When you finally get the nerve to start your business, you want to be sure everything will work out in the best way.
Only five percent of those who want to start a business are able to make their dream come true.
Do you give up right after launching if your product isn’t a complete success?
Do you bail out if you lose money from month to month or stick with it, hoping that your idea will bring you millions one day?
If you’re asking yourself these questions, it means that you’re at the beginning of the long road to success, right where I was a year ago.
If you’re aware of these seven things I learned after the beginning of my business launch, you can turn your startup dream into a reality and resist the urge to give up in few months in.
1. Realize Even a Great Idea Isn’t Enough
The crucial problem with the vast majority of young entrepreneurs is that they start to think about their business in a wrong way. When I was starting a business, I was sure my idea would bring me a billion …
“Well yeah. The idea is half of success, isn’t it?”
I thought wrong.
An idea is not a business or even a startup. It has to be raised and nurtured to stand the test of time to become the business of your dreams.
2. Start Your Selling Small
Will your product be popular? The best way to figure that out is to try to sell your idea first. You don’t have to have a prototype to rouse prospects’ interest in your product.
Pitching and selling ideas helps to develop strong selling skills that will boost your sales in each step of the product launch: from idea to beta to final product. In addition, while selling an idea and prototype, you may gather important feedback and improvement suggestions that can help your project avoid disaster.
3. Become a Project Management Guru
When you are starting a business, one of the main goals is to plan your activities and accelerate decision-making processes. Use all the available project management tools, from Gantt charts to time trackers. Fortunately, there’s a wide range of project management apps on the web.
Here are some tools I found easy to use and really helpful for those who are going to run their first business:
- ThoughtPlan — This app helps you summarize your thoughts and make a list of activities and ideas.
- Ganttpro.com — A fairly new free web-based application that’s intuitive, simple and incredibly helpful for scheduling your projects and activities and tracking your progress.
- Kindlingapp.com — When starting a project, it’s better to avoid any oral discussions; ideas can get lost for good. Communication with team members with this app helped me recall all the ideas and improvement suggestions each time I need it.
- Startup Growth Calculator — How your business performs depends on loads of factors, and you have to be ready that your ideas of how it will perform are often far away from reality. That being said, it’s pretty advantageous to keep an idea on your project’s key financials, and this app does just that.
4. Invest All Profit Back in the Business
Understand that in most businesses you probably won’t reach a break-even point in a month or two or even a year. Arm yourself with patience here!
Once I worked with an iron lady who ran a small pastry shop. I left her after six months of work — young and brash, I thought she would never succeed. But step by step, she invested every earned dollar back into her business and turned her small pastry shop into the most famous patisserie in the city.
5. Trust Your Team Like Yourself
I know what you’re thinking:
- The only person who knows how to run a business is you.
- The only person who is responsible for your profit and expenses is you.
- It is difficult to trust anyone.
But despite those thoughts, you have to build a strong team of dedicated people who will be as interested in the project’s success as you are. Once you start your business, you have to be in 20 places at one time.
The best decision isn’t to try to manage everything by yourself, decreasing your motivation and productivity, but to delegate some tasks to your team members and focus on the business itself. Remember that your team is the greatest force you have!
6. You Will Not Have Down Time
Just accept it and start planning your every step (hello, project management tools!) to improve your situation. As soon as you become a guru of planning you will be able to buy yourself a little time to relax at the bar with your friends in the evening, sharing your achievements and progress.
7. Don’t be Afraid to Dream
Keep your dreams alive! They are the greatest motivation to moving forward. Although you may seem idealistic at times, that is one of the greatest qualities an entrepreneur can have. So keep a dream journal, think big and hire pragmatists.
Starting a new business can be daunting and distressing at times. Knowing these seven things can encourage you to keep moving forward with a well-structured plan.
What tools do you think help new entrepreneurs?