Running a business properly starts before you ever open your doors. Knowing the anxieties of starting a business and how to confront them can help you get the confidence you need to find success and not be one of those famous “9 in 10” business who fail. Here’s a few of the most common reasons would-be entrepreneurs fail to launch:
A lot of people refrain from starting a business because they “have no money.” While this is a reasonable concern, there are a lot of options when it comes to funding a business that don’t involve you having buckets of cash lying around.
Small Business Loans
These typically come from a bank and will depend on your personal credit among other factors. Taking out a personal loan is an aggressive maneuver is it involves greater risk. Not only will you have to make all of your investment back, you’ll need enough to payback interest. The upside of course, is that you’ll have a solid starting budget that can help you with launch your business with a proper ad budget.
Venture Capital firms are investment groups that specialize in growing startups. In exchange for money they will take a percentage of your company. There is less risk than personal loans since you aren’t using your own money. But unlike a SMB loan, you cannot pay off your debt—so long as you’re open, you will always owe a percentage to your investors. You also lose a little bit of ownership and freedom when it comes to decision making. On the flip side, you gain access to business expertise and services through the firms’ connections and investments.
Many would-be entrepreneurs shy away from launching a business because they feel like their expertise is lacking. The reality is that there has never been more information available to entrepreneurs than there is today. Websites like Khan Academy and Coursera provide lessons on just about any skill imaginable.
Okay, so you’ve got a great idea but you have no clue how you’re going to produce your product. That’s where manufacturing comes in. Here are three ways you can go about converting your ideas into products.
If you are skilled in your product field and low on funds, you might consider developing your own product. This will likely be the most time consuming but also the most fulfilling. At first glance this seems like the most obvious route to save money and give you the most control over design aspects—but lack of expertise could cost you loads of money and valuable time.
Industrial Design Firms:
Perhaps the most robust option, industrial design firms specialize in developing products from nothing. Their quality and consistency is often easier to judge as they are usually in the business for the long haul and finding reviews isn’t difficult. Despite these things, Industrial Design firms will likely be the costliest. But the price tag comes with a lot of benefits—hiring an industrial design firm is like hiring an entire team to have your back. Engineers, artists, programmers—industrial design firms are a package deal. And unlike many freelancers who often have 1, 2 or even 3 jobs—their entire livelihood depends on the quality of their work.
So maybe you’ve got the entrepreneurial bug but you just don’t know where to start. Try taking a look at a successful business and improving upon it—this is known as the “skyscraper method.” If this doesn’t appeal to you, try getting in touch with consumers or business owners in your desired niche. Ask them what they like and don’t like about certain services and products. As an entrepreneur it’s your job to find points of pain and fix them.
For the entrepreneur who has a 9-5 and not able to fully commit, or to the stay at home parent who has to watch the kids and wants to help provide an income—time is without a doubt the hardest commodity to come by. There is no bank, or VC fund who can provide you with it…or is there?
The reality is, that with money you can buy time—it’s called hiring. Now maybe you don’t have the money to pay for a full time employee, and that’s okay—there are several ways to get around this such as hiring an intern or outsourcing your work to freelancers and subscription services.
The entrepreneur route is not for everyone. It requires hard work and long hours. But you maximize those long hours and make your workload more bearable by addressing your small business anxieties before they even begin.
Austin Miller is Head of Content Marketing at the online bookkeeping service Bookly. When he’s not busy making entrepreneurs’ lives easier, he’s writing about all things pop culture at Pop Ramen News.