Want to start a successful business but nervous about taking the first steps? Read five challenges you need to overcome to find entrepreneurial bliss.
With as many as 50% of start-ups failing in the first two years, ‘entrepreneurial bliss’ may be simply surviving past the 24 month mark! But for us, business heaven is about more than just survival. It’s confidently starting and growing a business you love on your terms. (Find out how we can help you do just that here.)
One woman who knows all about finding entrepreneurial bliss is Saija Mahon, founder of Mahon Digital. And now she’s sharing the secrets of her own success with us.
Starting a business was the best thing I have done
Starting my own business was the best thing I have ever done in my professional life – it allows me to deliver the service I want, instead of having to follow someone else’s style.
Thanks to my passion for starting something of my own, the decision to jump head first into my new entrepreneurial adventure was fairly easy for me. I also had quite a strong network of contacts in place to get started, after years of experience in my industry.
Five entrepreneurial challenges you need to overcome
However, I appreciate the leap may not be as easy for everyone. So, to help you, here are five challenges I believe you need to overcome to find entrepreneurial bliss just like me.
1) Starting up
Being an independent entrepreneur with my own style meant I had to do everything personally, right?
Not at all. No-one exists in isolation, and every successful entrepreneur has a support network around her or him. Family is vital, and I’ve been lucky to have a very supportive family — including advice from my father, also an entrepreneur.
It’s important, too, to reach out to the local business community for help and advice. Far from being jealous competitors, most entrepreneurs are eager to offer newcomers everything from warnings about pitfalls they’ve experienced to help in finding business.
What puts many people off taking the plunge and starting their own business is fear over money — how am I going to finance it? If you do genuinely need capital, the banks are becoming gradually less cautious about offering loans, but it’s far better if you can avoid that.
I achieved this by using an online-only business model, needing very little capital. Starting that way meant I could wait till the money began coming in to invest in growing the business, instead of needing it up front.
If you do need investment, read five ways you can finance your business start-up.
3) Who to hire?
It’s easy to assume that you hire the people whose CVs look most impressive, but really the CV, and even experience, is secondary.
From the first employees I took on, the one thing I’ve looked for above all is passion. Skills can be learnt, but you either have passion or you don’t. Without it, the most brilliant web designer, marketer or SEO expert can be a burden, not a help.
4) Grow and scale up without breaking the bank
Every business wants to grow, but it’s easy to overreach yourself financially. My approach has been to make sure I have tools in place to keep costs down, such free communications systems (Skype, Vonage etc).
Traditionally, a business needed to advertise to make money, but needed money to advertise. Today, though, an entrepreneur is her own advertisement. I’ve used networking groups and events I’ve organised myself to tell people about my business, as well as both keeping up my own blog and writing elsewhere on the internet. You may be great at what you do, but that’s no good unless you let everyone know you’re the best.
5) Believe in your vision
There’s nothing more important than this. After all, if I didn’t believe in my vision, how could I expect anyone else to?
You’re the only person in the world who offers precisely what you do. If you never forget that, the battle’s already more than half won.
You can learn more about Saija’s business, Mahon Digital, on their website.Saija Mahon