Starting your own business is immensely gratifying and allows you to experience freedom in your life that you may have thought impossible before.
Imagine living a life of freedom, without the feeling of having anyone looking over your shoulder, telling you what to do. It is literally a weight lifted off of your shoulders.
The freedom of making your own hours, following your own dream, and living life on your terms and no one else’s is irreplaceable. If you have a dream of becoming an entrepreneur, I say with all my heart, follow that dream.
But it is obviously not without risk.
Is Starting a Business Worth The Risk?
According to the Census Bureau’s Business Formation Statistics, almost 5.4 million applications were filed to form new businesses in 2021. That’s the most applications filed throughout one year since they began keeping these records.
But it is not easy to learn how to start your own business. You have to educate yourself before you begin with as much research as possible.
It IS risky, and if you are not careful, can land you in a very difficult position where you could lose a lot of money. There are many steps you need to take before you can even start your business.
Your research should not only focus on your prospective market, but literally on your proposed business name to make sure no one else is using it. You don’t want to get sued because you are using someone else’s company name! When you start your own business, you need to properly license your business with your state make sure everything is legally taken care of before you can launch.
Start A Business with Lower Risk
Perhaps most importantly, when starting your own business, you need to make sure that you have enough seed money that will carry you through the tough times ahead. And there will be tough times ahead. Every business goes through highs and lows and if you aren’t prepared for the lows, you will be blindsided, distraught, and possibly give up before you can really hit your stride.
As a serial entrepreneur, that is someone who has started many businesses in my lifetime, there is much to do before you even get started. I always advise budding entrepreneurs to do research way before starting a business. Make sure that there is a market for the business you are starting. Get online and start looking for a “niche”, meaning an area in the marketplace where you not only fit, but where there is a need.
How I Started My Business
For instance, I started my business back in 1995, offering services to musicians that no one else was giving them. Musicians had to either find the manager or do everything themselves as music artists, and they often did not know where to look to fulfill these services. I realize this because I was a musician myself. So this was a natural fit for me and also an area in the marketplace that was under-served.
This is really what you are looking for. An area where there is little competition and where you can fill that need of people that are looking for a service or a product that will make their lives easier or better.
Research, Research, Research
When planning how to start your own business, understand that doing this research is crucial. You need to know what the competition is doing so that you will formulate a plan that is different than what they are already offering.
Beating The Competition
There is no way you can win going head-to-head with a larger business if you are offering the same exact thing at the same exact price. You have to figure out a way to beat them at something, whether that be the difference in pricing, and customer service, or in some other way that makes you unique.
This takes time. And you should take your time doing that research until you have formulated a plan that you feel great about. Run that plan by friends or acquaintances to see what they think.
How to Start Your Own Business Successfully
Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally. Think of it this way. You will no longer have a steady paycheck. You are trading your steady paycheck for freedom and uncertainty. Your business will run hot and cold.
Sometimes, the phone will ring off the hook you won’t have time to eat lunch, and sometimes the phone won’t ring at all. When starting a new business, expect that there will be times when you are rolling in dough, and there will be times when you won’t be able to pay your bills. Therefore, you must always have enough money in reserve, just in case.
Why Motivation Is Key
Learning how to start your own business will come with the understanding that there will be no one to rely on except yourself, and you will need to motivate yourself every single day to work hard. You will need to network to meet the right people and you will need to put yourself out there on a daily basis.
You will need to spend more than eight hours a day working on your business. In a way, it’s like becoming a parent. The business will be your baby and you will need to take care of it 24 hours a day. Are you up to the challenge?
Be Prepared For Adversity
Whenever I’m asked the question of how to start a business, I always say be prepared for adversity as an entrepreneur, because adversity is inevitable. It goes hand-in-hand with owning a business. You will experience enormous highs and terrible lows, however, you can train yourself to keep at an even keel no matter what happens with your business.
This is akin to an athlete getting too excited after a win or too depressed after a loss. Ask any coach and they will tell you need to keep an even keel, where you take both wins and losses in stride. Once you have enough experience in the business, you will be able to do this.
There is also help out there. There are people that can mentor you, there is the small business administration which helps small businesses, and there are other businesspeople that you can turn to.
