How NOT to Start a New Business Venture
No one goes into business lightly. I once heard that it takes an average of two years from the time a person starts to thinks about starting a business venture to the time they actually do it. Isn’t that incredible?
I think one of the main reasons for that would be that they are looking for that guarantee – some sort of assurance that they won’t be risking their livelihood in vain, or end up losing everything they’ve worked so hard for on a venture that may not be successful. In other words, they view it as a gamble.
As a result, most people end up doing the same dance. It’s a familiar dance and you may actually recognize some of the moves. Maybe you’re already an expert at it? Well, let’s find out – pick your starting point from the following:
1. You’re dissatisfied with your job, or no longer excited by it. You want to work for yourself, but stop short of quitting because you’re not sure what to do?
2. Your lifestyle is making your job more and more impossible – maybe you’re newly married and don’t want to work long hours away from home; you have young children and no childcare; you recently went through a life transition, i.e. a divorce, retirement, bereavement, relocation or you just want something else, a change in direction, more freedom, etc.
3. Your company is downsizing and you’re so worried you may lose your job, you’re stressing out about it.
4. You have lost your job and think this may be a great opportunity to start your own business.
And so the dance begins. Step I: You start to seriously consider self employment. You may start by viewing a few online presentations about work-from-home opportunities; download brochures of MLM businesses; attend exhibitions that showcase franchising opportunities; talk to friends, etc.
Step II: You weigh your options, usually based on the financial investments required upfront. You wrestle with yourself about whether or not to sign up. What you should and shouldn’t do.
Step III: You finally begin to tentatively dip your toes in one at a time – all the while hoping that you have picked the right opportunity, but constantly worrying that you haven’t.
Recognize the dance now? Well, that is precisely why a significant percentage of all new businesses fail in their first three years. Everyone does this same dance, so that it seems like only those who are ‘lucky’ or have a large financial reserve to keep them afloat for those initial ‘perilous’ years of business end up successful.
That isn’t the case at all. The problem with this well worn routine is that it forces you to put the cart before the horse. It makes you start from a place of fear instead of confidence and, as a business coach, a big part of my job has been to help entrepreneurs unlearn this dance.
When you work for someone else it can be almost acceptable to hate your job and yet do it for the money. Ever done that? However, when the business is yours, that’s a luxury that’s no longer available to you, because if you go in with that attitude, all you’re doing is acquiring for yourself a very expensive job – and one you cannot easily escape from!
So then how should you start out in business, I hear you ask? Well, start by asking yourself a few simple questions: What do you enjoy doing? What do you do effortlessly? Is there anything you would quite happily do for free? What do you like? What do you hate? What do you want to change?
That’s a good place to begin. Be brutally honest with yourself in answering these questions and you’ll begin to have an idea of what type of business you’ll enjoy. You want to enjoy your own business, don’t you? That’s a huge part of why people start their own businesses. If you do the above, you will be starting on the right path and with the right help could be on a fast track to financial success.