The constant uncertainty of a startup can be somewhat quelled by enlisting the talents of an experienced startup consultant who can share his/her expertise and provide advice that will help point your business towards success. While it can be helpful to use a consultant with experience in your industry it isn’t necessary.
Owning a business can offer tremendous rewards, both personal and professional. It also holds unique challenges that not everyone is prepared to face. The good news is that you can learn how to handle those challenges; the bad news is that, in all likelihood, nobody ever taught you how. A traditional education is good for many things—I hear yours was excellent—but it tends not to address some important realities about life as a business owner.
You may think that you have the next billion dollar idea or the solution to a serious, widespread problem. However, deciding to start a business is a huge undertaking. Statistically, only 10% of new businesses survive after the first year. What separates the minority of businesses from the rest? There are many different reasons, but often, it is because they didn’t know or ask the right questions before deciding to dive in.
There is no denying that the life of an entrepreneur is challenging. People starting and building a business have a lot to manage and even more to think about. How do you find the right team members that will understand what you are trying to accomplish and help take your business where you want it to go? What tools will keep you organized? Who is your target audience and is your marketing and overall business strategy customized toward them?
Yoda tells us: “Do or do not. There is no try.” Well, that’s easy for a Zen-prone Jedi master chilling on a deserted, foggy swamp planet to say, but for those of you who are living in the fast-paced and competitive world of entrepreneurship and business startups, things might seem a tad more complicated than that.
Man, that’s harsh. And it’s what you’ve been afraid of. That’s why most potential entrepreneurs avoid starting businesses, even if they’ve got an idea they think could have some legs. Fear that even though they think their business idea is viable, maybe they are crazy. Maybe other people won’t think so. Maybe they are missing something.
Starting a business seems really complicated. And yet, tons of people are doing it. According to the 2015 Kauffman Index, over half a million people start new businesses every single month in the United States. If there are that many new businesses being started, it can’t be that complicated, right?
If you’ve been thinking for a while about starting a business, you probably have some… concerns. And rightly so. Starting a business is definitely a risk, and not one that should be taken lightly. It takes a ton of hard work, patience and tenacity to be successful, and it can sometimes require serious changes to your lifestyle that can affect you and your family.
Everybody loves a small business. Politicians are constantly touting the importance of small business to the strength of the economy. Customers are encouraged to “shop small”. Other small businesses and small business owners are prone to sharing their stories of success and encouraging others to take up the small business banner. Basking in this warm, sunshiney glow of small business optimism, you’d be forgiven that nothing could ever go wrong, and everything is going to be perfect on your small business adventure.
The name of your business shouldn’t really matter that much, right? It’s about your company’s substance. Your products. Your service. After all, your Xerox machine would still make copies just as well if it were called a “PaperDuplicatromax” or some such nonsense. Apple could have been called Kumquat and the iPod still would have been cool. We don’t judge books by their covers, and roses by other names, etc, etc...
Politicians love to tout how small businesses are the backbone of the economy. While this might be true (or it might be a sentence with no actual meaning), don’t mistake that with thinking that starting a business is easy. Most new businesses fail within their first year, and even those that don’t are sure to face many pitfalls and hardships.
As a company that works with a lot of new businesses, we’ve learned a thing or two about the right way and wrong way to start a company...
Are you an entrepreneur hustling to launch your newest start-up? Have a great new idea or invention that you need help getting to market and in front of the right consumers? Sick of working for bosses who don’t value your work and want to set your own schedule and be your own boss? Whatever your inspiration is for starting this new venture, you want to make sure the money you are investing is well spent. It is easy for advertising to get out of hand and expensive if you aren’t sure of the best tactics.