of work on. In reality, they neglect to mention the years and years of blood, sweat and tears that it took to achieve a certain level of success. Building a company takes years. It causes grey hairs. And it brings up a whole lot of self doubt.
Perseverance is the name of the game when it comes to starting and running a small business. It’s a rare trait that entrepreneurs possess. I can’t tell you how many times I have thought that I’ve run into a brick wall, exhausted all of my options and run myself into the ground. I’ve shelved my business idea a couple of times only to pick it back up, dust it off, make some adjustments and then start to run with it. If you truly are an entrepreneur, then everything will eventually fall into place. It’s like the old saying goes, every “no” that you hear brings you that much closer to a “yes”.
It’s lonely going at it all by yourself
Bringing people on board is a great thing. Their strengths can fill in the gaps of your weaknesses and helps to keep things going when the going gets tough. But it’s critical to bring the right people on board. Getting the mix wrong can have a devastating effect on your small business. A close friend can be a great place to look. But make sure that you both share a common vision, have common goals, have a good working relationship and are both willing to give it a go. You’re going to be spending more time with this person than you will with your own family, so make sure you select wisely.
Keep it simple
It’s easy to reach for the stars as an entrepreneur. It’s not hard to get swept up in the rapture of how your business idea is going to change the world. Your mind seems to go a mile a minute. The problem is when you encounter a mere mortal (i.e., everybody else) and try to communicate. You don’t speak the same language. Don’t expect the mere mortal to be as excited about the details of your idea as you are. Remember one thing. Keep it simple so that your audience gets it.
And be sure to hold on to that simplicity. Make sure that it is present in every aspect of your company. Keep your marketing simple. Simple enough so that your customers understand exactly what your business is all about. Make sure that your business planing is simple. How does the business make money? Make sure that your products are simple. Keeping things simple will multiply your businesses chances of success.