Entrepreneurial oriented people, like you and me, have the idea of starting a small business at various stages of their life.
Some think of starting their business very early, after their educational training is completed or even before. Some think of starting a small business because they are facing unpleasant or unhappy situations in their workplaces. In this case, they see more entrepreneurship as a revenge on their boss or their colleagues. There are also others who see a small business as a way to create their own work, often more flexible, after a redundancy, maternity or health issues.
Regardless of the reasons behind your decision to become an entrepreneur, you need to answer a critical question: What to know about yourself, what qualities do you need to be successful in the business adventure?
In my case, I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur, without knowing why this fascinated me. I think that maybe because of the freedom that my mind associated with entrepreneurship.
3 Myths about being a small business owner
Toying with the entrepreneurial idea is one thing, but you have to be aware of certain myths associated with the ownership of a small business.
1. Running a business is easy, when you are an expert in your field. Many small business owners, who are very good technicians, think that a business will give them the chance to excel with the technical stuff, without having a boss behind. Nevertheless, they ignore the difficulty and the extent of the administrative part related to a business. They are also too stuck in the operational part and don’t see the global picture of their business. Starting their business might appear to be an easier option to many who are desperate to get out of a situation or get rid of their boss, but this is not the solution.
2. Some people with no or little entrepreneurial exposure think that running a business automatically brings a lot of money. They start with big ambitions and plan to hire employees and to buy cars. A few people do actually make a lot of money by running a small business. You need to grow your business first, and the money will follow. On the other hand, there are many people who lose a lot of money due to lack of proper research and business planning.
3. Another myth is that you are the Boss, so you can work and take your holidays when you want. Do you fancy about owning a restaurant, because you like cooking, but are you willing to work on weekends? If the answer is yes, forget about it, because you will certainly fail as a boss. Being your own boss involves a lot of responsibility and your presence and attention are required most of the time.
What to consider before starting a business?
Before starting your company, it is absolutely important that you do a self-assessment to find out whether this is really your way and you possess the main qualities and capabilities that are necessary to operate a successful small business.
1. You are self-motivated and dedicated. I see and hear every day many employees, who think that the entrepreneurial way will bring them straight to the success and wealth they have always hoped for. This is far from true! For example, even when you engage the formalities to create your company, you start to realize how difficult it is to fight the administrative burden. I could bet that all the small business owners had wished, at least once in their life, to get the benefits of a stable and secure job. When you inevitably face difficulties, you have to keep your motivation and move ahead toward your goals.
2. You can work on your own most of the time. Even if you need a network to grow your business, you often have to work alone, especially at the beginning. In your job, you are often used to be part of a team and to dig into the knowledge database of your employer to accomplish your tasks. As a small entrepreneur, you become more isolated. You need time to focus on your business and think your strategy.
3. You possess an outgoing personality and have the ability to establish good contacts with other people. As mentioned in the previous point, having a powerful network has a major impact on your business growth. All along the journey you need to deal with different stakeholders: customers, employees, investors, partners etc. Also, the contacts in the business world can help you with advice and promote your small business.
4. You are able to work under pressure. At the beginning, you will need to work mainly by yourself, before being able to hire people. Regardless the number of employees that you have, as a small business owner, you will always be responsible towards your clients. Delivering what you promised is the key to survival and success of your business.
5. You should preferably have some knowledge about your business. It is good to understand the technical aspects of your business. But if you are too technical, you may get focused only on your work and neglect the entrepreneurial vision and the managerial side, which are inherent to a successful business. Nevertheless, you need to assess your knowledge and skills, be willing to improve yourself and to bring in your team the experts that you need.
6. You can get a good support from your family and friends. As mentioned above, an entrepreneurial life means also moments of isolation and time dedicated to hard work. From the beginning, make sure that your close family and friends will accept to share you with your business.
7. You have the means to start and develop your small business and sustain yourself and your family during the early months. You should be aware that, at the beginning, you will have to put a lot of time and energy in your business, before you start to see the financial results. Ideally, you should progress as much as possible and get your first clients while you still have your day job. Therefore, when you leave your employer, you know at least that your business idea is feasible and can bring your money to support yourself in the near future.
Success doesn’t come overnight!
The entrepreneurial journey is often spread with discouragement and failures during the early months and even years, but the rewards are great. The ability to withstand all these pressures, overcome challenges and stay motivated is necessary to succeed in a small business venture.
This is why the successful small business owner is a hero in his own way.