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January 18, 2019

How to Succeed as a Fledgling Entrepreneur

Have you got what you think is a great idea for a business? Would you love to set up and run a company in South Florida, but something is holding you back? For all the people like you that believe they could run a successful business, only a small proportion turn their dreams into a reality. Do you have what it takes to be one of those who lives their dream?

There are a number of reasons why potential business owners fail to get started, but most of them can be resolved if you’re determined enough. In fact, the main requirement for successful entrepreneurship is that determination and drive to succeed that will see you through the bad times and make your business prosper. As long as you have those reserves of strength to call on, you’ll be able to manage any other issues.

Making time for your business

If a lack of time is holding you back, then you need to examine how you’re spending your day and see where you could make some changes. Could you reduce your working hours, or give up work to focus on your project? What sort of childcare arrangements do you have in place, and could you organize your responsibilities more efficiently? You might have to make some sacrifices like giving up a hobby to make time, but this is where that determination comes in; if you want to be an entrepreneur badly enough, you’ll be prepared to make sacrifices.

Financial stability

A major issue for would-be entrepreneurs is the worry about fluctuations in income that could result from launching a business. If all goes well, you could be making considerably more money in a few years than you are now, but how do you manage in the meantime? There are several ways you can improve your financial stability during the early stages:

1.     Examine your personal financial situation

Your personal finances need to be as sound and well-managed as possible. That means clearing debts where it’s feasible – you wouldn’t expect to pay off your mortgage, but clearing credit card bills is sensible. Review your expenses and identify any spending that could be reduced for a while, such as gym memberships you aren’t using, or magazine subscriptions you don’t get time to read. If you need help sorting out debts and consolidating credit, speak to a reputable financial broker service such as Bonsai Finance for advice on the most economical way to improve your debt situation.

2.     Start your business as a side hustle

Depending on what your idea is, you may be able to start with a modest version of your business that you can operate in the evenings and weekends, while retaining your full-time job. This gives you a regular income to rely on, with the benefit that you can test your business concept for real without risking everything.

3.     Consider downsizing

Downsizing your home or replacing your car with a cheaper model could free up a sizeable amount of cash that you can use as a rainy day fund. If you have a financial safety net such as this, then even if your business struggles to start with, you won’t need to stress about the everyday costs of living and paying essential household bills. It’s a big step to take, selling your home, and you need to have your family on board to make the transition successful.

Fear of failure

This is another major issue for prospective entrepreneurs. It’s actually one of the fears that hold people back from doing many of the things they’d like to in their lives, and you must overcome this worry if you wish to achieve your goals. People fear failure because they anticipate the feelings of shame, embarrassment and stupidity that failure brings. However, the only failure in life is letting fear control you.

Failure isn’t the end of the world; trying and not succeeding is an essential form of learning, and if you never fail in life, you don’t learn some of the most important lessons of living. You shouldn’t approach any project with the belief that you’re going to fail, or you could find it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead, you should be feeling confident in your idea, and ready to take the steps required to make it successful:

·         Testing your idea: You might think you’ve got a brilliant plan that could make you millions, but have you got any evidence supporting that belief? Find out how your idea fits into the market by collecting data from trials and focus groups, and use this knowledge to tweak your initial plan and make it more appealing.

·         Pricing: Have you worked out the cost versus net profit of your product or service? You need to know how much you’re going to make, because the greatest product may not be economically viable if you can’t sell it for much more than it costs to make.

·         Competition: Have you checked out what other businesses are offering in the same line? Is there room in the market for several similar businesses, and if not, what can you do to redevelop your business concept? How are your potential competitors performing, and what can you provide to customers that’s better than what the competition is offering?

·         Knowledge requirements: Are there gaps in your knowledge that you need to fill so that you have a competent grasp of both business operations and the sector within which you wish to trade? Do you know much about the South Florida economy and its business community? Websites such as this one are full of helpful advice for local business people, as well as being a source of information and local contacts.

Before you take the first steps to opening a new business, make sure you prepare a detailed business and marketing plan and budget forecast, so you have an accurate idea of the profit potential and set up costs, both for yourself and to give to prospective investors. If you have all the information and evidence to support your idea in black and white, it can give you a confidence boost, as well as making it easier to plan for putting your project into action.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the author's own, and do not necessarily reflect those of EconMatters.

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