Updated: Oct 19, 2021
Three most important things to consider when starting a business
Starting a new business, especial in these times is not as simple as “if you build it they will come “. With online shopping, same day delivery and the number of business that have started because of being laid off due to covid 19 the challenges are a plenty. I have spoken with several people who decided it was time for them to step out on their own and go into business for themselves., what they did not realize is how hard it would be, to get it off the ground. Here is my best advice for them, or anyone like them. There are three key factors to consider.
The first one is time. Time is the one thing we never get back, and there never enough of it. I never realized when I started down this road exactly how time consuming it would be. Sure, I have done it before, 3 times to be exact, but this last time it was different. I was working a full-time job, had a family and all the responsibilities that came with it. I was not prepared for that. Starting and growing a business consumes a lot of time. There are many sacrifices that come along with the time it takes, especially in the beginning. Family, friends, weekends, the list goes on and on. Like many entrepreneurs, I had the disillusion that as my business grew, and I hired a dedicated and qualified staff the time I spent at the office would decrease. WRONG. When a company grows, has employees and an expanding customer base, the time I spend now is if anything more. Yeah, I may not be doing the same task I did when I started 7 years ago, that is why I hired the employees I have, but the task I do now are different. That is just the way it goes. The bigger the business and the evolution of it the more responsibilities I, as a CEO and business owner have. They just take on a different role. If there is ever a time that I come into my office and have nothing to do, it is a bad, bad sign.
The second key thing to keep in mind is there a need for your product or service. Are you innovating an existing product or service, are you doing it better, are you trying to find a niche within that space and plan on dominating it? There is no new product, no new service, what you must do to compete is to do it better, faster, get better results, provide better customer service, something. Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky, did not get the hall of greatness by just being average, they were all faster, better, spend more time studying, and most importantly increasing their knowledge of their competitors and simply put, doing it better.
The third key to piece of advice I always give is to know what resources you need, and then gather them together. Most of the time we think of money as the key resource. However, there is people, products, equipment, everything that you will need to achieve greatness in the business and industry you are trying to get a piece of. The most valuable resource is your team. Find that group of people that believe in what you are doing, why you are doing it and can share your dream. There is no point in getting the state-of-the-art facility with all the bells and whistles if you have surrounded your self with people that do not care one way or the other if you ever make it to where you want to be. This leads me to the next pint with your human resources. No not the department, I am referring to the ones you surround yourself with. There will be at least two types. The first type are the ones that will stick by your side no matter what, success failure, good times, and not so good times. No matter what they are there. Those are the diamonds in the rough. Then there are the ones who provide nothing but negativity, and in some way strange way they think they are “looking out for you “. Here is an example. I called a “friend of mine to tell them about really exciting news. The conversation went like this
Me “Hey I just got a really cool phone call that’s a huge opportunity for me “
Them “Cool, tell me all about it”
Me “I just got a phone call from a small private college and they want me to completely “redo” their entire admin side of the house, HR, Finances the whole thing “
Them “Are you sure you want to take that one? Are you qualified “that seems like a lot of work “ ( Mind you I have a doctorate degree in administration, so yeah I am qualified )
While I understand the questions and maybe where they are coming from, I took that as a big ol’ slap in the face, and a total lack of support or encouragement. This same person when I told them about me writing a book, said they wanted a copy of it, not just a copy, but a signed copy. They are, to me, an example of the type of people that along this journey have shown exactly ZERO support for what I am doing but want to share in the success, to them I say YEAH NO. there are also those out there that will let you struggle, and then want to piggyback of your success and growth. Let me explain. I have asked friends, that have a different skill set or area of expertise than I do to help with my business, now mind you this was in the early stages, like year one phase, at the time I had 3 clients, was still working a full-time job and my fledgling business was no where near profitability or even make 10k a year, it was still an infant. Fast forward 5 years, the business is steadily growing, I have taken on a couple of international clients, it is providing for me and a few employees. One of my clients wanted me to go their location for a finical audit and to look at their policies and procedures. I call said friend and said “hey I am going to be your neck of the woods next week for this project I have going on. I go on to tell her the exciting news, she then asked me if I need her help! Wait, what, when I was trying to build this thing, and asked you to be a part of it, you declined, yeah that is a big fat no. You could not be in there for the struggling days. It may sound harsh and it probably is but look out for those people. They can be sneaky. We still talk, and offer our advice, and the friendship is still there but I know they would not be good fit for what I am trying to build.
Stick to your guns, stand your ground, and never give up. If you put in the time, take care of your resources, offer a good product or service at a good price, your business will get there, it may take time, but it will get there.