Starting a Business- Being truthful with Yourself

Starting a Business- Being truthful with Yourself

Starting a business is not easy. Believe me, I’ve done it. And it’s definitely not easy in today’s world as we navigate a global pandemic that’s impacting businesses of all sizes around the world.

Despite the effect of COVID-19 on businesses, particularly small businesses, over the last 2 years, you may be surprised to learn that overall, the number of businesses in Australia increased by nearly 4% in FY2021 during the heart of the pandemic, according to ABS figures. In fact, there were 365K new businesses commenced, or started, during the Financial Year ending 30 June 2021.

“…there were 365K new businesses commenced, or started, during the Financial Year ending 30 June 2021”.

Roll into to FY2022 today, we are hearing, and seeing, that many people are either considering, or are, leaving their traditional employment to seek a career change which includes, wait for it, potentially commencing their own business!

And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, as long as you consider what it will take to get started and plan well!

So, it seems like a good time to share some tips about how to go about starting up a business, and some simple things that may be worth considering before you take the leap.

You see, most people that start up a business have never done it before. I’m an example of that. And I think there are some pretty simple guidelines, that were passed on to me by some wise, and some not so wise, people in my network.

Starting a business- Have a Support Network

So I thought that it may be useful and worth sharing for those interested.

Here are the top questions to ask yourself when considering starting a business, with some insider tips for you to consider.

Answer them HONESTLY and if you’re fired up with the passion and the desire to have a go at starting up a business, then give it a go, and good luck.

1. How much do you really want to do it?

A word of caution, If your sole reason for doing this, is that you think your business idea is certain to make big $$$, think again. The stats are compelling. Most businesses fail in the first year. Generally, because they fail to generate sufficient cash flow to succeed. Starting a business takes passion and drive. Yes, of course, your business idea is important, and we’ll come to that.

The thing here is to understand that there is a risk that you won’t be successful, and you need to be comfortable with that. It will be hard. Not everyone will back your idea, you will get roadblocks put in your way, and you won’t have the benefits or security of traditional paid employment.

 

You will also wear many hats in the business, and you are putting your financial future on the line. The bottom line is, you are the one who needs to get out of bed every day to drive it for the next 2-10 years, and you need to be prepared for that.

2. Do you have the support of your family, and a close circle of friends?

You’re not the only person impacted by this. Your partner, close family and friends will all be impacted and ride the wave of joy, frustration and risk associated with your business. They are your cheer squad when things go well, and when not so well. Either way, they will be there to support you! They are also the people you turn to when you need an ear to talk to.

Some in this group may be dependent on the success of this business venture, and you need to ensure that they are on the ride with you. This is such an important consideration which can be easily overlooked.

3. What type of business do you want to start and do you have customers?

OK, so we’ve talked about the passion and drive you need and the importance of the support of family and your close network circles that you will need to sustain you through these exciting and challenging times. Now it’s time to talk about the actual business and if you have a valid idea.

It’s important you take time to validate your idea, the market you want to operate in, and the likelihood there will be customers wanting to use your product or services.

One of the key reasons cited for the failure of business start-ups is a lack of consumer demand for your product or service. Nothing you didn’t already know right? Well, you’d be surprised by how many people leap into a business without any understanding of the market and the demand by customers for your product or services.

It’s important you take time to validate your idea, the market you want to operate in, and the likelihood there will be customers wanting to use your product or services.

Do a market scan, know who your competitors are in your market, and seek out honest feedback from prospective customers about what they need and want.

What will make your business compelling and set you apart from the competition. It could be your product or service offering, it could be the experience you offer, it could be about cost, (competing on price will never end well) distribution networks or a combination of all of the above. Clarity and honesty are important here.

Hope and dreams often don’t end well. But then again, there are no guarantees regardless of how well you research the market. Oh, and don’t think your business or idea is unique…big mistake. Sometimes the best idea can be a simple innovative change. You don’t need to go and recreate the wheel.

We ask you more hard hitting questions when starting a business.