Start your new business one step at a time as part of your New Year’s resolution
With a new year comes a sense of renewal and the feeling of a clean slate to follow your dreams. Looking back at 2018, what are your resolutions for 2019? As an aspiring entrepreneur, a fresh new year could be the perfect time to take big steps toward starting a business.
However, starting a business can feel like a journey into the unknown and it’s important to find the courage first so that you can feel confident in your plans. When considering how to start a business, the first question to ask yourself is what is your fear? It could be failure, changes to your personal life, or monetary loss. Whatever it is – identify that fear and conquer it by taking your business journey one step at a time.
- Set your goals
First, set attainable goals for the first year of your business. If you’re just starting out, this could mean developing a business plan. Take all of the ideas you have in your head and get them out in a single document that can be followed throughout your business journey. Your plan will include your business’ mission and vision, and any research you’ve done into the market you’re planning to enter. Here, also consider your target audience and the brand identity you want to have when your customers think of your products or services. You’ll also outline pricing and the marketing that’ll be necessary to get your business off of the ground.
Working on a business plan will require you to think about all of the small details that will go into your business. Its structured approach can help relieve your fears by showing you how feasible your business is. Furthermore, setting attainable goals will help keep you on track so you know exactly what to focus on throughout the year and the amount of effort you’ll need to undertake.
- Work the way you want
A common fear for entrepreneurs is that starting a business will disrupt their current way of life, or they won’t be able to find an appropriate work-life balance.
However, once you start your own business, you are your own boss and manager, and no one is requiring you to work late hours. While hard work does pay off and many entrepreneurs work 40+ hour weeks, being your own boss does offer a certain amount of flexibility that can keep you close to your family and friends.
Starting your own business means you get to make the rules, and you get to work the way that works best for you. Many entrepreneurs begin working from home and growing a business from a home office, which allows them to still be close to their family while they’re hard at work. You also have the opportunity to be more in tune with your needs, as no one else will be asking you to put in more hours. If you’re feeling burnt out while you’re working on your business, take a break! Of course, your work will still be there. But, taking things at your own pace means you’ll be able to make smarter decisions for how your business should be set up, ideally creating more opportunities for future success.
Keep in mind that a well-planned business model will help prepare you for the challenges and opportunities you’ll face in the first year of business. You’ll be prepared to navigate these situations and will have your goals clearly in mind. This will prepare you for growth when the opportunity arises, and with growth means you have the ability to hire staff to support your growing needs.
- Learn to embrace mistakes
The fear of failure is one of the most common among entrepreneurs. We’ve all known that sting of embarrassment when a plan goes wrong or the feeling of disapproval. Naturally, we want to avoid those feelings at all costs.
However, understanding that failure is necessary is a huge step toward creating a successful business. There are many inspirational examples all around us – J.K. Rowling was unemployed before Harry Potter happened, Thomas Edison failed to create the lightbulb 1,000 times, and Oprah was fired from her job before becoming who she is today. Almost everyone who you consider successful has gotten there because they went through failure, and they learned how to grow from it and learn from the mistakes.
If you can learn to conquer failure, you’ll be giving yourself some of the best ideas for your business, and you’ll know exactly what to do going forward.
- Reach out for help and guidance
You don’t have to do it alone. Starting a business can seem overwhelming for so many reasons, but that’s why there are many different resources available to entrepreneurs.
You can start with your friends and family, and from there, you’ll begin to build a community of support. Identify the people who are champions of your business – they’ll spread your message eagerly and can help you in the long-term. As you grow, your community will also include investors, partners, customers, and mentors.
Keep in mind that growing a business is an exciting and common journey to take, and entrepreneurs are also eager to help each other.
Want hands-on help starting or growing your business?
At Pathway WBC, we work with entrepreneurs at every stage and every season of their business to help them along the way, regardless of the industry.
Come to an upcoming Blue Sky Workshop to join our growing community of entrepreneurs.