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Questions to ask yourself before you start your business

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Embarking on a new startup venture will be one of the most exciting and life altering journeys one can undertake. While the media often portray new startups as being “overnight successes”, this is few and far between, and the reality is that a successful business venture more often than not, will take many years to turn a profit.

Despite the masked journey to success, entrepreneurship is essential to society. Through creative innovations and pursuits, entrepreneurs provide solutions to daily problems, as a result, the world requires more and more entrepreneurs.

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Questions to ask yourself before you start your business

  1. 1. QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU START YOUR BUSINESS
  2. 2. WHY YOU SHOULD START A BUSINESS Flexibility Independence Freedom Personal fulfillment Passion Financial independence You Choose the People You Work With Recognition Create jobs
  3. 3. QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU START A BUSINESS? 1. CAN YOU WORK ALONE AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY? 2. DO YOU WANT A BUSINESS OR DO YOU JUST WANT MONEY? 3. CAN YOU HANDLE STRESS? 4. CAN YOU HANDLE REJECTION?
  4. 4. QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU START A BUSINESS? 5. ARE YOU WILLING TO LEARN? 6. ARE YOU A LEADER OR A GOOD MANAGER? 7. WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS? 8. ARE YOU PREPARED TO TAKE A RISK?
  5. 5. CAN YOU TAKE RESPONSIBILITY? • Working for someone else means that we have guidance, structure, and someone directing our activities. • We don’t bear the financial risk or assume responsibility for how the business is managed. • Running our business requires us to manage all those activities and ensure that they are being carried out effectively and efficiently. We bear the financial risk and are responsible for how the business is managed. It requires hard work and commitment. No Manager •Capable of motivating ourselves •Manage our time effectively •Be productive Must be
  6. 6. DO YOU WANT A BUSINESS OR JUST MONEY? There is a tendency to view business ventures as a means to making large amounts of money, and while this can be the case, it rarely happens quickly. Often times it requires years and years of effort and hard work. Many startups operate for years without even break even, let alone making a profit. By asking yourself what it is you really want from your business can really help prepare you for any obstacles or tough times that you may face in making your startup work.
  7. 7. DO YOU WANT A BUSINESS OR JUST MONEY? Most entrepreneurs operate on fairly tight budgets and if money is your main motivator, this can be a disheartening time. While money can certainly be a valid motive and the main motive for a lot of business owners who desire financial independence, it is essential to accompany it with another motive or reason. By pursuing something that has meaning and value to you, you will find it easier to get through the difficult times. Otherwise, it may be too tempting to give up when the going gets tough
  8. 8. CAN YOU HANDLE STRESS? Factors contributing to stress: There is just simply not enough in hours in the day for an entrepreneur. There will be many days where you will have to put in long hours, not to mention periods of high pressure to meet deadlines and land key clients. Obtaining finance and making decisions while facing uncertainties are just some of the ongoing situations that can contribute to a business owner’s stress levels. A business will inevitably experience ups and downs throughout its life cycle, and more often than not, many face emotional and financial turmoil at some point.
  9. 9. CAN YOU HANDLE STRESS? Factors contributing to stress: When running your own business, you are likely to lose sleep and experience higher levels of stress than usual. Running a business may, unfortunately, require you to miss out on key family time and events. It is very important to consider these things and ask yourself is this lifestyle for you?
  10. 10. Exercise Meditation Breaks Balancing family life DEALING WITH STRESS
  11. 11. CAN YOU HANDLE REJECTION? Rejection is something that every business owner will experience again and again throughout their journey. It is inevitable. Whether you’re looking for finance from a lender or seeking potential investors, rejection will be part of that journey. Others will not always see your idea as clearly and confidently as you do. The most important thing is not to let rejection affect you and try to learn something from it. Find out what they didn’t like and identify those areas you may need to improve on. Feedbackis crucial to stepping forward. Use rejection as a means to motivate yourself to push forward and improve.
  12. 12. ARE YOU WILLING TO LEARN? • THE KEY TO SUCCESS OFTEN CORRELATES WITH YOUR ABILITY TO CONTINUALLY INVEST IN YOURSELF AND YOUR ABILITIES. • KNOWLEDGE IS A FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENT OF A STARTUP’S SUCCESS. IT IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP UP TO DATE WITH INDUSTRY TRENDS AND CHANGES BY ATTENDING COURSES, TRADE SHOWS, NETWORKING, ATTENDING SEMINARS, READING ETC. • CONTINUAL LEARNING AND SELF-IMPROVEMENT IS A FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENT OF THE ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY.
  13. 13. ARE YOU A LEADER OR A GOOD MANAGER? • THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE GREAT LEADERS AND PEOPLE WHO ARE GREAT MANAGERS. • IT’S NOT ENOUGH JUST TO BE A GOOD MANAGER. GOOD LEADERS HAVE BIG IDEAS COMBINED WITH THE ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE THOSE IDEAS EFFECTIVELY AND CONVINCINGLY TO OTHERS BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE BUSINESS. • THROUGH THEIR ENTHUSIASM AND PASSION, THEY HAVE THE ABILITY TO INSPIRE AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO FOLLOW THEM. • LEADERSHIP IS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF A SUCCESSFUL STARTUP. ENTREPRENEURS NEED TO BE ABLE TO LEAD, INSPIRE AND MOTIVATE THOSE AROUND THEM.
