Launching a Startup – When You Should vs When You Shouldn’t
Starting a business and making the decision to move from being an employee to being an entrepreneur is one of those things that is often painted in an unrealistically rosy picture. Sure, if you’re successful at it, there’s nothing better than being your own boss, doing something you love, and making a comfortable living doing it. But what does getting there actually entail?
This is one in a series of posts aimed at helping “would-be” entrepreneurs get out of the gate and on the road towards establishing a running business of their own.
Why take the risk of launching your own business venture?
There are plenty of great reasons for launching your own start-up. These include:
- The opportunity to be in control and do the things you want to do: you get to succeed or fail on your own
- Not having anyone tell you what to do: you are your own boss
- The opportunity to create something new: the ability to bring something totally new into existence without the constraints often faced by larger companies
- The opportunity to impact the world: to develop a new way to communicate, a new way to cut costs, a new way to collaborate, or anything else to make the world a better place
- Money: when things go right, there can be a lot of money in successful start-ups
These are some of the more fundamental reasons for starting a start-up.
The downside to launching your own business
There are just about as many, if not more, reasons not to start a start-up.
- They can be emotionally draining: from exuberant highs to depressing lows, start-ups can constantly put you through an emotional rollercoaster
- Nothing happens unless you make it happen: in established companies, everything happens according to a fixed set of operational procedures, but in a start-up, you have to do virtually everything yourself
- You are constantly told “NO”: unless you come from a sales background, you are probably not used to being told “NO” all the time, and it isn’t very fun
- Hiring is extremely difficult: you are constantly faced with casual shoppers, folks who aren’t as serious or passionate about your idea as you are, and you end up being taken for a ride before being told “NO”
- The hours can be gruelling: despite books, articles and workshops promoting the perfect work/life balance, as a start-up entrepreneur, it isn’t likely you will have much of a life outside running your business, at least in the beginning
Still ready to take the plunge?
OK, so I haven’t talked you out of your conviction that starting your own business is what you want to do. Alright, fair enough. It seems you are convinced that it’s the way to go. If you think you’re ready, great! There is no time like the present, and opportunities abound for those who unwaveringly want to see things through. If you want to get your business up and running, here are a few things you to help get you started:
- What is your business idea?
- What will you name your business, product or service?
- How will you go about building a team?
- How will you build an organization with a thriving work culture?
- How will you market yourself?
- How does your team communicate, and how will you establish your online presence?
- How do you test your idea and collect valuable customer feedback?
- How can you raise funds or like-minded business collaborators?
In the next series of upcoming posts, we’ll go through all of the above points in turn to give you a better grasp of what you need to do, and how to do it, in order to successfully get your own business off the ground and go from being an employee to being a business owner.