Stop it! Stop it right now! Stop wasting away in a job that brings you neither challenge nor joy. You’ve been doing the same thing day-in, day-out for years now. And it’s becoming abundantly clear that you’ve been had. Your employer doesn’t value you, and the job that once seemed a stepping stone has become a dead end. It’s time to take your career and your livelihood into your own hands. It’s time to dust of that idea you had for a business of your very own. The business idea that was going to chart a path to a happier, more fulfilling life- albeit one with more than its fair share of risk. You might just find that a jolt out of your comfort zone and a little adversity bring out the best in you.
Still, there’s something inside you that hesitates. Something that perceives the barriers to forming your own startup and backs away from them. Yet, while these barriers seem insurmountable, they can all be overcome when you have the knowledge, the perseverance and the self-belief necessary to walk the path of entrepreneurship…
Building a brand
In the landscape of 21st century business, branding is everything. It doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do or how great the products or services you offer are. If you don’t have a brand that resonates with your target audience, they may not take the leap of faith necessary to engage with your business.
But this is no excuse to fall at the first hurdle. Temper your creative prowess with rigorous market research and competitor analysis. Find out what other brands do to generate buzz from your target audience and add your own creative spin.
Putting a team together
While you may be brimming with great idea to bring your business to life, you know that you can’t do this alone. You need a talented team of people who can take your ideas and run with them. People who can supplement your skills and knowledge with their own and create positive experiences with your customers. You may not have the startup capital necessary to employ a team straight away. But that’s okay! Through the wonders of revenue sharing you can get a workforce from day one without massive overheads. What is revenue sharing? It’s a system whereby talented freelancers lend you their services in return for a stake in your future profits. So you know that they’re not only skilled, talented and hard-working… they’re invested in your success!
Getting a startup loan
Being rejected for a startup loan can be a huge blow to your self-belief. But remember that banks are, especially in the current climate, extremely risk averse and their reticence isn’t necessarily based on a lack of faith in you, but the broader economic climate. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that if one bank turns you down, all banks will turn you down. View each rejection as an opportunity to tighten up your business plan, carry out more market research and brush up on your cash flow projections. And don’t be afraid to find alternative lenders.
Finally, the biggest hurdle is often your own perception of what your limitations are. Believe in yourself, dare to be confident and know that even if you fail, at least you’ll get to fail on your own terms!