Go to school, work hard and get a good job. I bet that’s what you were told is the secret to success in life. I was told that too. Increasingly these days, that old maxim does not apply.
Scenario 1: You go to school, work hard and don’t get a job.
Scenario 2: You go to school, work hard, get a job but you don’t have job security.
It is obvious then that a new approach is necessary. We cannot keep on applying the same old stale solutions to new problems.
What is the new solution you may ask? Well it’s simple, work for yourself! This is the best way to get a job and to keep it.
In the current economic condition the reality is that you need to create a job to keep a job. When you work for someone else you’re putting all your eggs into one basket that you don’t own or hold. If you want to secure your financial future regardless of the bad economy, you should do your own thing.
Before you take that leap of faith and start your own business read through the following guidelines. This is what will make the difference between success and failure.
1. Restrain your ego
while you need to be confident in your abilities and in your idea, don’t go overboard. Your ego can be your greatest enemy. If you get to a point where you think you know everything then that’s when it will fall apart. Be open to ideas and suggestions. Keep on researching and updating your knowledge to avoid complacency.
2. K.I.S.S – Keep it simple, stupid
If your idea is not simple, you’re stupid. Create a business that is simple and workable. You don’t have to get a complex idea that will only wear you out. The simplicity of the business is what will keep it running. If you can’t explain to a layman what exactly you do, then you are in trouble. Create a simplified product or service that sells X product to Y customer for Z profit.
3. Be prepared for the worst
Think through every decision. Plan for the worst case scenario so that when it happens, you don’t collapse. Brainstorm more than one solution to every problem that you think you will face. Be ready for anything and you will not be surprised.
4. Be unoriginal
Many people don’t get to start their own businesses because they are waiting for the perfect idea that has not been used. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel instead you should focus on using an existing idea and making it better. Give it a spin. Find new ways of marketing, improve customer relations. If you wait for the perfect virgin idea be prepared to wait for eternity.
5. Low Cost Start-up is the way to go
Start a business that demands low start up capital. Don’t over commit yourself financially at the beginning otherwise it might be the beginning of a disaster. Take time to grow systematically. One step should lead to another. If you commit all your financial resources at the start, you will not be able to weather any storms that will come your way. Avoid borrowing large sums of money to spend on your business. You might find yourself in a debt pit that is almost impossible to get out of.
6. Become a cheapskate
To succeed in business you need to change your mentality and approach on spending. Know the difference between a frivolous expense and a necessity that can be bartered, bargained for, or partnered on. Don’t throw money on unnecessary things just to be noticed. You’ve got to practise frugality at its best.
7. Choose your partners wisely
Assess if a partnership makes sense before you jump into it. Your friends and relatives might seem initially like the perfect partners but it might turn out differently. The quality of your partnership is crucial to the success of your business. Be ruthless in your selection of partners otherwise you’ll pay a high price.
8. Forget about the old school business plan
Don’t worry too much about the formal business plan. If you plan to start a small business, you don’t need to write huge document. Stop thinking you have to write a business plan for investors or dense dissertations. You don’t need a traditional plan to be a small business owner. Business planning isn’t a revenue-generating opportunity. Instead, get started on your business so you can make money as soon as possible.
9. Your Business will not market itself
Get out and market your business. You have to come out aggressively to get the word out about your business. Put yourself out into the world. Always be selling yourself without being a used car salesman. “Join groups, network regularly, and find different ways to get your business in front of people. Use the social networking sites efficiently to promote your business.
10. Be afraid
Be afraid to have never failed. Do not be scared of failing when you try. Imagine which of the two situation is worse; trying out your idea and facing obstacles or waking up 10, 20, 30 years from now and pointing your finger at the TV saying, that was my idea!
Stop thinking that you have to get a formal job first and toil around for years before you can start your own business. If you are just getting out of school you should consider getting into business immediately before you get weighed down by additional responsibilities. The dream is possible.
At this stage you not only have extra time to invest in your business, but you also have a larger degree of flexibility. The failure of your business will not result into doom for your family. For people who already have traditional jobs, it’s not too late to start a personal endeavour. Just take a look around and see that [by working for someone else] you’re putting all eggs into one basket that you don’t own or hold.
If you want financial security at all times, you need to be in control of your own life. Take charge of your own destiny. That doesn’t mean that entrepreneurship is easy, but it allows you to make your own destiny. Every hour of work can be for you — that’s a major change from a 9-5 job.