“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” – Sheryl Sandberg
If the same question was asked to any one of us, what are the sorts of replies that we would get? We may have people say “if we weren’t afraid we would go bungee jumping” or something like “if we weren’t afraid of all the responsibilities we would follow our passion and live our dreams”. There may also be a small margin of people who will say “if we weren’t afraid we would start our very own business”. If you happen to be the small percentage of people who fall in the third category, you may have just landed on the page that will give you that small push!
Recent statistics show that more than 500,000 people in the United States of America tread on the path of starting a business of their own, and the numbers have only increased marginally for 3 years in a row. In fact, the millennials of today are being called the ‘entrepreneurial generation’. However, starkly this is not something that they take up easily. A survey conducted by Bentley University found out that:
- 66% of the millennials have the desire to start their own business
- 37% would like to work for themselves instead of working for someone else
- 25% aspire to own their own company.
So where are all those millennials who aspire to be big? And, most of all why do they shudder so much before taking that big leap of faith? With the current market scenario which is largely being driven by technology, a wide range of new businesses are being supported and accepted. When the conditions are all so favourable and the market is booming, why is there still so much hesitation?
The answer lies in the far beyond’s of all the planning and idea conceptualization! For most people coming up with an idea is not difficult, in fact, there are so many of us who have the thought but don’t have the organizational skill or know-how of how to make ideas materialize.
So, here are some of the 101’s of things to keep in mind before you launch yourself and your business in the big, bad and cutthroat competitive mean biz world!
Gossip mongers will gossip
Many people say a lot and will give you advice for free. Listen to everything but only believe yourself. When you start off on a new journey most of the people will encourage you to stop, but don’t just do that yet. Believe in yourself and your goals.
What’s your USP
Why does a customer need you, and what is it that you’re providing for which the customer will pay and come to you? And, most of all, what is that you’re the company is offering which is different from what the others are giving? These are just some questions that you need to answer before you decide your company motto, brand, and message.
Target the right audience
You have an amazing product and you know how to market it right! You have designed your logo and have done all the necessary promotions, but the one thing missing is your audience. Oops! This is a BIG miss. The ‘who’s’ for your product and service is the most important criteria to decide on. If there is amiss in doing so, all your efforts of designing and marketing will become futile.
Small and steady wins the race
When you plan to start a business it’s best to take baby steps, which means don’t expect too much in the first few months or years. Most of the times young entrepreneurs make the biggest mistake of planning too much and expecting things that are not possible immediately. You may take time, and things may seem slow initially, however, the slow and steady climb will ensure a better view later!
Know your SWOTs
Every management student is familiar with this term. Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats. Part of running a successful business is to understand that it is not possible to do everything on your own! Every person has individual strong points and that they can capitalize on. The best way to go forward is to delegate what you know you’re not the best at.
Get lead by examples
When you are new at something, you always talk to people, learn and then finally do it yourself. Starting a new business is no different! There is nothing wrong in speaking to people who have already done what you are attempting to do. So, get lead by example so that you know the pros and cons and also avoid making the same mistakes that your mentors/ idols made.
Chalk out the plans
Part of setting up a new business is to have the best plan laid out. This plan should be written goals of your projected results. You need to take into account all the facts such as fixed costs and variables and against that how much is your business planning to achieve in sales.
It’s all a number game
The only reason for starting a business is to earn money! We all are in it for the Vitamin ‘M’. It is essential to have sound knowledge about gross margins and predicted cash flow based on the current economy and market trends. Once you start running your business you will be able to analyze where you’re going wrong and where you can cut down to achieve the set deliverables.
There is never a vacay mode
When you work for someone things are different. As an employee, you are entitled to many privileges. However, once you start a business the tables will turn! As a business owner and employer, you are entitled to no more entitlements! The harsh reality, no more holidays and you can never really be off work.
Passion is the key
For most young businesses, the charm dies down the moment the ones running it lose their passion and interest. The important thing is to nurture your business and have faith in it, and most of all have a passion to get up every morning and achieve something more.
It is easy to give up and say that the grapes were sour. However, those people who venture out on the unwalked roads, stumble and fall only to get up and rise high. So, if you are someone who wants to step into the biz world, go ahead and take that plunge.