The Challenges of Launching Yourself
There are many challenges you will face when you begin launching yourself. Starting my first business was no small task, and my journey has been paved with many hurdles, but that is what entrepreneurship is all about. You must be ready to invest great amounts of time into your business, and discipline yourself to take on the new commitments you will have. Ask yourself many questions before you begin to ensure that this path is the correct one for you.
What is your capital?
Before launching, you must look at your capital (money, property and time) and consider how much you are willing to put at risk, and how much you will invest into your business requirements. Starting a business with little capital is a risk, and without it, succeeding in with your business venture is a difficult task. Prepare your figures and your budget, and seek to generate the capital you require to cover your startup expenses. You will have to be extremely prudent in your approach here with any kind of capital expense be it your time, money or core skills.
What are your core skills?
It is important to remember your core skills, whether they be skills in finance, designing, writing, coding, marketing or sales. These skills will be crucial when you begin launching yourself, as the skills you require to build a business will be unique to that business. One of the many mistakes I’ve seen people make is trying to do everything. They spend more time attending to something that isn’t a core skill. While it is important to fill in the gaps in your skill set, you must never forget about your core skills. To be a successful entrepreneur, it is important to engage with your skills and use them to drive your business. Your business venture should take advantage of your core skills, and it should develop them. They are your point of difference and they are what will set you apart from your competitors. Use your core skills to your advantage, think about how you can complement other skills, and know which skills you need to develop or acquire.
Has it been done before?
If you think you have a good idea, there is a high possibility that it is already being done by someone else. Your competition is trying to win, so if you assume that you are the only one with your idea, you will fall behind. Success does not come from having the best ideas for your company. No matter how good I think my ideas are, there are always others out there who can take my idea to new heights. Ideas are just the starting point, and the importance lies in how you execute your venture.
Who is your competition?
Identify your competition before you begin launching your business because this will identify if there is already a market for your service. Competition is a good thing as it tells you that you’re on the right path. Don’t be afraid of competition, because when you’re a small you have nothing to lose. Identifying your competition allows you to identify which segments within your niche are worth targeting, and you can then identify how your service or offering sets you apart from your competitors.
Being prudent and having a thoughtful approach has gotten me through the many challenges I have faced. Successfully surviving your first year in business is only the beginning.