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Poor excuses for not starting your own business
A recent ProOpinion survey sought to determine the biggest reasons why some people are reluctant to start their own business. Of the respondents, 42 percent said it's because of a lack of funding, 20 percent said it's due to the fear of failure and 17 percent thought that it's because people just don't know how to start their own business.
Turns out, these reasons are pretty common and, at face value, pretty legitimate. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private organization dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship and improving education, conducted a study that showed a slight decline in the number of people starting businesses between 2010 and 2013. This business trend could be due to a number of factors, including a sluggish economy still trying to bounce back from the great recession of the late 2000s. Such an economic environment, with investors tightening their wallets and companies laying off workers to make up for losses, could make it difficult for people to acquire the necessary capital to start their own business. Networking can provide hopeful entrepreneurs with advice on how to start their business, and even helping hands for their future.
Even as the economy shows signs of resurgence, perhaps it's that some people are just afraid to fall flat on their face after starting a new business, and maybe they're afraid because they lack the ideas or skills that are necessary to build something from the ground, up.
But experts and established entrepreneurs seems to agree that if you've got an entrepreneurial spirit, there's really no excuse why you can't start your own business. Here's why even the best reasons might amount to nothing more than poor excuses in the business world:
Lack of funding
Whether you're operating a successful business or starting from scratch, you're never likely to have "enough" funding at the start, according to Inc. magazine. It is easy to look at your financial situation and determine all of the things that you don't have enough money to do. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that your idea is untenable. Focus on the cash you have at hand, and adjust your business plan to fit your means. By smarting small, and growing gradually, rather than attempting to take on a whole market at once, you can sidestep funding pitfalls while getting your vision off the ground.
One of the major misconceptions surrounding starting a business is that it requires a large and difficult-to-get loan from a bank. Rather than immediately seeking outside funding, however, you can start with a narrower focus that is financially viable, prove concept, and then take your idea from there. This process is common in everything from environmental remediation to the movie industry. For example, Sin City, 2005 Frank Miller film, started off as nothing more than a green screen test of the visual techniques required, which could then be shown to producers. Once that small part of the puzzle was locked into place, investors knew that the larger project was viable, and raised $40 million for the project.
It would go on to gross nearly $160 million at the box office, a success for all involved.
The same idea can be used to fuel ideas for a startup business. Rather than trying to start from a lofty goal and then work backwards, consider tackling a small but manageable problem and mastering the skills necessary. This could mean focusing on a particular market segment, location or industry, which can have multiple benefits: it allows you to seek a loan with much better data and forecasting, and also could provide valuable insight that helps hone your strategy.
"Accept that you'll be taking risks no matter what you do."
Fear of failure
There are perhaps a million and one clichés that could be applied to this one, but all of them are true. If this is your best reason not to do something, then your best bet is probably to get over it. You should accept that you'll be taking risks no matter what you do, so you're better off going forward and minimizing risks by starting small and crafting a smart business plan, according to Smarta Enterprises.
In fact, failure is often one of the first signposts to success. The lessons that you can glean from an early failure will carry over to later endeavors, and will give you greater insight not into just the industries in which you work, but also into your own processes.
There is no shortage of successful figures whose careers were ultimately boosted by early stumbles. Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first on-screen television job for becoming too emotionally invested. Walt Disney lost a job at a newspaper because his cartoons didn't fit their vision. Even Henry Ford, whose name has become nigh-synonymous with cars, needed multiple failed automobile businesses before he hit on a
Just don't know how
Very few people start out knowing exactly how to do what they end up being great at. It's true that you can't put a price on natural talent, but you can develop amazing skill sets if you're willing to learn and put the time in. Mike Templeman, an entrepreneur and contributor to Entrepreneur magazine said that the best way to acquire skills is to force yourself to do what you don't know how to do. If you're unsure about something, ask someone for help. Talk to other business owners about their approach, or take advantage of social media. People are more accessible than ever, and if you do a little digging you can find contacts who will offer useful advice in starting a business.
In essence, the entrepreneurial spirit is all about taking what you can't do and making it happen. Steve Jobs started Apple in a garage with a few fellow nerds, and we all know how that turned out. While obviously not everyone is the next Jobs, there are plenty of successful businesses that started from nothing. The business world is changing to fit a tech savvy culture, and now might even be the best time to find a way to cash in with the next clever app-driven start up.
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