Starting A Business The 4 Things That Can Trip You Up

1. Going Too Fast. This is a problem that I experienced during the process of learning how to develop a good business system. Instead of hiring a professional coach or mentor (for financial reasons at the time was my reasoning) I made some very costly mistakes (which could have paid for my coach 10x’s over). Going to fast and putting the cart before the horse, is something that I did. I was “Johnny on the spot” and I just went with it; meanwhile overlooking some vital and very critical technicalities on how to build a successful business. I never would have built the business the way I did if I knew my purpose, I built myself a “JOB”. A business system is not the same as a self-employed business owner, which is what I was. These systems are totally different and require much more than one may think, at least I didn’t understand it was so complex. I was a poor man going to the bank demanding my millions of dollars when I didn’t even have a bank account, I mean come on!

2. Still Wearing A Mask. If you have no idea who you really are (The Greatest Obstacle) but you know your idea can make you a lot of money fast; I must warn you, this is a sure recipe for failure if you jump in head first without education. In order to be really successful and totally fulfilled we must know the answer to this question; Who am I? It is through the discovery of your identity, abilities, and unlocking your potential that makes a system easy to implement. You will have discovered who you are by unlocking your destiny and you will know what makes you smile and what doesn’t. Cash in the bank doesn’t mean anything if you can’t keep it in there and make it work for you. When we fail to understand our identity we don’t understand our purpose and without than we don’t have the right plan.

3. Poor Mindset. This is the number one cause of failure even if the system is bullet proof. You can have a lot of money and still be poor. If you are stuck as a slave to money and you fail to understand how to have money work for you, then you are poor and a slave to working for money. Our belief and knowledge about finances will make this determination for us without us even knowing it. I was poor for a long time until I realized the true definition of what it means to be wealthy. The paper money sitting in a bank does not make you wealthy it is your internal bank balance that separates the rich from the poor. At the end of the day it’s not a race to see who can make money by working hard for it but who can learn to use it as a tool and have it work for them.

4. Not Knowing The Rules To The Game. I must tell you that life is a game and we must know how to play it. If we don’t know how to play then we will be stuck riding a systems bicycle propelled by our own self effort. No one would choose to ride a bike 3,000 miles if you can catch a plane and be there in five hours. It is the not knowing the rules because of the lack of education, that makes us slaves to systems. We remain in these systems of slavery until we decide that we have had enough, and are totally fed up and are ready to claim our freedom. There is no question, we must learn how to play the game that the top 1% play. It will be through understanding the game that the 99% can start to rise above poor mindsets and become truly wealthy.

 

Ready, Willing and Able. Are You Ready to Become Your Own Boss

You have been dreaming about it for some time now. You talk about it with your friends and family, you are certain you have a great idea, and you may even have an elaborate business plan. Someday soon, you will be your own boss. Yet there always seems to be something that keeps you stuck as a “wantreprenuer”, and no closer to realizing your vision of becoming an entrepreneur.

What’s holding you back? Is it lack of confidence, fear of failure, a shortage of cash, or a combination of obstacles? All of these challenges, and more, are what keep some people on the sidelines while so many others charge ahead and launch their own business. Some of these challenges are perceived, and others are undeniably real. The question is, when and how do you know if you are prepared to become your own boss?

In my experience, it can be summarized by assessing if you are ready, willing and able. You have to be mentally and emotionally ready, you must be willing to sacrifice the time and effort required, and you must be able to afford the investment of time, money and energy.

By honestly assessing what is holding you back, you can begin to make real progress and get started on your journey to realizing your dreams.

Are you mentally and emotionally READY?

For most people, the fear of personal failure is often the biggest obstacle. Are you afraid of the embarrassment of personal failure – having to tell those you care about that you failed – or is it the fear of financial failure (i.e. you’ve taken a second mortgage on your house, borrowed against your 401(k) or used all of your savings)? There is a significant difference between these two types of fear. The former is mostly perceived and self-imposed, and the latter is a harsh realization of the potential impact of failure on your personal and family finances.

If your business idea requires you to risk everything you have financially, and failure would put you and your family in a precarious position, then it’s fair to say that you are likely not ready. You either need to adjust your business idea, or wait until you are in a more stable position financially.

How do you view failure? Is it something to be avoided at all costs, or something you can learn from? Once you have identified your financial exposure, the fear you must face and conquer is of the personal and perceived variety. You must overcome the fear of embarrassment. More debilitating than embarrassment, however, may be the lack of confidence in your ability to succeed. The story you tell yourself is probably one written for you by others who also remain permanently on the sidelines. The story you write for yourself is about having confidence in your abilities. Courage is not the absence of fear, but experiencing fear and moving forward anyway. Successful entrepreneurs harness that fear to fuel their intensity and desire.

To help you assess if you are ready, ask yourself these questions:

  • How do you view risk, and what type of risk (reputation or financial) are you really concerned with?
  • Do you have a solid plan to succeed, but are prepared to fail?
  • If the business fails, will that put you and your family in a dire financial position?
  • Are you ready to face and overcome your fears and get started?
  • Do you have confidence in your abilities (and of your partners and your team) to succeed?

