The Kauffman Foundation acknowledges the slow growth of startups in the U.S., but believes that the long-term health of entrepreneurship will rise in 2016.
Wendy Guillies, President and CEO of Kauffman, points out the lowered barriers of entrepreneurship due to technological advancements, which result to more affordable server storage and better access to software.
Lowered costs will only encourage people with entrepreneurial spirits to building a business. However, cost is just one of the many obstacles that entrepreneurs and startups will have to overcome to truly call themselves business owners.
Below are other factors that you need to consider with your startup.
1. Are You Ready Psychologically?
The Change School co-founder Grace Clapham said in a Business News Daily article that people become entrepreneurs so they can escape their nine-to-five jobs and have more time for themselves. These are effects of successful entrepreneurship, which is only possible through hard work.
Running a business demands a lot of your time and attention, which runs in contrary to the belief that entrepreneurs have lots of free time on their hands.
The grind of entrepreneurship can also take a toll on their psyche. Even if you as entrepreneur feel prepared with the work that comes in building a business, you have to consider that 80 percent fail within the first 18 months.
Are you truly convinced that being an entrepreneur with a 1/5 chance of success is your true calling in life?
You need to consider all factors involved in the start up of a business, from the failures you will have to experience and overcome, down to spending more hours working on your business than doing other things.
If you are still on the fence about whether or not to start a business, the aforementioned Change School offers retreats to individuals who are planning to make a transition in their lives. The retreats will help them find answers to their questions and determine if they are ready to take a big step.
2. Is You Idea Worth a Lick?
What makes a business idea great?
Facebook was far from being an original concept but it has outlived most of its competitors to become the most popular online social networking platform.
A great business idea does not necessarily have to be unique, either, although it helps in putting your business at a very favorable position for being one of a kind.
A great business idea, therefore, is something that lots of people will spend their money on.
Even ridiculous business ideas end up doing pretty well because it fills a certain demand in the market. Even if others find your business idea “stupid,” as long as there are potential customers whom you can tap into, then your idea is worth turning into a business.
You may want to refine your idea from a business standpoint and determine its feasibility in the long run to determine if this is a business that you want to run with.
3. Have You Done Your Homework?
Great business ideas never fully materialize without a plan backing them.
You must find a way to communicate how useful or groundbreaking your business is to your audience in the market. Considering that new competitors continue to saturate the market, you need to establish a unique selling point to help distinguish your business above the rest. Not to mention, you must cover all your bases by identifying possible problems that your startup will soon face and come up with solutions for each.
There are many other factors that you must answer to when starting a business, which is why you need to develop a business plan. A solid business plan can go a long way in helping you acquire funding (more on that later), determine an exit strategy, and mitigate legal problems.
Preparing a business strategy is also of utmost importance because you need to clearly state the steps your business will take in order to achieve your goals.
By laying down your plan and strategy, you have a clear idea on how to proceed with your business.
4. Do You Have Other Sources of Funding?
Building a business nowadays has become relatively affordable with tools and software that help automate operational tasks. But these are just part of the many other things that will comprise your startup costs. Employee salaries, infrastructure maintenance, and other services can pile up if you do not plan for them properly.
Estimating their costs within a 12-month window will help, but what if your business incurs unforeseen financial problems that you cannot get out of, despite your earnings?
Looking for investors or people who will provide your business with financial relief while starting up your business is an excellent way to overcome these unforeseen financial problems. Your business plan, which provides investors with an idea on how clear and scalable your business model is, should help you acquire investors early on. In the long run, however, you want to ensure the safety of your business by looking for more funds.
Funding services like Credit Suite allow you access to hundreds and thousand of dollars, whether you are just starting your business or already have an established one. You can acquire funding without collateral or cash flow requirements, which makes it ideal for startups still building up a client base.
5. Where Will Your Operations Work?
Running a business involves figuring out how you and your partners will be running it.
The trend among startups nowadays is to hire a remote or virtual workforce to lower operational costs. More importantly, remote workers point to increased productivity. Because they are dealing with less stress from traveling from home to office and back for hours everyday, virtual employees get to focus on producing the output instead.
On the downside, some startups benefit from having employees clocking in and out of a brick-and-mortar office. They get to track and measure the performance of each employee as they work within a collaborative environment. Also, office workers get to build a tight-knit relationship with the business that is lacking with home-based workers.
Both types of operations have their pros and cons, so find out which type works best for your business. As a compromise, you can set up a brick-and-mortar office and hire remote freelancers to do some of your work so you get to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Wrapping It Up
Answering these five questions will help you gain a better understanding of how you can build, develop, and sustain your business this year and beyond.
There will be more questions that will befuddle you along the way, but the ones listed above should help cover the bases of your business and leave no doubt in your mind that you are ready for entrepreneurial success.