Timeline To Starting Your Own Business
In theory, starting your own business can happen in as quickly as a few weeks or take as long as a year or more. In reality, there is no set time it takes to start a new SUCCESSFUL business. Most importantly, you need to move at your own pace and be comfortable with every step you take. You don’t want to move too fast because that will lead to you making mistakes. On the other hand, you don’t want to move too slowly because you may never take the steps necessary to move ahead, out of fear, confusion, or ignorance.
Why Mentors Are Important
This is where having a mentor is invaluable. If you can find someone who is currently a successful entrepreneur or has been successful in entrepreneur-ism that can help guide you, it will save you a tremendous amount of time and stress. It is literally worth paying someone to mentor you, because it could take years to do all the necessary research, planning, and execution of starting a business.
More than likely, you will be starting your new business while working at your day job. You will be doing research, creating plans, and networking after hours and on weekends. You might even have to launch your business while still working at your day job. After all, you need to have money coming in to pay the bills.
All this takes time, so don’t be impatient. Take your time and to all the legwork before you actually launch. If you don’t do the research, you will inevitably make mistakes that cost you money and time, and that can cost you your business in the end. That’s not what you want, so don’t worry about the time it will take. Do the work beforehand so that you will have less chance of failure.
The Hardest Part of Starting a New Business
The hardest part of starting a business is the tough times that you will go through initially. In the beginning, you will most likely struggle to gain clients. But there will become a tipping point, where you will have enough happy clients that will refer you to others. Then things will begin to flow. Until that point though, you will need to hustle every day to get work.
This is what happened with my business until now, many years later I’m serving Fortune 500 companies. This all started with me serving local musicians that had to scramble to get a few bucks together. Good things take time.
If you want to start a successful business you need to be prepared, as I said earlier, for these slow times in your business. Prepare yourself mentally with the understanding that every business goes through slow times.
During those slow times, you should be working to improve your business in whatever way you can. Work on your website. Work on your physical location if you have one. Review your marketing, advertising, and communication with your clients. Improve whatever else you can.
I say this because during the good times there won’t be time for any of the above, because the phone will be ringing off the hook. Starting a new business, with all its joys and excitement has to be tempered with the understanding that like the seasons in nature, business also follows the same types of seasons.
During the good times, it will be your summer, full of light and warmth, and during the slow times of your winter, it will be dark and cold. Expect this, and plan ahead for this, so that you will be prepared.
Obstacles To Overcome
Now as far as obstacles go when starting a new business, there may be legal obstacles that you need to overcome. There may be money flow problems that you need to deal with. There may be competition that you didn’t expect.
The obstacles are as numerous as the stars, but none of these matters if you are running a tight ship. You need to understand exactly what you are doing and understand how you can serve your client better than anyone else can.
To start a successful business from the beginning, you need to differentiate yourself from the competition. You need to come up with your “USP” (unique selling proposition). If you have all of this in place, it will be much easier for you.
For instance, Nova Custom Printing offers Custom Die Cut Stickers which are cut to the shape of a logo. What we can do better than anyone else is complete that work literally within hours. In the fast-paced environment of New York City, speed is essential.
Clients come to us at the last minute needing this work done immediately, and we are able to fulfill it. I’m not aware of anyone else in the industry they can do so. This makes us unique. What makes you unique? Answer this question before you start your business so that you will be prepared for what comes next.
How does one overcome those obstacles?
Differentiating yourself from the competition is vital.
1. Do the research necessary to know what you are getting into with your business. What is necessary to get started in your field? What do the customers of your type of business want? How much are they willing to pay? What is the competition not doing that you CAN do, thereby setting yourself apart?
2. Do the legal work required to legally register your business and register your business name legally.
3. Have enough seed money to carry you through the tough times. Try to make sure you have at least six months expense money in reserve just in case the worst happens. We can’t predict the economy, and if there is a downturn, you need to be prepared for that as well.
4. Make sure to have someone you can turn to for advice. This can be a mentor, or someone who has experience in the field that can advise you. This is CRUCIAL because you don’t want to be completely on your own. You don’t want to be learning on the fly through you tube and/or books. There will be questions that you need to ask someone, so you need to have somewhere to turn.
>We hope this has helped in understanding how to start a business and why starting a business is worth it. Please contact us for more information.