4 roadblocks to starting your own business and how to break through it
Doubt is the entrepreneur’s worst enemy. The funny thing is, everyone who’s ever put up a business starts off feeling this way. Negative thoughts act as roadblocks that affect people in different ways. Some use these as jump-off points to aim high and work harder, others as an excuse to quit. If you find yourself thinking this way, use these tips to stay on track and start your new business.
‘All the good ideas are taken’
Google was not the first search engine, and Facebook wasn’t the first social network. Does that make them any less successful? Absolutely not. Business isn’t a race—the first one to come up with an idea doesn’t necessarily make them best.
Instead of looking for something that’s never been done before, shift your focus on what you’re passionate about. The challenge here is turning your hobby into something people will want to pay for. What value are you offering? Finding a niche is all about identifying a problem and providing a solution that is unique to you. This is how you can successfully make a ‘common’ business idea your own.
‘I don’t have enough money’
Working out the maths from the get-go can be overwhelming, but it is extremely necessary. What most entrepreneurs fail at is distinguishing between what you think you need versus what you actually need.
- Office space: Can you do without renting a separate work space? Reconsider working from a spare bedroom, your garage, or even the kitchen table. Several cloud-based and virtual office services make it possible to run a professional business without putting down a huge deposit in a fully serviced office.
- Product development: How much do you need to bring your concept from idea to reality? Consider buying wholesale, looking for alternative sources, or better yet—creating partnerships that reduce your cost of production. Think about how much your product should cost to make your operations sustainable.
- Marketing: What channels can you use to increase awareness of your brand? There are several free social media and email marketing tools that you can use to tap your market and market your products and services. You can choose to create your own website, or use a third-party site to reach customers.
- Living expenses: How can you focus on your business when you’re worrying about bills and where your next meal will come from? Figure out how much you need to cover your living and transportation costs during the startup stage. Keep in mind that it can take up to a year before a business can start earning money. It may be a good idea to wait longer before quitting your day job and letting go of your side-gigs.
‘I can’t do it on my own’
Yes—and you shouldn’t. Successful entrepreneurs know how to acknowledge their limitations and willingly delegate. Go ahead and enlist the help of an accountant and a lawyer while setting up your business to make sure your hard work doesn’t go to waste.
If you need the help, but don’t have enough to hire staff yet, consider outsourcing part of your operations. Hiring virtual assistants, freelancers, or live answering services cost significantly less than a full-time employee. At the same time, you’re getting quality and professional services that will boost your business.