Starting your own business is an exciting and overwhelming experience. You need to prepare your finances, legal paperwork, hire a team and find a fantastic business idea. The stress of starting a business can dissuade many entrepreneurs from going through with it. Sometimes the risk of putting your career, reputation and finances on the line is too much. You can do everything by the book and still be met with some challenges.
Here are a few things people don’t tell you when starting a business.
1. Be prepared to fail
You can’t make progress without failing a few times. There will be some bumps in the road, but it’s important to stick it out and not give up. There will be quiet days, surprise expenses and few deals that fall through. You need to accept these failures and learn from them. Identify what went wrong and how you can avoid that hurdle next time.
2. Sort out the legal stuff
Do not forget about the legal requirements of starting a business. You need to decide what type of business you are, and register with HMRC. You should also consider small business insurance, which covers public and employer’s liability insurance.
3. Not everyone is going to like your business
You may have fallen in love with your business idea. However, there will be people that criticise it and ruin your perfect business bubble. It’s important to acknowledge any constructive and useful criticism to improve your business. Try to ignore blatant rudeness and unhelpful criticism – especially when it’s online.
Many people don’t start businesses because they are afraid of rejection, criticism and failure. Once you overcome this fear, you have the power to learn from criticism and use it to your advantage. It takes time and persistence.
4. Your first business plan will not be your last
You might have spent months writing a business plan only to find you can’t use any of it. Perhaps the market has changed from a macroeconomic change, like a global pandemic, or your financial backing has fallen through. Be prepared to adapt and change your business plan as you run the business. Your goals will grow with you, and your mission for the business might change altogether. Stay flexible and embrace these opportunities for growth.
5. Focus on the profits
A high number of sales does not always equate to a high profit. The profitability of your business is determined by what’s left after you have sold the product. You need to consider the materials used, labour costs, overhead and marketing fees. You might need to initially spend less money on the product to improve your profit and thus business success.
Running a business is far from straightforward, but you can do it with persistence, funding, and some preparation.