Are you WILLING to put in the time and effort?

What are you willing to sacrifice for the sake of your business success? Are you willing to give up hobbies, free time, family time and hanging out with friends? Your success in business, as with many things in life, is directly proportionate to your discipline and sacrifice. Business success is typically a long-term journey, filled with setbacks, demanding consistency and dedication.

There are few “overnight successes” in the business world. It may seem that way, as we are constantly exposed to glamorized examples of huge and seemingly immediate success. Indeed, there are certainly plenty of instant success stories. The reality for most small business owners, however, is that it takes time to build a profitable venture. More often than not, a successful entrepreneur’s journey is marked by overcoming challenges along the way.

As a business owner, you will likely work harder than you have ever worked before. Once you cross over into the world of entrepreneurship, you assume the ultimate responsibility for everything. There will be times when the work to be done seems endless. To get through it all will require your maximum possible effort.

Here are some additional questions to help you assess your willingness to start your own business:

  • Are you willing to work harder than you ever have?
  • Are you willing to be challenged constantly and always be learning new things?
  • Do you have a passion for your business idea?
  • Are you ready to delay gratification, or are you searching for immediate results?
  • Are you desperately looking for a get-rich-quick scheme or are your willing to build your business over time?
  • Are you prepared for the impact on yourself and your family?

Are you ABLE to afford the investment of time, money and energy?

Starting and managing a business requires a significant investment of time, money and energy. As I mentioned above, you must be able to sacrifice the time you currently spend on other activities and interests. You will need to be prepared to dedicate most of your time to your business. While you can definitely start out small, there will likely also be a personal financial investment. Of course, to top it all off, you must be able to physically and emotionally handle the challenges and stresses of being your own boss.

Time is our most precious resource. Managing and allocating your time will be critical to your success. You may have to keep your current job while you build your business on the side. If you have a family, then you definitely have responsibilities you must continue to make time for. You must consider everything that requires your attention currently, and then honestly assess what you are willing and able to sacrifice. In my personal experience, starting a new business requires considerably more time than you might expect or plan for.

A lack of capital is perhaps the most common reason people site for not starting their own business. As you develop your business plan, and in particular your financial projections, it’s critical that you calculate the financial investment requirement as accurately as possible – and add an additional contingency amount. The most common reason small businesses fail is they run out of cash.

You must be ready to invest your own money, and also need to be ready and able to guarantee any amount you borrow. If you don’t have the financial wherewithal now, then perhaps scaling or delaying your plans may be the best approach. Adjusting your idea may mean starting out smaller than you initially envisioned, and then growing methodically through bootstrapping (reinvesting your profits). It may also mean keeping your day job until you can move into business ownership fulltime. It often also means adjusting your spending habits and reducing your debt.

It requires boundless energy to start and build a business. The initial excitement will provide you with a tremendous boost, but the long-haul business building journey will require significant energy and stamina. Your personal health will largely dictate your ability to persevere.

Assess your ability to build a business by asking yourself these questions:

  • Are your personal finances in order and are you credit worthy?
  • Do you have savings and assets to invest or pledge as collateral?
  • What’s your worst case financial scenario if the business fails?
  • How will you recover financially if your business fails?
  • Do you have the support of your family, and should you do it anyway if you don’t?
  • Do you have the energy and health to endure the long and arduous process of starting and growing a business?

An honest and mindful assessment is the key to determining if you are ready, willing and able to start your own business. If your timing is not quite right, then you can immediately start identifying and addressing those areas which are holding your back. Develop a plan of attack for addressing your shortcomings, and prepare yourself properly for your journey into entrepreneurship. Delaying your start does not mean that you are giving up on your dreams. It means that you are diligently working on the foundational components that will put you in the best position possible to realize your success. Starting and running a business is hard work, but the rewards can be tremendous. If you still think business ownership is for you, then start charging ahead today and begin your exciting entrepreneurial journey.

How Well Do You Treat Your Business Ideas

How Well Do You Treat Your Business IdeasDo you do give your business ideas a chance to flourish? Or do you easily surrender to negative influences?

Before discarding an idea, you need to remember that every business, every manufactured article, every thriving service began as an idea, as author Richard Bauman notes. So when you have an idea for doing something in a more efficient, economical, or quicker manner, and want to market it, don’t let others dishearten you. Before giving up, make sure you have conducted proper research which has convinced you that it is not going to work.

Your Sales Pitch

Every idea which entails changing standard practices, launching a brand new product or offering a new service requires funding; in other words, you will have to sell it to others. So you’d better be prepared for your sales pitch. This means doing your research meticulously. You need to predict questions and doubts and be ready to argue with facts, not viewpoints. So it is important to be adequately prepared to discuss not only what you intend to do, but also the reason why your idea is preferable to what is now available or standard practice. It also important to remember that the presentation of charts, pictures, statistics and working models can be convincing.

