I done the right amount of research?
excitement of starting a new business
can cause small business entrepreneurs
to be too hasty. Often driven by the mistaken
belief that some imaginary boat will be
missed if the business isn't started NOW,
this haste can result in the cutting of
corners, particularly in the area of research.
- whether into potential markets, the
activities of competitors, the mechanics
of the business, financial projections
or methods of marketing - is essential
when completing a realistic and comprehensive
a contrary note, too much research can
signal and fuel procrastination. Many
prospective business owners remain just
that - prospective - rendered motionless
under the weight and anxieties caused
by research excess.
do you find the happy medium? Draft a
research plan by listing the headings
that you feel need attention. Then discuss
this with 2 or 3 business friends or associates
and gather their opinions (and no, not
the ones who you know will agree with
everything you say!).
I been realistic about the pitfalls?
any book about entrepreneurs and you'll
find the word 'risk' somewhere near the
beginning. Every new business has an element
of risk, often it's risk that precedes
revolution and it's revolution that can
bring huge success.
there's a distinction between risk and
irresponsibility. In a nutshell, risk
is not usually terminal. Sure the business
itself might fail, but the possibility
of loss will have been foreseen and personal
disaster will generally have been avoided.
Irresponsibility on the other hand generally
indicates that pitfalls have been blatantly
risks takers don't pull it off, it's onto
the next. When the irresponsible fail,
it's lose everything and head back to
classic scenario is the entrepreneur fired-up
with the most unique, groundbreaking business
idea ever. "It's what the World has
been waiting for?' we hear, "no-one
has ever done it like this!" Er,
groundbreaking ideas are fabulous, alas
they seldom translate into successful
businesses. Far better to do what others
have done, learn from their lessons and
do it better.
I cut out to working on my own?
for yourself sounds like bliss and to
many it is. To others, however, it's lonely,
isolating and downright destructive.
starting out on your own, take a good
look at your strengths and weaknesses.
Ask yourself these questions as a starter:
In what way may my behaviours sabotage
· Am I a good problem solver?
· Will I interact with enough
people during the week?
· How will I delineate between
work and play?
I handle administrative tasks AND develop
did I get here?' is a far too common complaint
of the small business entrepreneur. Just
a few months into the business and the
optimism of the pre-launch period has
been replaced with mountains of paperwork
and endless action lists. At this point,
days go by where little is achieved other
than a run to the Post Office or a drop
off to the bank.
can be due to insufficient thought being
given to the mechanics of the business,
insufficient notice taken of early signals
or (most commonly) a lack of formulating
Gerber's book, The E-Myth, is a great
introduction to this topic and followed
closely, can be a good support through
is the part of starting out on your own
that few people envisage. Don't let it
defeat you. Conquer this effectively and
you'll be back in control with a business
that's better equipped. If you need external
help, consider retaining a coach for a
I have sufficient financial reserves?
start-ups are under funded. There's simply
insufficient reserve to survive the development
period. Here we see the new owner opting
for the "she'll be right" seat
of the pants approach to business - not
a sensible strategy.
course occasionally we hear of an under-capitalised
business that launches and succeeds effortlessly.
But ever wondered why it's so newsworthy?
trying to promote, market and network
your business when you're anxious about
whether you'll meet the next rent payment.
Not only is it very personally draining,
it becomes very apparent to others that
you're in difficulty.
a harsh reality, but few want to give
custom to a business that appears to be
failing. Make sure you have the funds
to ride out the storm.
conclusion, much is spoken of the high
percentage of small businesses that fail.
Don't let yours become a statistic. Do
your preparation and get ready for the
best journey of your life!