As you probably know, starting a company isn’t exactly a stroll in the park. It’s not straightforward, either, and while it’s exciting – it’s also a huge challenge. There are loads of different issues you might come face-to-face with when you tackle starting a business, but here are a few common challenges that many entrepreneurs tend to run into when they start to think about getting their idea off the ground.
There is no set time for anything in life. You can be 18 or 80, and if you have a good idea, you always have the chance to make something out of it. As they say, the only way to achieve anything is to act on it. But as with anything, you can’t just jump into hot water without a few preparations. There are factors and analysis that should go into the decision to register an LLC – here are a few:
What does the market look like?
Of course, you don’t want to start a VCR business right now. Check out recent trends and market information on the sector you want to go into. Analyze where things are going. Check out the demand and market validation.
What’s the product or service like?
Do you need to manufacture products? Is only software required? How much will this cost? Hardware is often more expensive, which can make the initial investment more of a burden.
Who’s my ideal customer?
Conduct some research and customer interviews to narrow down your focus and make sure you’ve picked the right niche.
Is this scalable?
If you’re looking to stay local, that’s alright, but if you want to hit big? You might want to guarantee early-on that you can scale your idea.
2. “Analysis paralysis”
You could spend years thinking about everything that can go wrong, and try to weigh all the pros and cons. But, as stated, nothing can be achieved if you’re not willing to act on it. The hardest part of any decision is getting over the initial fear of bringing everything together – meaning the fear of failing. The ability to execute your idea is what marks the difference between a good idea and a great business.
Bringing things to life depends on your business, but the simplest way to tackle this first step is to write a detailed, well-organized business plan. Here are a template and outline you can use to get started. This doesn’t have to be a rulebook – more like a roadmap to lead you in the right direction, but you’re allowed to make detours every once in a while.
Then, start to work on building your financial model. Here’s a template for that, too. If you plan everything out, even as a rough sketch, you’ll already have an idea of challenges and how to face them if (and when) the time comes. You’ll also understand the resources and help you need. This way, when people – be it investors or your own friends and family – ask about what you’ve got going on, you have proof of your concept. And, this will help to clear your head of your decision paralysis.
3. Don’t doubt weird ideas, and don’t be scared of mistakes
The world needs more weird ideas. As Henry Ford famously said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
Similarly, how many people thought there’d be a market for Uber before it launched? Now it’s valued at almost $100 Billion. Weird ideas don’t just get attention, they set standards. If you can come up with a detailed plan for them, then don’t doubt your weirdness.
Along the same vein, mistakes are inevitable and should be viewed favorably, not fearfully. Give yourself the freedom to mess up, and the freedom to learn from it. Learning lessons are valuable to building an innovative company, and if you’re scared of messing up for yourself, do some research on where other companies have gone wrong.
It’s all about allowing lessons to lead to growth and remaining cool under pressure.
4. Getting help
We get it, finding the right advice in today’s day and age can be a daunting task in and of itself. Get your ideas down on paper. Start breaking the big picture goals into milestones and checkboxes, and figure out what steps you need to take to hit each one.
If you feel stuck, there are plenty of resources online for turning ideas into businesses:
- Small Business Administration – District offices in all 50 states provide resources, training, and specialists to help start and grow businesses, plus hundreds of online resources for small business owners and employees.
- National Business Association – A nonprofit association that assists the self-employed and small business community in achieving their professional goals.
- The Census Database – Census information on the demographics of your community including population, housing, and the economy.
- Veteran-owned businesses (SBA resources) – Funding programs, training, and federal contracting opportunities for veteran entrepreneurs.
- Women’s Business Centers – Education centers for women business owners across the U.S. along with online resources.
- Minority Business Development Agency – Supports businesses in minority communities by providing grant and loan information, business opportunities, and business certification resources