If your idea is rejected, you can present it elsewhere- it may take some time before you meet the people who will be receptive to it. Some of your ideas won’t be sensible and will justifiably be rejected. But others will be extraordinary and deserve to be tried out. At any rate, don’t be influenced by those who will easily dismiss it. There are many examples of people who faced the rejection of brilliant ideas, including inventors such as Thomas Edison, and writers such as J.K. Rowling.

Why Your Brilliant Idea is Turned Down

Your idea may be turned down not because the person to whom it is presented is not clever enough; they just may feel comfortable with the way things are and be afraid of change. So they prefer to be blind to the potential of your idea; they shield themselves from disruption, because it challenges their familiar world, the privileges and comfort already enjoyed in it. They fail to acknowledge that their world too can benefit from your brilliant idea.

As a woman entrepreneur, you may also face some additional reservations about your business ideas. So it is helpful to seek and leverage the power of a like-minded community having similar issues: Several women are still having trouble securing funding for their startups – including celebrities who have decided to begin a new venture. You may need to build this community from scratch – but it will be a rewarding endeavour.

The Hidden Costs: 5 Key Considerations When Starting a Business

So, you want to start a business and are wondering where to begin and what it will cost… most would advise that you start with putting together a business plan, and I don’t contest that… you should, but it’s essential that you’re aware that most business plans, including all the research and financials that they include, do not give you an overall picture of what your start-up costs will be. This article gives an overview of the ways to determine, realistically, what the costs involved in setting up a business will be.

A solid plan? Probably not! A well-formed, flexibly applied plan? Absolutely!

It’s true that the usual manner in which businesses start up, is through an opportunity being identified, determining the ways in which this opportunity can be milked for all it’s worth, (carefully explained in the business plan), and figuring out how much capital is required in order to build the business as outlined in the above-mentioned business plan.

Whilst this is ‘the usual’ and can often work, there is one flaw with this model… It is all developed on the premise that the business will work out right, and as planned, the first time! The reality, is that it is exceptionally rare that everything goes exactly to plan, and most often, even if it does, it’s not first time around.

Often, between the time that a business plan is written, and the time comes to implement, it’s hardly worth the paper it’s written on. Harsh, but true.

In order to more accurately, and relevantly determine your start-up costs, it is essential that you reflectively review assumptions held within the business plan, and be prepared to adapt toward a more flexible approach. Now by no means am I advocating that you don’t need a business plan… I think they are immensely helpful for allowing us to consider as many of the elements required in starting and growing a business as possible… but the plan is only as good as the action you take, and to get the greatest return on action, having plans that are relevant and based on the most current context is key.

Part of your plan should always be to revise the plan… You may have to change things repeatedly as you learn more, determine the impact of what you’ve learned in your business, and then add it to the plan accordingly.

Consider Scaling Down and Pilots

I know what it’s like… you have a fantastic business idea, you see the potential, you see how great it can be, and you want to put in all you can to make that vision a reality. While this is the only way to go for some business concepts which are pretty much, ‘Go Big, or Go Home,’ this isn’t always the case.

Where it’s possible, consider the option of scaling down, and testing the concept. This will allow for you to start up, while saving money, learning from the pilot and being able to action changes, and raise more funds based on proof of concept. This approach not only reduces start-up costs but provides valuable insight around the business, in real terms. It may not generate much profit, but it will offer a wealth of verified information that will help you to determine the next steps… If you decide to proceed with expansion, it is a great basis for second stage funding.

Consider Realistic Timelines and Pricing

Part of calculating your start-up costs will involve figuring out your initial cash flow. Without having actually operated the business this can be tricky. It’s also not uncommon to fall into the trap of under-pricing products and services in order to stand a better chance of competing, and to ‘tempt’ in more business. Be aware that you don’t necessarily need to do this. If you do, raising prices to the market standard could become difficult at a later stage, and you’ll have to do a lot more work in order to break even. My advice- recognise your worth, and price it accordingly.

Consider a Realistic Time-frame for Starting-up

Time is always potential money, and when you’re starting in business, this is true even more. If you’re going to have fixed costs like property leases, if improvements or modifications are required prior to opening this impacts on both time, and money (quite directly). These additional costs add to your start-up costs, but also add to the time before you can start earning. Don’t fall into the trap of under-estimating when you’ll be ready to trade, and build in a good time cushion before you ‘need’ to see funds coming in from business activities. Failure to do so could result in a significant amount of stress, and in some instances, can even result in a business shutting down before it’s even had the chance to take off, simply because there wasn’t enough time allowed to give it a chance to get going.

Consider the Cost of Money

Many entrepreneurs who have a great idea that they believe strongly in, will make the decision to finance the business themselves. At times, this can be at great personal cost, using the credit on credit cards or loans, and tapping into equity from homes etc. While for some smaller ventures the impact may be negligible, for larger ventures, self-financing should be considered exceptionally carefully before committing to this option. If funds are in abundance and potential delays, changes, etc. will have little impact and will be offset by the return, however long it may take… then go for it! If this is not the case, and any delays and progress are not going to plan will cause a great deal of personal and financial strain that could jeopardise business success anyway, then definitely consider other options.

To Conclude…

As you can tell, starting a business does not begin and end with a business plan, but goes beyond that to wider considerations. This article lists some of these.