Based on the statistics by Small Business Administration (SBA), about 50% businesses fail in the first year and 95% fail in five years, US alone. What’s even worse, the report has identified that many failed due to starting business for wrong reasons. Poor business planning and no website were primary contributors too.
It does look discouraging for new aspiring entrepreneurs. Identifying the problems are one thing, but how do you know whether you’re certain that entrepreneurship is the one for you. Here are the 6 important questions you must answer:
- Does My Product Solves Problem?
- Why Do I Want to Become An Entrepreneur?
- What Skills Should I Focus On Improving?
- Am I Capable of Facing Difficulties and Risks Failure?
- Do I Know When To Persevere Or Surrender?
- Sacrifice. Sacrifice. Sacrifice.
- Final Two Cent
Does My Product Solves Problem?
Wanting to become an entrepreneur should closely be associated with the product that you are trying to sell.
- How does your product affects people’s lives?
- If it does work, would people be willing to spend on that product?
- And to which group of people you should sell to that would buy the product?
These are basically questions that you need to answer before you embark on the adventure.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs find it desirable to start a business, but without the proper idea and market focus to sell to, your business will find it difficult to thrive.
Why Do I Want to Become An Entrepreneur?
Aspiring entrepreneurs often looking for a way out of their 9-5pm job or wanting to become own boss as main reason for a startup. While there is no problem to this, you need more reasons on becoming an entrepreneur.
Running a startup is difficult. In fact, it is more difficult as your job responsibilities become twice the burden since you need to monitor other aspects of your business too. Sometimes, your business could cause you end up working till late night. Think about how you are going to handle this and whether you are willing to do what it takes to pull it through.
What Skills Should I Focus on Improving?
Becoming an entrepreneur also involves your willingness to learn new things. Let’s face it, majority of entrepreneurs learn new things from running their startup. Nobody starts their business knowing everything on day 1.
So you have to be willing to learn new things, try new things, get out of your comfort zone because that is essential as part of your entrepreneurial experience.
While some people advise you to improve your weaknesses, I’d strongly recommend otherwise, at first. Spend more time maximizing on the things you consider as your strengths and lesser time on weaknesses. Become an expert instead.
As a business, its focus should be more on making sales. You can’t possibly work on sales, your strengths and weaknesses at the same time, you’re never gonna work it out – trust me. It’s a lot of burden and stressful too.
What I’d recommend is to focus on sales and your strengths (because you can never stop learning), then outsource your weaknesses. If you don’t have the financial resources to outsource, hire part-timers to work specifically on those weaknesses. It gives you focus and enough time to work on other important tasks. When time permits, you can start working on those weaknesses – strictly when you have free time only, please.
It’s still much better to become an expert on a single topic than an all-rounder who is an expert of none.
Am I Capable of Facing the Difficulties and Risks Failure?
Knowing your business is one thing, and your willingness to face the uncharted waters and possibility of failure are other things to consider too.
No matter how well planned your business is, problems will always get in your way. If these problems are not dealt with, the potential of a failure is likely. Are you up for the task? Are you willing to face the consequences of failure which could end up causing you to go bankrupt? It may sound extreme, but this is the reality of entrepreneurship.
In exchange of not having anyone bosses you around, you lose security. How do you overcome this all comes down to how you manage the problems. Get the proper product with good sales tools and a great team to support.
Do I Know When To Persevere or Surrender?
At the end of the day, every entrepreneur needs to take into consideration the possibility of failure.
You’ve tried it all. You’ve done everything accordingly to what your research has told you. Even your personal bank account starts draining out. Yet, the result always comes short. At that moment, you are just holding on to your business which barely produces any profit.
What do you do? Should you stay put and let things work out? Even if your personal cash is running low just to keep your business alive?
Or do you bail out? If you do, when do you know when to leave?
Get these questions answered before you embark on the journey. Some may feel this will trigger the negative mindset – a pessimist. My argument is better safe than sorry. Besides, if you’ve read my articles, I’m not one known as a pessimist but in this particular case, I’m willing to compromise. Think about it.
It is wise to ‘always plan for the worse’. Therefore, always plan when to exit before it is too late. Plan to share your financial statements with friends with financial background in case things go ‘south’. They can advise you on which budget to cut and to keep. In worse situation, they can advise when to call it quit. Getting several opinions will not hurt too. Plan this ahead so you’ll immediately know what to do then.
Sacrifice. Sacrifice. Sacrifice.
What I’ve learned from my startup experience was that entrepreneurship journey requires a huge chunk of sacrifices in your personal daily lives. Running a successful business requires long-term commitment. This mainly requires sacrificing your short term commitments.
Your priorities will need to change. For example, you may need to spend less time with your family and friends in favor of operating your business. If you often go on vacations, you have to cut it down in order to build up your business.
Having said that, it is not necessary that you give up on everything. You still need to have some leisure time to work on the stress. Just be sure to prioritize on building your business and start spending less time on the things that are not going to help you achieve your long-term objectives.
Final Two Cent…
What is there to know about running your business? Do you understand the market? Can you access the distribution channels? What is your long term strategic goals? These are the fundamental questions in business world.
What aspiring entrepreneurs must also realize is the strength in personality it requires in order to succeed in entrepreneurship. Many business owners fail to realize that with no authority to guide you, greater responsibility and sacrifice become necessary in startups. Answer these questions, be honest. Work on it if you feel you lack some of the characteristics. And when you are ready to jump on the wagon, be clear about the consequences of failing. It definitely helps to drive you.