  14. 14. Warren Bennis (in his book, “On Becoming a Leader”) composed a list of the differences: GOOD MANAGER GOOD LEADER Managers administer Leaders innovate Managers imitate Leaders originate Managers rely on control Leaders inspire trust Managers have a short-range view Leaders have a long-range perspective Managers focus on systems and structure Leaders focus on people Managers accept the status quo Leader challenge status quo Managers have their eye always on the bottom line Leader’s eye is on the horizon. Managers do things right Leaders do the right thing
  15. 15. WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTHS? “KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS. KNOW YOUR WEAKNESSES. DON’T BE AFRAID TO TRY THINGS AND FAIL IF THOSE FAILURES WILL TEACH YOU WHAT YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES ARE. AND WHEN YOU TRY AGAIN, BUILD YOUR BUSINESS AROUND THE STRENGTHS! THE MORE YOU “KNOW THYSELF,” THE CLOSER YOU’LL BE TO SUCCESS.” – KEVIN HARRINGTON (INVENTOR OF THE INFOMERCIAL, AS SEEN ON TV PIONEER, AND SHARK TANK)
  16. 16. ARE YOU PREPARED TO TAKE RISKS? • STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS WILL INVOLVE SOME RISKS. • THESE MAY INCLUDE: LOSING YOUR SAVINGS GIVING UP A REGULAR PAYCHECK DEPENDENT ON A REGULAR CASHFLOW ENTRUSTING KEY EMPLOYEES
  17. 17. ADVICE FROM ENTREPRENEURS
  18. 18. DONNA NODSON STARTED BUSINESSES, WORKED WITH START-UPS - CONSULTING, BUSINESS STRATEGY 20 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE SPANNING EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA, BA, MBA “Entrepreneurs should know how to read, write and manage a business plan” “You don’t have to be an expert at this, and you may be going through the process for the first time while starting your business. This is a critical skill that will serve you well as you work to navigate the constantly shifting landscape of business.” “Work through the business plan filling out the information you know. Identify the information you still need and come up with a plan for obtaining it. Your business plan will change, probably quite a bit. Don't get frustrated; this is part of the process. You might make one decision based on the information you have available at that moment. A week later, you find out different information and need to re-evaluate whether your initial decision still makes sense. This is ok.”
  19. 19. DONNA NODSON STARTED BUSINESSES, WORKED WITH START-UPS - CONSULTING, BUSINESS STRATEGY 20 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE SPANNING EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA, BA, MBA “Make sure every person who is part of your company knows your business plan.” “Everyone should be able to read the company business plan and understand where they fit in the strategy. How does their job contribute to the company goals?” “It gives your management better visibility. It’s not just about employees interpreting this for their own work… it’s also about managers (at all levels!) being able to better structure their departments and the employee requirements to align with company goals.”
  20. 20. DONNA NODSON STARTED BUSINESSES, WORKED WITH START-UPS - CONSULTING, BUSINESS STRATEGY 20 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE SPANNING EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA, BA, MBA “Think that the business plan has far too much ‘confidential’ information? You don’t need to share a version that includes line-item visibility on things like salary or exactly which clients owe how much money. Give broad information.” “Salary costs need to be x% of the overall revenue in order to achieve [goal]; today the company is at y%. This makes it much easier for people to understand and manage salary increases and hiring constraints.” “The company has $/£ amount of funds outstanding based on past-due client payments; this falls below the company’s requirementof $/£. Cash flow relies upon client invoices being paid on time. Lack of cash will impact the company’s ability to make x other purchases. Then employees understand why a purchase might be delayed from one month to the next.”
  21. 21. CAREY GREEN BUILT HIS BUSINESS TO OVER 6 FIGURES IN UNDER 3 YEARS, GROWING MORE DAILY “Strengthen your determination muscles. You won’t succeed if you’re not willing to get back up every time you fall. And I mean EVERY time. There will be lots of mistakes, missteps, and difficulties on the road to success. If you can’t overcome the discouragement to keep going, you shouldn’t start in the first place.” “Maybe take up something that requires a lot of you - running, martial arts, fitness of some kind - to strengthen your mental game ahead of time. I’m convinced that those kinds of things will help you when it comes to the mental discipline needed to be an entrepreneur.”
  22. 22. HAN OOI STARTUP FOUNDER CREATING IOT PLATFORM FOR OUTDOOR SPORTS AND VR/AR INDUSTRY “Deep Network of Friends/Associates with complementaryskills - Launching a startup is tough and scary and there are many things you don’t know that can hurt you. So volunteer your time to build relationship with other people who may have parts of the knowledge that you need. Joining a tech startup incubator is also another way to meet such people.” “Develop good money managementskills in your personal life and startup life - burn rate is one other those factors that can impact your success or failure. If you fail to manage your cash flow well, you will die on the vine. Being competent at managing finances is also a skill investors like to look at when determining whether to fund you.” “Courage and Passion - I was reading in the Hypomanic Edge on how some societies have low rates of entrepreneurship even though those societies are well off financially….some cultures and societies lack courage even though their people are technically competent So the final ingredient is this intangible. - Doing a startup is like “Jumping off a cliff while trying to learn how to fly.” ”
  23. 23. GERICKE POTGIETER FAILED AND SUCCEEDED AT NUMEROUS BUSINESSES - CO-FOUNDER OF ARTIFEX KNOWLEDGE ENGINEERING – PUBLISHED WRITER AT INC “Bread-and- butter money first, then you can play.” “My mentor was a very wealthy man, yet he still gave weekly math lessons to high school kids with his wife. I thought it was funny, why would a man driving the latest Porche give math lessons?” “That was to be one of my best business lessons. He did it because it paid the bills and had nearly zero risk. There would always be kids who struggle with math. All of his other investments and businesses could fail but the weekly math lessons will carry him through.”
  24. 24. BUSINESS | CAREER | EDUCATION ACADOCEO.COM

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