Starting a business can be the hardest and most important thing one does in life. A great number of new businesses fail. Even businesses which are well-planned and well-funded, where people work hard, invest themselves, and their time, can become overcome by market forces or simply by bad luck. Starting a business is always a risk.
It is never smooth running either. When I tried to start up my business, Australian Dismissal Services, in 2003, I was challenged almost to the point of abandoning my venture. It was only through consistent perseverance that I eventually succeeded, and ten years later the business is more successful than ever.
From 2001-2003 a business recession caused a small decline in developed economies, particularly the EU and the US. Although the Australian economy remained largely unscathed, the possibility of the recession spreading caused economic conservatism and prudence. As a result, I was unable to obtain venture capital for my business, despite the fact that Australian Dismissal Services is most profitable during a recession or a time of economic hardship. I was refused business loans, rejected by numerous private investors, and unsuccessful in my application to countless new business grants. As people tightened their purse-strings, they were less and less willing to take a risk on a new idea.
Eventually, I was forced to take out a second mortgage on my house in order to be able to afford the services of the industrial relations experts, qualified legal staff and administrative staff that I needed for my business to run. We now service an ever-widening range of industries, in both the government and private sectors, and work businesses of any size. Because the risk was all mine, the returns on my investment are all mine too, but none of this would have happened if I had been discouraged in those early stages of rejection, or if I had lost faith in the viability of my business idea.
Here are five things that every entrepreneur should know before starting a business:
1. Don’t be deterred by bad conditions
If you start a business during a downturn, such as the one we are going through tight now, things will get better for you as the economy recovers. You will learn a lot about saving and budgeting during the hard times too.
2. Be resourceful
You probably already have the basic tools for starting a business—a computer and a phone.
3. Don’t be afraid of debt
For most business enter into debt at some point. Learn to manage it.
4. Find a niche
What do people need? Where is the room for new business? Asking your friends can be a good place to start.
If you are starting up a business, listen to the stories and tips of other entrepreneurs, and then forget about them and follow your own path. You need to trust your instincts with starting up a new business, because if your idea truly is innovative and original, there will be no existing model for how it should be executed.
Danielle McAnn is a copywriter working with Australian Dismissal Services. When Danielle’s not writing content she enjoys swimming, sunbathing and taking her German Shepherd for a walk.
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