Let me start off by saying…congrats! If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve thought about starting your own business. We need more people creating new things, motivated by hard work, and helping the economy. As we all know, there’s a lot that goes into starting your own business. Like anything, there’s going to be things that you’ll only learn by getting your feet wet. However, what if you could get an inside glimpse? We’ve compiled a list of the top things entrepreneurs wish someone told them before they started.
JUST NOD AND SMILE
Everyone has unsolicited advice these days. You’d be surprised at how many friends and family members think they can run your business better than you can. People will come out of the woodwork with what they believe to be great advice. It’ll be in your nature to defend yourself and your business. The best way to deal with these types of issues is to simply smile and nod. Respect their opinions, but believe in your ideas, your abilities, your will, and your perseverance. You don’t owe anyone any explanation as to why you chose to run your business a certain way.
DON’T FOLLOW THE STIGMA
Partnerships have the reputation of being complicated. Most business owners say they would prefer building their empire alone. The truth is, yes, partnerships take work, but not much is said about how rewarding having a partner can be. If you really are going after a game-changing concept or something big, odds are a partnership would be good. Partners help carry the workload and keep the dream alive when times get tough. Moral of the story: don’t ice others out, whether it be a partner or not. In order for your business to flourish, your ability to work and cooperate with others is a key factor. Let people help you and constantly learn from others. It’s okay to not know all the answers – it’s expected! Don’t let your ego get in the way of what’s best for your business. Having someone there to help grow your business is extremely helpful.
ORIGINALITY IS RARE
There are probably a thousand people trying to do what you’re doing who, like you, think they are the first. Coming up with a 100% original idea is extremely rare, especially in an age where idea sharing is easier than ever. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to build new businesses, but increasing competition has altered where our focus is. The best companies are now not often doing something unheard of, but rather offering their product or service in a better manner than before. Take Facebook for example. The idea of Facebook wasn’t as original as you could say MySpace and other earlier social networks were. But Facebook’s user interface and a few extra services it offered were enough to make it one of the strongest companies on the planet. Your business will derive its success from the specifics of the product or the way you cleverly run the company. With enough drive, creativity, and good decision making, creating a successful business in an already existing industry is entirely possible.
WITH MORE LOVE, COMES MORE HATE
You care about your business and customers. The last thing you want is to come across as someone who only wants money and to rip others off. Regardless of how perfect your business is, there will be customers who inexplicably view you on the same level that they do a used car salesman. Many people will see your passion and know that your authenticity can be trusted. However, not everyone will be satisfied with your business and, as a result, see you as a scam artist who is simply trying to reel in some cash. No matter what, people always find a reason to complain and criticize. Differentiating customer criticism and rudeness are key. As long as you’re doing your best to run an honest, high-quality business, there is nothing you can do to make people less likely to be unhappy.
KNOW THE BAD…AND GOOD
Yes, having your own business is tough. You research tips and tricks online and come up with countless warnings and regrets. Sure, there are a lot of annoying things that you have to do and expenses you have to pay, but once those things are under control, being your own boss is truly amazing. Hang in there. Excitement, thrill, and passion all come together in a very rewarding package. In the long run, who cares what a few extra hours are – this is your dream! You are doing what you love and not taking orders from anyone anymore. Knowing the good sides of having your own business is just as important as understanding the bad. Too many articles flood the reader with hesitations and concerns, but take this for example…go for it!
Starting your own business is a journey and can involve dealing with many bumps in the road, but a person who is passionately creative, and willing to put in the work is almost guaranteed to enjoy the crazy ride entrepreneurship has to offer. Don’t give up.