When most people fantasize about starting a business, they skip right to the part where they enjoy the financial success that allows them to quit their day job and live a life of luxury.
Unfortunately, the start-up advice you don’t usually hear is this: much of the work that goes into a start-up is less than glamorous, but it must be done.
You can have all the passion and experience in the world and still experience business failure if you encounter one of the common pitfalls of starting a business. Here are 5 bits of start-up advice that you might not think about right away.
Don’t go into business with your best friend. That is, not unless you’re confident that your friendship can withstand the trials and tribulations of starting a business. While it’s great to imagine working with your best bud (or your brother, for that matter), in practice, it’s more trouble than it’s worth. If you do decide to involve your friends and family, be prepared for conflict.
You need to have the funds. It’s not romantic to think about, but a new business costs a lot of money. You don’t just have to pay for manufacturing, marketing, and employee salary—you need to make sure that you can support yourself and your family for at least six months until you know what kind of profit you can expect to see.
Branding is everything. If you’re not good at this, you need to find someone who is from the very beginning. Creating a cohesive experience does more than define you in the eyes of your potential customers—it gives you credibility. You can have the best product or service in the world, and no one will buy it if your website is a mess.
Burnout is real. It happens to everyone. The truth is that there is no such thing as a “dream job” where you always have a blast, and you never work a day in your life. You can love what you do and still get bogged down by work sometimes. Be prepared, pace yourself, and know that burnout isn’t forever. It will pass if you push through.
Don’t let your pride get in the way. Of all the start-up advice out there, this might be the most important thing to keep in mind. You might think your product or service is the best out there, but in the end, you need to convince your customers of that, or else your business won’t last long. If there isn’t a market for what you sell, you might need to walk away.
Here’s another idea, the best start-up advice may be in the 7 traits to consider before buying a business. Click here to read it.
Starting a business is a big job, and all the start-up advice in the world can’t prepare you to experience it firsthand. Click here to download my free ebook, The 10 Critical Responsibilities of a Business Owner, to see if you’ve got what it takes.