Most startups fail within a few years, because of the fierce market, but also due to young business owners not knowing what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Millennials (people born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s) are one of the most entrepreneurial generations to this day, as it’s never been easier for someone to connect with others, gather resources for reaching business goals, and gain knowledge and experience for running a small business.
However, this doesn’t mean that everything comes so easily to them. There are certain questions that everyone should ask themselves before setting sail for new business horizons. You’ll need these things to provide stability, structure, and room for growth, just like building a foundation for a house, otherwise, you’ll never experience the success you hoped for when you got started.
1. What are you most passionate about?
Thanks to modern technology, it’s never been easier to launch and promote a business. However, behind every great idea stands the passion for turning it into reality. There are countless business opportunities you can choose to pursue, but you need to narrow down your search by using one metric – your passion. Write down your aspirations on a piece of paper, and question the “why?” behind them, because if you follow opportunities without regard for your own interests, you may find yourself struggling in the near future. Starting a new venture comes with many sacrifices, so you need to be sure that it aligns with your interests and passions, and brings you joy.
2. Do you have the entrepreneurial spirit?
Being an entrepreneur is a full-time job. You need to be sure whether you’re ready for the sacrifice that comes with the success. Are you ready for failure, disappointment, and rejection? Are you ready to spend a lot of your time away from family and friends? Are you ready for many sleepless nights? You need to be ready to make entrepreneurship your life, not just your job. If you’re prepared to make this sacrifice, you’re in a better position for long-term success.
3. Do you know how to self-motivate?
Business owners are leaders that govern their own ship and breathe optimism and motivation into their employees. But who motivates them when waves of doubt splash them? Good entrepreneurs must know how to motivate themselves. If you feel like getting away from that burden on a regular basis, being in any way selfish, or you don’t like yourself as a business leader, then entrepreneurship may not be for you. You need to be generally optimistic, pragmatic, able to take criticism, exude confidence, and have a positive attitude. Without this, you won’t be able to believe in your company’s brighter future, and if you can’t do that, then your employees can’t either. This leads to an inevitable disaster.
4. Will you have any support?
The difference between business success and failure also lies in the strength of your personal connections, professional network, and relationship with other supporters of your business. Whether it’s a franchisor, business partners, or friends and family, you need to set some expectations from the beginning. Once you have a clear sense of who’s on your side and how they are going to help, you can plan and execute your path to entrepreneurial success much better.
5. Do you have enough funds?
It is absolutely essential to understand the total costs of your entrepreneurial endeavor, because it will come with a lot of financial costs, as well as personal and social sacrifices. Having a realistic understanding of your plans is crucial for growth. Are there any ways to get grants or save on tax payments? For example, with an ABN registration, you’ll be able to claim energy grants, avoid the PAYG (Pay as You Go) tax on payments you receive, and claim GST (Goods and Services Tax) credits.
Be sure to map out the total investment (opening inventory, purchase costs, and the amount of capital you’ll need before you break even) before you chase a new business opportunity. Understanding the real costs of your opportunities will allow you to evaluate which ones you should avoid and which ones are the right ones.
It’s fun to talk about entrepreneurship, but it’s very hard to actually be an entrepreneur. As a business owner, you’ll be able to be your own (as well as other people’s) boss, create the life and hours you want, and eventually meet the success you hoped for. In reality, starting a business is hard and requires a lot of skills. If you have an answer to these questions and are ready to make all the sacrifices, then we wish you a prospering entrepreneurial career.