When you want to win big money, you have to take big risks. This is the essential philosophy on which business is founded. Starting up your own venture is a challenging task. There is a large volume of both physical and mental effort involved that people underestimate vastly. It isn't merely a matter of figuring out what you need and setting it up.
You have to think in terms of long-term strategy, long-term benefits along with fulfilling the need for immediate results. This is why people with business degrees are so highly sought after! However, a paper degree won't go a long way in helping you run a business. You need to have the strength and tenacity for daily operations and monthly struggles. So what sets apart a successful entrepreneur from the pack?
Any business venture is based on solving a problem. When you're selling clothes, you're solving the problem of being naked or looking unfashionable. When you're selling POS software, you're solving the problem of having complicated checkout processes. When you start a business, you need to have foresight about the issues your targeted customers are running coming across. You also need to have the creativity to find a universal, one-size-fits-all solution.
You also need to have foresight about business operations. Just like you anticipated your clients' needs, you have to anticipate your company's needs as well. You have to make smart decisions about what to stock, how to expand, what infrastructure to build etc. This will ensure smooth operations that will allow your venture to grow for a while before you rethink processes on a larger scale.
One of the most essential characteristics of any business owner is creativity. It's easy to get jaded when doing business, and you don't see the results you want. You start resigning yourself to doing tried-and-tested things, and things go downhill from there. This stagnates business ventures and leaves them in the lurch after the initial momentum. You can get tired of running into problems, and eventually, people just give up. This is precisely where you need your creativity to push forward and persist despite challenges.
Business is never smooth sailing. You will run into problems and delays and fire-fighting situations. You have to tap into your creativity to ensure you deal with these situations with the resources you have at hand. You can't always spend thousands to solve small issues. Instead, use your resources creatively to ensure low overheads and high profit margins.
The most common problem most entrepreneurs run into when they start their venture is Renaissance man syndrome. They try to do every little task themselves without leaving space for delegation. This quickly leads to them becoming overwhelmed and burned out.
If you don't already, you should work towards delegating some of your work or responsibilities. A business has too many aspects to be handled by one person. You need to hire a team you trust to carry out the work on your behalf while you supervise and coordinate between them.
Starting something from scratch can put you in a very DIY mindset. To keep costs low, you try and make everything you need for yourself. Unfortunately, while the effort is commendable, this is not a sustainable business plan. With the rise in manufacturing, buying the tools and aids you need is imperative.
Purchasing the things you need can have your time, money, and effort. You should make the decision to buy things like padded envelopes, branded stationery, or even computer infrastructure if those are the things you need on a daily basis. This is so that you can put sustainable operational processes in place for the long-term.
Businesses are all-pervasive for a founder. It's not just a business venture - it's your baby. Something that you named and started from the ground up, often by yourself. It's no wonder that founders have issues extricating their own identity from that of the business. However, if you continue to do that a year down the line, you will find yourself getting burned out.
You need to make sure you set firm boundaries between your work life and your personal life. Business is important, but so is your mental health. You should not tie your self-esteem and self-worth to your bottom line. After the first year of excessive involvement, you should set hours like any workplace and distance yourself from work during your leisure time.