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Got dreams of starting your own business? It could be time to stop making excuses and to start pursuing your business dreams. Here are just a few of the common excuses that people make (and why you should stop making these excuses).
‘I can’t afford to start a business’
One of the biggest reasons many of us never start a business is because of the initial costs. It’s true – starting a business can be expensive. But you don’t need to have lots of money saved up to start a business.
Borrowing money is a popular option when starting a business. In fact, many of the most successful businesses were started off the back of a business loan. There are many sites for comparing business loans that can help you to track down the cheapest interest rates. Having a good credit score helps – if you’ve got a low credit score, you may want to ask your bank about credit-builder schemes.
You can also get help from investors. This involves giving away future shares in profits to investor, who in return will give you a large sum of money to start your business with. Crowdfunding can be a way of gaining funds from multiple investors as is a popular form of seeking investment.
Of course, not all businesses may require lots of money to start up. You can start up many businesses with nothing but a laptop and a phone. Hiring employees and acquiring office space aren’t always necessary – by running a business from home and outsourcing duties you can save a lot of money.
You can also save money by doing a lot of your own marketing. While it can be beneficial to hire a web developer to build a professional site, there are platforms like WordPress that can allow you to build your own site for free without programming knowledge. Meanwhile, there are platforms like social media that you can use to freely promote your business and gain exposure (although you may want to try doing some paid advertising).
‘I don’t have the time to start a business’
Starting and running a business does take up a lot of time. But like anything that you’re passionate about, it’s possible to create this time. It all comes down to what your priorities are.
If you currently work a full-time job, going part-time while you get your business started could be worth trying. This allows you to keep some form of steady income while not having to sacrifice too many evenings and weekends.
You can also ask friends and family to babysit if you’re having to juggle the responsibility of kids. This could save you the cost of childcare while allowing you to focus time on your business.
Once your business is up and running, you can set your own work hours around your other commitments. If you need to pick the kids up from school or take the dog out for a walk, you can do. This is one of the great perks of owning a business – you decide when you work.
‘I don’t have any business skills’
Not having any business skills shouldn’t be a reason to give up on your business dreams either. Many of the skills required to run a business are learnt on the job. Others can be easily picked up by seeking advice from the right places.
One option could be to take a course. This could be a general business course or a course in a specific area of business such as bookkeeping. Such courses can be taken online allowing you to study them around commitments in your own time. There are also short courses which allow you to cram the necessary information in.
You can also attend seminars and workshops on everything from bookkeeping to HR. Such events can be cheaper and less time-consuming than courses. They may also be a better option if you’re not interested in achieving a qualification. Cities are often the best places to find these.
You can also try reading books and blog articles on business tips. Such information can be absorbed in your own time, making it more suitable for some people.
Finally, there’s also the option of outsourcing help. Some of the most experienced business owners still rely heavily on professional advisors. These are experts in specific fields that can offer educated advice on anything you may need from financial help to marketing advice.
You can even outsource people to take on jobs for you that you don’t feel proficient at. If you don’t feel comfortable filing your own taxes, why not hire an accountant to do it for you?
‘There’s too much competition’
Having lots of competition isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, entering a market with lots of strong competitors shows that there’s a clear demand for your business model. If there wasn’t a demand, none of those competitive business would be thriving.
The key is to develop a USP. Your business doesn’t have to be entirely original, but it does need to have one unique feature about it whether it’s an exclusive product or lower prices than your competitors or an eco-friendly angle.
You can find this USP by researching into your competitors and working out what each of them could be doing better. Competitor research could include trying out their products and services or simply checking out their website and social media to see what they’re up to. You can also identify a USP by doing surveys on consumers and organizing focus groups to help find out what your target market feel is missing from current competitors.
‘So many businesses fail – what if mine fails too?’
Some sources suggest that three quarters of small businesses fail. Others go as far as to state that 90% of small businesses fail! Clearly there’s a lot of conflicting information out there.
You can let yourself be put off by these doom and gloom statistics or you can consider the fact that there are many successful businesses out there. Unless you’re prepared to take the leap, you’ll never be certain as to whether your business is likely to be a failure or a success. The only failure is the failure to try.
Besides, a failing business doesn’t have to be the end of the world. You can fail a business with little losses and move on with your life knowing that you at least gave it a go.
The key is not to go all in straight away. As suggested in this post Could A Side Hustle Make Your Entrepreneurial Dreams A Reality?, it’s always possible to start a business as a small project on the side while working another job. If things don’t work out, you’ve still got a steady income coming in to make sure that the bills are paid on time.
Of course, a business can always still fail later on when you’ve fully committed to it. The important thing to remember is that there is advice and support out there for such situations – business advisors can able to help you get out with minimal damage is necessary. You’re not in it alone.
For now, simply focus on the ‘what if i succeed..’ possibilities rather than the ‘what if I fail possibilities…’.
Optimism can go a long way and will help you to take the right risks.