It’s a situation that many people find themselves in: mulling over whether now is the right time to start your new business.
In truth, there is never a right time. Whether it’s personal circumstances, a poor economy or some other variable – there will always be something that gets in the way of your decision. This is the reason many people decide to sit tight and wait. Unfortunately, as we all know, these waits can be indefinite.
Today’s post is all about how to prepare for your start-up before you pull the trigger. It’s about preparing yourself both logistically and psychologically to make that move as seamless as can be. Here goes…
You need to stretch far beyond beer mat calculations
While the classic beer mat calculations might be great for an initial proof of concept, you need to go much further than this. Too often, people make the mistake of thinking that their business idea is sound without having done the appropriate level of research.
If you’re serious about your start-up, you should be prepared to spend months – if not longer – perfecting your business plan. This means testing your assumptions, conducting market research and building financial models that stand up to scrutiny. Don’t just think about the main costs such as rent and manufacturing; think as granular as can be and cover everything from your liability insurance obligations, right the way to your expenses of travelling to meetings.
You need to accept that you will make mistakes
No one is perfect, and that includes entrepreneurs. Making mistakes is part of the journey, and you need to accept that from the outset.
The key is to learn from your mistakes and not let them derail your entire business. To do this, you need to have a strong support network in place, consisting of family, friends, mentors and colleagues. These people will be there to offer advice and help you to keep perspective when things get tough.
You need to be prepared for long hours
When you start, you will need to be prepared to work long hours. This is especially true if you’re doing it all yourself.
Of course, as your business grows, you will be able to delegate and outsource specific tasks. But in the early days, you will need to be prepared to sacrifice your evenings and weekends to get your business off the ground. Understanding this from the outset is crucial.
You need to understand that your holiday allowance is unlimited – but unpaid
As an entrepreneur, you will have the freedom to take time off whenever you want. However, you need to understand that this time will be unpaid.
This is something that many people fail to take into account, and it can be a real shock when you realise that you can’t just take a month off to go travelling.
You need to be prepared for rejection
Rejection is a part of life, and it’s something that you will need to deal with regularly as an entrepreneur.
You will be rejected by customers, suppliers, investors, employees and even friends and family. But you need to remember that rejection is not personal. It’s simply a part of doing business.
The key is not to take it too personally and use it as motivation to keep going.