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What it Takes to Start a New Business- Really

by Mark Hoover on May 1, 2013 in Intention,Small Business Development,Will

One of the most exciting things a person can do in their life is start a business. Often what comes with that is quitting a job, or losing a job. If you step back a moment, that is a bold combination- quit your job and start your own business.

Entrepreneur Magazine in March 2012 cited the number one reason people go into business is autonomy. It is a very self-determining move for someone to make. Starting your own business involves risk, smarts and a lot of work.

I want to take a look with you at what underlies all of the goals and ambitions of a new business. What underlies everything is a tough reality of what it takes to start a business. At Mark Hoover Training all of our programs focus on you doing the right kind of work. My team’s focus is on you not ending up as one of the 67% of businesses that don’t even make it to the five-year mark. What’s worse is a business that survives to five years, but barely hangs on after that. Rarely is sufficient training offered on what success requires on your part, really.

Business success requires a lot of friggin’ work!

Now, none of what I say is truth “etched in stone”. But for the most part you’re better off taking what I say as a fair representation rather than the rosy alternative. Even going into business with a lot of cash to invest only lengthens the inevitable outcome unless the business is managed properly. Go in eyes wide open.

A few years ago I went to a group of MBA’s, some of whom were fresh out of school and many already working in the corporate world. When I’d tell them what I did at the time (owned a small business) they’d start shaking their head. They ask how I did that. I didn’t know what they meant.

One after another they proceeded to tell they would never do anything that bold, and that everything they learned taught them it was too risky. Wow. You can take this several ways. Maybe they all went to a school that teaches MBA’s to be chicken. Or, maybe they’re the smart ones, the brainiacs, who know it’s easier to get a job and collect a salary. I find it fascinating but worthy of attention.

Most people who start their own small business do so with a particular skill or product they are really great at or enjoy. They print business cards, and off they go. The majority of these people have little or no business training. What happens often is that lack of training, no planning, and insufficient capital become key sources of business failure. I believe training is essential – and the more true to life it is, the better. That’s where our training programs help business owners every day.

No doubt, it really takes lots of work, money and time to start a business. I’ve heard of coaches advising their clients to not depend on a salary from their new businesses for 3 to 5 years. What to do instead? Keep a part-time job! Not a pretty prospect, is it?

I understand why they would say this. What a lot of new business people underestimate it the amount of work it takes to start from “ground zero”. If you used to have a job and now you have a business, you will likely have a shocking transition. No longer do you wear one hat- you wear many hats. From janitor to bookkeeper to salesperson to marketing director to the person that fulfills the business to CEO – that’s you.

If your business isn’t a hobby you’ll quickly discover having a job was way less work, a hell of a lot easier, and paid more. There is everything to be done and in a lot of cases you are the only ‘everybody’ to do it.

Now here’s the point I want you to get. In my experience with small businesses is- it’s going to be like this for 2 to 3 years. The first year goes just to embracing the new reality; the second year to evolve and expand your operational capacity; and the third year to strengthen your business footing, know-how, experience and confidence. If you pay attention, if you’re smart about it, your business will then have a year 4, a year 5, and so on.

With money and training and expert support you can accelerate the timeline, maybe by half, but that’s best case.

I see too many new businesspeople totally unprepared for this reality. They are undercapitalized; have no plan, no business acumen, and no clue that starting a business required a dramatic alteration in how they live their life. No, it’s not a pretty picture, but here are two powerful tips for how you can beat those odds.

Power Tip #1: Be clear and remember constantly why you are in business. It makes this whole thing a bit easier. Our trainings always incorporate visioning processes for our clients. Having an exciting and vivid vision of the lifestyle and the business you are out to create is a powerful and empowering step forward.

Power Tip #2: Do your best to “fall in love” with building your business. Sales & marketing. Being consistent and reliable at business building will open the door to serve the people you want to serve, and create a valuable asset that will give you immeasurable freedom.

Love the game of business. It’s not mandatory but it sure makes being in business more enjoyable. Eventually, your start-up business years will be behind you. With good training, lots of hard work and lots of love, you’ll be enjoying the autonomy you sought all along. Go for it, you really CAN do it!

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