Getting into business may seem like a great idea in the initial stages.
Maybe you’ve worked for companies before and you’ve seen how inefficient their business processes were. You probably had ideas of how they could improve things, but they didn’t want to move away from the fact that ‘that’s how it’s always been done’.
Or, have you ever felt you could offer something better at a competitive price and avoid many of the mistakes that you’ve seen other companies making?
Great… but how can you get into business and hit the ground running? In this article, we explore some ideas to help you get moving and avoid losing your sanity in the process.
Create the Right Business Structure from the Outset
There are different structures that can be used with a new business.
Certainly, you can work for yourself, but this carries some risks, including the potential to be sued directly.
This would place all your personal assets at risk including your home, any college funds for your kids, and more. Instead, you should consider company structures.
One of the better company structures is forming an LLC. This is a limited liability company that’s registered in a specific state. Once you have done this, it provides both a formal business structure and some protection against being sued personally.
It’s important to do everything for the business within that structure with no overlap in your own life to avoid the potential suggestion that the LLC is just a legal construct that’s the same as you personally.
This ensures that the litigation shield remains in place and your personal assets are safe.
It’s important to form an LLC in California the right way. Each state is a little different in how to proceed, therefore learning how to start an LLC in California correctly is very important. To find out the specifics, check out How to Start an LLC to learn more.
Understand That Flexibility Isn’t as Great as It Seems
If you plan to work from home, the idea of going to bed at any hour has some appeal. Getting up without an alarm clock giving you an instant headache and putting in a few hours when you feel like it holds also sounds great!
However, the reality is that companies have set work hours for good reason. It ensures that enough work gets produced consistently and sets up a framework to enable this to happen reliably. Otherwise, they cannot predict how the business will perform.
Similarly, if you want to get great results in your new business, it’s necessary to be strict with yourself. You will need to create set working hours, taking into consideration whether you’ll work the weekend or one day out of the weekend to get more done.
Be aware of Parkinson’s Law. This suggests that if you give yourself three hours to finish a two-hour task, the task will take the full three hours.
The task expands without the discipline to set a reasonable time to complete it, so make sure you don’t leave everything open-ended.
Decide How Much Work/Life Balance You Need
Work/life balance is a lovely concept. However, the amount of work you must get through to launch a new business, get it off the ground, and develop it into a viable going concern is considerable!
Unless your business idea is something that is small, manageable and runs as a side hustle with only a few hours a week, you’ll need to dig deep with your commitment to putting in the time.
For most entrepreneurs, that means their work/life balance is going to be completely off for the next few months or years to come.
If that’s what your business will require of you, what are you willing to give up in making it successful? It often comes down to that.
Going out for a drink with your friends on a Friday night might have to be skipped if you plan on working on Saturday with a clear head. Going golfing twice a week might need to be trimmed back to once every other week.
Rest assured – there will be sacrifices to be made in the pursuit of business success. Are you ready to make them?
Use the Minimum Viable Product to Avoid Going Down a Rabbit Hole
With a new business, you have a choice; you can either invest everything in a single idea and pursue it until you either succeed or fail miserably, or you can dip your toe tentatively in the water to test the temperature.
When using the minimum viable product (MVP) approach, the idea is to create a first version of a product or service that can be launched as it is. This provides a way to test the market first.
Some entrepreneurs use crowdsourcing to make this even more cost-efficient by taking money for a new product concept even before it’s been produced. This provides the necessary funds to produce it and proves the marketability of the new idea at the same time.
When using the MVP approach, it avoids burning through what capital you have and coming unstuck. Instead, you can try one idea using minimal funds and test the waters.
If it is a non-starter, pivot to another idea until you develop one that finds a ready audience of eager buyers.
Running your own business is a balancing act. It usually demands much longer hours than a regular job. Work/life balance is humorous to entrepreneurs that regularly burn the midnight oil.
Just make sure that you aren’t putting in more hours than needed. It’s better to balance your energy levels by not overworking.
Ultimately, success in business is achieved by doing a few things right and avoiding making catastrophic business errors.
It helps to have a business mentor if you can find one, because they’ve been down the road you’re embarking on and can advise you how to avoid some of the many pitfalls along the way.
If owning a business of your own is in your blood, then don’t let anyone stop you. It may be too risky for other people, but it’s likely your calling.