This time, we will start off by giving you the answer. The reason why you should stop waiting for the perfect time to launch your company is…[drumroll]…because there will never be a perfect time to start it. If you adopt the mindset that everything needs to be perfect before you can start, then you never will because things will never be perfect. There will always be a job sucking your energy, kids demanding your time, not enough money, not enough know-how, etcetera etcetera.
Since there will never be a great time to start, we want to equip you with advice we picked up for how to have the best chance of success – even though you will be starting in what you feel are “less than ideal” conditions. Please enjoy our four tips for new business success.
1.Be prepared to work your buns off
No…really. In order to be successful bringing a new business into the world, you will need to be prepared to sacrifice some of your free time, since that will now belong to the business. And if that sounds similar to advice people tell you when you are preparing to have kids, it’s because it is not that dissimilar. Both are painful, require a large amount of your time and energy, and can make you experience ecstatic joy and unfathomable despair within the same day. We don’t want to talk you out of it, but we do want to make sure you are mentally prepared. If you go into it with a mindset of “I’m going to work really hard for my business for a few years, and then if I make good decisions, my business will work really hard for me” …then you will be on the right track. Having the right mentality is definitely a great start.
2. Talk to people who did it already
Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in our confidence and self-assurances that we don’t think to look for people who have already done what we are thinking of doing. Even if it’s not the exact same concept, try to find people who have already been in the space you are entering, and ask them what they did that worked. What would they do differently if they could do it all over again? What were some of the biggest lessons they had to learn the hard way? By finding out what mistakes they made along the way, and gathering their advice, you can save yourself making the same mistakes – which if they were easy to spot probably wouldn’t have been made by them in the first place. Simply having these conversations will automatically increase your odds for success.
3. Don’t leave before you’re ready
We can just hear it now: “But wait…I thought the whole point of this article was to just JUMP!”
The point of this article is to let you know that there is no perfect time, so you should not wait to GET STARTED. There’s a difference.
Starting your company and abandoning your current source of income are two very different decisions. Yes, it is sometimes true that you must dive into the company full-time in order to give it the time it requires to be successful, however that usually only comes after a significant period of time where you have laid the foundation, nurtured it, and it is ready to stand alone. In order for you to jump ship from what pays your bills, you should be at the point where you have so many potential opportunities and traction with your other company, that it feels almost negligent to continue working your primary job.
The moral of the story is that quitting what pays the bills too early exposes you to financial risk, and unless you have phenomenal savings to fall back on or alternative ways of making short-term money, you might just find yourself in a mental state where you are stressed and making poor decisions for the future of the company because you need immediate money to survive.
4. All about the execution
“A good plan, violently executed now is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.” – George Patton
We hate to break it to you, but your idea doesn’t really matter. The execution is what determines success. If you think you’re the only one who has the ability to think of solutions to common problems, try searching the U.S. Patent Office database. Better yet, think about it like this: There are 7.6 billion people in the world and 328 million in the United States. Let’s say there are 16 personality types (according to Myers-Briggs or 16 Personalities tests). That means there are 20 million people with a personality very similar to yours in the U.S. and 475 million people across the globe who think like you. Chances are, some of those people have thought of your idea.
The point is, execution matters most. Before Mark Zuckerberg, there were literally platforms called “Face Book” already at colleges, that did exactly what Facebook did, just not as well. It’s not the idea, it’s how you execute. And a big part of that execution is being able to pivot and go where the customer asks you to. That means if the customer wants you to reach them through different platforms, or in a different way, you’ve got to make the adjustment. If they don’t find your product interesting you have to figure out what they do care about. And if they want you to change your product, or make your service more customized to their needs, you’ve got to figure out how to do that while still keeping your margins.
There will never be a perfect time to start. You just have to make sure you are well prepared and just do it, with the understanding that you will constantly be making the changes needed to survive and flourish.
Lillian James Creative is a content marketing firm based out of Kansas City. They believe that the key to getting customers to care about a company is to use content and design to tell an authentic story that makes that purchase an emotional one, not a convenient one.