So you want to start a business

If you believe you’ve got the next big business idea on your hands, you’ve probably already thought about all the things you’ll accomplish once your organization is off the ground and running smoothly. What many beginning business owners don’t think about, however, is all the things they’ll have to overcome to get to such a point. How successful you and your business are is a function of which industry you’re in and many other factors, but here are a few things every aspiring entrepreneur should keep in mind when starting a business.

First, your business plan needs to be essentially foolproof from a process perspective before you begin to invest any substantial amount of time or capital. What sinks the vast majority of failed businesses is not that their idea was never any good in the first place, but that they end up having to deal with so many unforeseen problems that they are unable to take care of the things that really matter. To make sure this doesn’t happen to your operations, make sure you know exactly how everything in your business will run. Who will your suppliers be? Will their prices suit you? What will the day-to-day schedule look like? How will you adjust to rapid changes in demand? Make sure you have good answers to these kinds of questions ahead of time.

Another crucial issue you’ll have to grapple with is your intentions for the end game. In other words, what final goal do you intend to accomplish with your business? If you want you and your family to own and operate the business decades from now, you’ll likely operate much differently than if you’re looking to take the company public or sell it off after growing it. The nature of your exit strategy will play a large role in many decisions you make.

Perhaps the most important thing you should know about starting a business is that you are no longer a typical worker. That is, you will no longer work typical hours and you will no longer be able to easily partition your work life and your personal life. The essence of a small business is its owner, so don’t expect your business to be successful unless you give it every ounce of your effort to make it successful, because you can be sure that your competitors will be doing so. As with most things in life, in business, you get what you deserve.

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