Today’s post is a guest post by Nik Donovic. I often get questions about being an entrepreneur, since I have been one, so when offered this guest post I thought I would publish this advice.
I started my first business when I was 12. I gathered a group of friends from school and we all went to a Red Cross babysitting certification. It was a 2-hour class and we got certificates at the end, showing we had learned the proper technique for CPR, changing diapers and what to do in an emergency. Nothing is more important to a parent than ensuring their child’s safety. By offering a single point of contact – and a “retainer” option – for a dozen certified sitters, I offered parents a solution to their problem of who to call when they wanted a night out. 20 years later, I’m still starting businesses – some successful, some not. But the same rules apply to every adventure I begin.
You Can’t Be Afraid to Fail
Wear your failures like a badge of honor. You had the courage to do what most people don’t – create a dream. Of course you want your business to succeed, but you have to be prepared – mentally, emotionally, financially – if it doesn’t. According to the SBA, around half of new businesses survive for five years and about one-third survive for 10 years or more. Have enough funds to operate without making a profit or have a back-up source of income. And if at first you don’t succeed; try, try again.
In addition to working a lot more than you’re used to, you need to be prepared for situations as they arise. Do you have a trusted accountant to take care of all the legal tax details for you? Did you set up the proper legal entity for your business operations? Do you have proper insurance to cover workers’ injuries if they may arise? This is an often overlooked detail that could be very costly in the end. Pajcic & Pajcic has a good list of situations that may call for workers’ comp.In general, it’s just better to be safe than sorry.
Ideas Are Like Opinions – Everyone Has One
The difference between success and failure depends on you. Are you willing to invest all of your time, energy and love into your new venture? If not, don’t bother getting started. Even a complete dedication of all your resources won’t guarantee success; not contributing all you can practically guarantees failure.
It Doesn’t Have to Be New
Your business idea doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel. But it does need to make the wheel better. What benefit are you offering your customers? They don’t want to know how great you are or how great your idea or product is. Customers want to know how you can make their life simpler or better. Watch a successful company’s advertising: they’re showing how they can make a consumer’s life better. Period.
Ask For Help
There are thousands of resources available for entrepreneurs. Take advantage of any help that is offered. Delegate when possible. Hire professionals for the important parts – accountants, attorneys, and contractors may cost you, but they’ll provide a better service more quickly than you could do yourself. By concentrating your efforts at what you’re best at – building your business – you’re directing the right talents in the correct places.
Nik Donovic has worked in businesses that had no HR to companies that had a corporate HR. His opinions and thoughts come from a summation of experience in all environments.