3 Things You Must Consider Before Starting a Business

Design Patterns Business Cards by Michael Kappel
Design Patterns Business Cards by Michael Kappel

Have you ever considered starting a business? Maybe, you’re considering starting another business? If so, I’m sure there have been a ton of questions going through your mind while deciding if it’s going to be a go or a no-go.

Making the decision to start the business is only half the battle. If this is unfamiliar territory, this is something you will learn early on in your startup. You can easily find yourself getting consumed with designing your logo, creating your website, making business cards, and much much more.

While these items have their place, there are a few critical questions to consider before diving head first into your new venture.

Here are the three questions to consider before starting a business:

  1. Have you defined the mission and vision for your business?

  2. Are you clear on your priorities and non-negotiables?

  3. Are you committed to put in the time?

I decided to first share the questions to consider to get you thinking. Now, let’s breakdown each question and how it’s relevant to ensuring you get off on the right track.

1. Have You Defined the Mission and Vision for Your Business?

It all starts as an idea of the product or service offering you would like to bring to market. You probably have a vague sense of what the purpose for product or service, however, being vague on something like this can be problematic.

Without having clear understanding of your WHY, it will increasingly become more and more difficult to maintain your focus as you continue your entrepreneurial journey.

When you a just getting started, it’s easier to plow through the uncertainty because it’s all new to you.

However, this approach starts to breakdown after the initial excitement wears off and you realize that starting this business is going to be more work than you initially anticipated.

Now, you are prime candidate for clearly defining your mission and vision for your business. In the early stages of starting a business, you will find yourself with the temptation of taking your business in a million directions, all at the same time.

This is extremely problematic. You will find yourself bouncing from idea to idea.

Starting everything and never finishing anything. This can and will cause you to burnout before you reach the end of your first month in business.

Your mission and vision will provide you with a filter that you can apply to every potential business opportunity that comes your way. This filter helps you to determine if you should pursue a particular business idea, table it for later, or even trash it all together.

Time is the one commodity that you can never get back. So, wasting time pursuing ideas that line up with your vision for you company is not an option.

I’ll outline how to create your mission and vision statements in later posts. For now, understanding that having a mission and vision for your company is a core component for guiding future business decisions and helping you maintain laser focus.

2. Are You Clear on Your Priorities and Non-Negotiables?

Starting a business has it’s rewards, however it also has it’s challenges. You have to be careful not to allow the challenges to outweigh the rewards. This is sometimes (actually most times) easier said than done.

You will constantly find yourself in positions that challenge you to find more hours in the day to get things done. The severity of this is determined by your current lifestyle. Are you married? Do you have any kids? If so, how many?

The general idea is that the more involved your personal life, whether it be family and/or friends, there will be times were you will have to make the hard decision to work on your business over spending time with them.

However, be careful. This can be a slippery slope, and this is where most people lose their footing.

Even though you will be faced with having to consistently dedicate time to work on your business, you cannot neglect those that are most important to you – your family and friends. In my opinion, it’s no fun achieving success and not having anyone to share it with.

I’m not willing to compromise and you have to be the same way.

That doesn’t mean, you have to choose one over the other. However, it does mean you have to be intentional about everything you do, every place you go, and every relationship you invest in and be sure it’s time well spent based on your priorities – what’s most important to you?

3. Are You Committed to Putting in the Time?

Starting a business requires a tremendous level of commitment. If that’s not understood from the start, you will find yourself frequently considering throwing in the towel.

The commitment required is not something that can be achieved on accident, you must be intentional about it. This is the only way you will have a fighting chance at achieving your goals in the business, without having to sacrifice everything else.

I would recommend scheduling time each week that can be dedicated to working solely on your business. Consistency is key here. You want to make sure that you are always making progress.

Remember, this is not a sprint. It’s a marathon and you are in this for the long haul.

I would recommend spending the bare minimum of 7-10 hours a week. That is an average of about 1.5 hours a day, which is pretty reasonable.

If you are able to dedicate more time, go for it. If you have a day-job and this is something you will be doing part-time, aim to dedicate 20 hours ore more.

When making your decision on how much time to dedicate to your business, remember you do have other obligations. If you take the stance that sacrificing your relationships and health are not an option, you have to schedule the time and commit to it.

My Questions for You

After reading about the three things to consider, I hope they have got you thinking. Answering these questions can put you in the proper mindset that will have a positive impact on making steady progress as you start your business.

Share your thoughts and feedback below in the comments below.

Comments

  1. says

    Great points for the would be Entrepreneur.

    All too often, I think people only picture what they want to see and not everything that goes into running a business.

    Obviously some business models are much better than others, but all things need to be considered.

    I read a book many years ago, ‘Never Fight With A Pig’ the author talked about making sure you would be willing to go and spend some time wherever you are setting up a business…

    If you don’t want to spend 16 hours a day working, make sure you have enough money in your plan to hire a manager.

    If you would rather spend every day at the beach, you might want to look at starting an online business over buying a fast food franchise…

    You make a great point Dwayne, know exactly what it is that you want before you even get started!

    • says

      Thanks Mike, I appreciate your feedback. You made a few great points yourself. I agree with the statement that a person should scope out the location for their business before setting up shop when a physical location is required.

      To often entrepreneurs jump headfirst into decisions like leasing a space, with little to no thought about whether or not their business can thrive or at least survive in that location.

      I have worked 16 hours days before. It was no fun and I wouldn’t recommend it, especially for a extended period of time.

      However, it’s easier said than done when trying to balance a full-time commitment, along with running your business part-time. Identifying clear priorities have helped me tremendously in my efforts to balance everything.

      • says

        Yes, yes, you clarified what I was trying to say.

        Launching a business takes hard work, you always hear people talk about working long days in the start up phase.

        You just do what it takes to get things rolling.

        What I didn’t anticipate with one particular business was how much effort it was going to take over a prolonged period of time when things went sideways.

        That’s the underlying meaning I have grown to accept about being an Entrepreneur from the comment that I read about you have to be willing to spend some time in that business.

        He was referring to location when he said it, but you need to be willing to get down in the trenches and do the work for whatever product or service it is that you are looking to provide.

        When the wheels fall off the bus, which they often do, for first time business owners. All your employees are still going to want to head home at quitting time and get paid on time every time.

        Which can leave you, as the owner, picking up the slack to make sure deadlines are met, services are provided, and even paying employees when you can’t afford to pay yourself!

        Being an entrepreneur can very tough, but also extremely rewarding. I heard someone say once, it’s just as easy to marry a rich girl…

        It’s kind of odd, but the same goes with a business, it’s just as easy to pick a business model that suits your needs and desires perfectly but you have to do the due diligence up front to make sure that is what you are getting into…

        • says

          You’re right Mike. When an entrepreneur is unaware of the occasional challenges that come along with building a business, it makes it easier for them to feel discouraged – which causes them to gradually become less engaged with their business.

          The less engaged they become, the more the “wheels falling off effect” begins to set in. At that point, the vicious cycle has begin and it’s likely it will only be a matter of time before the entrepreneur becomes yet another statistic.

          As an entrepreneur, you have to have an inner resolve that you are going to be relentless no matter what. Once the entrepreneur takes that stance, adds a ton of diligence and dedication, the likelihood of success drastically increases – granted they have selected the right business for their personality and have positioned their product or service correctly.

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