The Painful Truth About Starting A Business
The first business you start will very likely not be your last, but depending on how it goes, it may be the first success or failure you encounter in the business world.
Running a business is never as it seems when viewed from the outside. All people see are the nicely ironed suits, saloon cars, and beautiful office spaces which they use to judge whether the entrepreneur is successful or not. They never know the trials, disappointments, outstanding bills, owed salaries, lost clients, and struggles that go on within every new or growing business seeking simply to just survive until the storm blows through.
If you don’t know what it feels like to start a business, these 10 painful truths about starting a business will give you a good idea:
1). Your Business Will Likely Fail The First Time:
While this is not a doomsday message for you, 9 out of 10 businesses fail in their first 5 to 10 years. This doesn’t mean that you should get discouraged and so decide to stay off pursuing your dreams. But instead means that you should have a better approach to vetting business ideas, and if they end up to be just something that might turn out a success, then you should put all the right elements in place that will help make its start and growth a reality.
2). You Can’t Do It Alone:
No one can single-handedly sail a ship. The same applies to running a business. If you think you can do it alone, you have already failed.
You’d need expert salespeople, a brand manager, a financial officer, a product development expert, an accountant, and much more.
In reality, one person may be able to do some of these things, but you’d need multiple people to enable you to cover every aspect of your business professionally, on time, and every time.
3). The Perfect Business Partner Does Not Exist:
Most people can’t run a business with a partner for too long. Before the business has even had the chance to get off the ground, there’s already a quarrel and they’re back to finding new partners.
The reality of the situation is the perfect business partner does not exist. This is why you need to partner with someone who compliments your shortcomings, is patient and level-headed, and is willing to put in the right amount of work and effort that is required to make the business a success.
4). Nothing Is Guaranteed:
In running a business, nothing is ever guaranteed. Not even profits.
But why then did you have to carry out an expensive market research to determine how well or not the prospective business may turn out?
The answer is simple, to give you an idea of what or what not to expect.
With the understanding of this principle, you should learn not to jump ship the moment it feels your business is stagnant or drowning. Learn to hold on for a while to figure things out, before you decide to either pivot or do something new altogether.
5). Find A Way Or Don’t Complain:
Hardly anyone outside of your immediate family will feel sorry for you that your business is not going according to your plan. You owe no one an explanation and so have to either find a way to move forward or you shouldn’t complain at all.
Mumbling will only let people know you’re experiencing defeat, and this will cheer up some.
6). You’re Not The Most Important Person In Your Business:
This is a shocker to most people. They believe they’re all that matters in their business only to someday realise they’re not even close.
The two most important people in your business are your customers and your employees.
The customer is always right and your employees must constantly be in the right frame of mind to understand that.
If you treat your employees well, they’ll treat your customers well. And when your customers carry out repeat business, your company grows.
7). Sales Are Everything:
Sales are the lifeblood of every business. Without sales, there’ll be no cash flow, without cash flow, there’d be no revenues, and without revenues, there’d be no business left to run.
If you must do anything best in your organisation, build a formidable sales team that can consistently close the right amount of deals needed to keep your organisation moving forward.
8). Value Is More Important Than Cheap:
Cheap things get replaced a lot, but valuable things can last a lifetime. Customers know this and are sometimes willing to pay a bit more just to have a lasting and more satisfying solution to their problems.
It is rare to achieve both cheap and great value at the same time, but it sometimes happens. When you have both, you’ve struck gold.
See Also: How To Value A Business
9). You May Become Unhappy:
Running a business can be traumatising and depressing, especially when you’re burning through all your money without any visible sign of progress to show for it.
There are many highs and lows at this phase of your life because if not well managed, the inability to meet the expectations you’ve set for yourself could tear you apart.
10). The Best Skill You’ll Ever Acquire Is The Ability To Listen:
One of the best things you can do for yourself when you’re starting a new business is to listen. When you do, you open yourself up to learning from everyone who’s been there before you. You learn from their mistakes, what worked for them, and how you can better set out on your own path.
If you have the opportunity to learn from others who have plied the route you’re about to take, take advantage of it. The information you’d gain is priceless and would go on to save you a lot of wasted time and efforts.
What are your thoughts on these 10 painful truths about starting a business? Let me know by leaving a comment below.