Starting your own business is many people’s dream. Being your own boss, creating innovative products, choosing your own team… There are a lot of advantages to opening a business or launching a startup. However, there are many things to consider beforehand. Many of those are obvious when discusses but somehow many don’t realize their importance or even existence until mentioned. So, what are the things every founder should keep in mind?
A startup is a child
Launching a startup is comparable to having a newborn child. How does having one feel like? Rewarding, certainly. Moreover, it’s exciting, motivating and without a doubt wonderful. But the exhaustion coming with it is of an equal size. A startup will be on your mind requiring your attention constantly, almost 24 hours a day. You will stay up late, get up early and yet there will never be enough time or attention you can give to it.
The mentioned time is very important. The planning won’t always go as planned. Most probably, you will experience more than one significant delay. Perhaps you plan on spending the first 6 months on research, the next 6 months on development and launch in the second year? You’re certainly very ambitious and we wish you all the best. But keep in mind that it’s possible that the 1.5 years deadline to acquire your first client may, in reality, into 2 years. Be prepared and remember that delays are a failure. They are simply a part of the process.
Have finances figured out
Let’s continue with the scenario from above. You expected to have your first client after 1.5 years and to break even after 2.5 years. With the delays, you may break even only after 3-3.5 years. Making profit could come even later. Are you prepared for such situation? How are your personal finances? Do you have enough money saved to supposed yourself and your family when things take unexpected turn?
Many founders don’t take salaries in the first year of the business operations and live only from savings and sale of their assets. Are you secured enough to face it? As scary as it seems and despite startups not being financially rewarding in the first years, the long-term success is worth going through the trouble.
Have your family on board
Earlier in the article a startup was compared to a child. Remember thought, it’s not your actual kid! If you have family and children, make sure not to neglect them with your new business kid. Moreover, the decision of opening up a small business should be made together with the person you are in a relationship with. The reason is that you won’t be the only one affected by the long working hours and lower income.
Sit down with your family and pitch them your idea. However, instead of making it a sales talk, explain all the advantages as well as disadvantages coming with your new adventure. If everyone gets on board, that’s wonderful because your family will be supportive. However, if your family feels concerns, try to find a compromise that will work for all of you.
Your team is everything
It can’t be expressed enough how important a team is. Choosing the right people who you will build your business with may be the most important decision you must make after deciding whether to open that business or not. It’s important to remember that, most probably, you will spend most of your awake time with those people. So, don’t only pick them basing the choice on experience but also personality. You should like your employees and partners! And if your budget is tight, think about hiring a few inters. Remember though, interns will require mentorship and are there with a primary goal to learn.
Natalia Raben is International Business and Management student from Amsterdam taking care of content marketing at DesignBro. Lover of design, photography and the arts.