The lack of experience is a problem that may sound simple, yet, its consequences run deep and can hardly be foreseen. In theory, experience comes with time, however, what kind of consequences will you have to endure before you become ‘experienced enough’? Fortunately, there’s another way. Instead of leaning on your own mistakes, why not listen to the wisdom left behind by people who had already undergone all of this? Here are six tips they find to be particularly important.
1. Know what you’re up against
The first thing you need to understand is the fact that high expectations often lead to great disappointment. Sure, as an entrepreneur you need to be optimistic and determined, however, you also need to know what you’re up against. For instance, you need to know that 9 out of 10 startups fail, which is why, even though you hope for best,
you shouldn’t start as a sole proprietorship or go all in with your private funds. Secondly, you need to know what the industry averages are in terms of conversions, traffic and sales. Overall averages can be incredibly misleading, which is why you should always take your own industry as a point of reference.
2. Keep your day job
In the previous section, we mentioned that the chances of you making it on your first try may not be as great as you would like. Therefore, abandoning your day job and committing to this side-business full-time may not be that great of an idea. Instead, you had better keep your day job and maintain some sort of financial security. Sure, this is exhausting, but it could also be necessary due to the fact that your business may not be profitable for the first several months, while this may give you an additional source of side revenue to support it with.
3. Set a clear vision first
Having objectives and goals is not the same thing as having a vision. You see, objectives and goals are the milestones you need to set on the path towards making your vision come to life. Therefore, it might be incredibly smart to determine your vision first and then work on your goals and objectives. This is also great when looking for a partner. Think about it – it’s easy to find someone you have the same interests with. After all, growth, expansion and profit are universal interests of every entrepreneur out there. However, the vision may be where all of them differ. This is why it’s good that you set it as early on as possible.
4. Choose a suitable name
Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that the name of your company needs to be carefully considered. Some names are so long that you have to opt for a smaller font and, in this way, make a compromise when it comes to visibility and readability. The name like “who represents” may sound as a logical choice for a platform acting as a database of talent representatives, yet, it makes an unintentionally long URL. Lastly, there’s the issue of company name availability, especially in this day and age when the number of entrepreneurs is at its peak. So, as soon as you have the name that meets all of these criteria, you need to register a company in the fastest, simplest manner.
5. You need a business plan
When throwing a pitch, the right idea may be compelling enough on its own, still, not a lot of investors will give you money merely based on an idea. What they need is a business plan, and so do you. An executive summary is what it takes for you to set things in motion, nonetheless, as a first-time entrepreneur, it’s incredibly unlikely that you would know how to write a business plan. The key points you need to include are the executive summary, an opportunity, market analysis summary and an execution. Aside from this, you also need to handle the issues of management summary and a financial plan, yet, these two factors are better handled as stand-alone.
6. Don’t work with friends and family
At the end of the day, it’s inevitable that during the initial stages of your business you may ask your friends and family members for help, yet, this shouldn’t be a permanent solution. The relationship you have with these people is not what a relationship between a subordinate and a superior should be like, which is why this whole situation may quickly turn in a dysfunctional business model. Furthermore, by doing this you’re putting your personal relationships at risk. Remember, 9 out of 10 startups end in failure, so, do you really think it’s worth betting a several-decades-old relationship against such odds?
At the very end, you should keep in mind that the biggest problem with the above-listed tips lies in the fact that none of them seems as intuitive as it should be. For instance, working with friends sounds natural, while contemplating what the URL derived from your company’s name would be isn’t an innate impulse of a first-time entrepreneur. Fortunately, these are also things which won’t take you too much time to learn, seeing as how performing them just once may be enough to make them seem natural.