You’ve got a million dollar idea. There’s no way that you couldn’t make it big in the business world with your foolproof product. All you need is the idea and everything else will work itself out, right? This is a trap that a lot of people fall into. They think that just because they have a good business idea, they will be guaranteed massive success. We all wish it were that easy, but the truth is, a great idea is only the first step. Running your own business is so hard and there are a thousand and one ways that you could fail. It is often said that you can’t learn how to be an excellent businessman, you either have it or you don’t. Making a name for yourself will take a lot of work, and you need to have a certain set of skills if you are going to make it through those difficult first few years. If you are thinking of starting your own business, you need to ask yourself, do you have what it takes?
The first thing you need to think about is whether you have the resources that you are going to need to start a working business.
The obvious one is finances. Do you have enough money to invest in the business while you get it off the ground? It’s going to be a while before your business starts bringing in any revenue, and even longer before you start turning a profit. Most failed business fold in the first year or so because they run out of cash before they’ve had a chance to start bringing in a good amount of customers. If you don’t have the money to survive this period, then maybe you should reconsider.
Another thing that a lot of people forget is their living expenses. They might have enough money to put into the business but you also need to remember that this will be your full-time job now. You won’t be getting a salary anymore, you’ll only have the money that the business makes, and most of that needs to go right back into it to keep things going. Ideally, you are going to need enough money to pay your living expenses for at least a few years, as it could take that long before you have enough to pay yourself a decent wage. You could borrow that money, but it will only add more financial stress.
Even if you do have the money there, can you afford to risk investing it? There is a high chance that you might fail, if you are putting every last penny that you have into your business, will you be able to survive afterward if the worst does happen?
Office space is another consideration. You aren’t going to be renting an expensive building in the first few months, so do you have somewhere at home that you can work from? Setting up an office in the bedroom isn’t ideal but it will have to do. If there isn’t any free space in the house then you might struggle to focus without a dedicated working space.
Even somebody with all of the necessary resources might not have what it takes. You need to have the right skills as well.
Being good with money is the first one. Somebody that often finds themselves struggling to manage their money is going to struggle when it comes to running a business. You’re going to be making a loss at the beginning so you need to learn how to take care of debt if you stand any chance of keeping your new business afloat.
Commitment and self-discipline are also incredibly important. If you are not giving it one hundred and ten percent every single day, you only have yourself to blame if things go wrong. When you work for somebody else, it is easy to stay motivated. If you don’t do what you are asked then you can lose your job. But when you are the boss, it can be tough to stay motivated. If you aren’t careful, you’ll fall into bad habits and find yourself wasting the days doing nothing. Unless you are completely committed and driven, forget about having any kind of success.
Never underestimate the importance of a thick skin. You aren’t going to see returns on your investment for a long time, and a lot of people will tell you that they don’t like your product. If you are unable to take this criticism on the chin and move forward, you probably aren’t cut out for the business world.
Things are rarely going to go exactly as planned, and acting quickly in the face of a crisis can mean the difference between success and failure in the cutthroat world of business. That means that you need to have good problem-solving skills. If you can remain calm under pressure and come up with quick solutions to any issues that may arise, you’ll do well. Anybody that panics under pressure will soon find themselves in big trouble.
People skills are perhaps one of the main skills that any business person must have. A good working relationship with employees is very important. A happy workplace is a productive workplace, and communication with employees can help you to identify ways of improving the efficiency of your business. Making deals with suppliers and distributors is going to be a big part of your job. If you can’t negotiate then you’ll end up getting a bad deal every time and costing yourself a lot of money. Being able to push prices down will save you thousands over the years.
As well as skills, it is worthing looking at the qualifications that you have, especially if you are looking for investors. Anybody that has some formal training in business, or good experience at a management level, is more likely to win money from investors than somebody who has no clue what they are doing.
If you think that you have all of these skills, then maybe you do have what it takes. Go out there, start a business, and find out if you’re right!