In the tax year 2018-19 there were more than 670,000 new business start ups in the UK. That’s more than 1,800 per day and shows the incredible ambitions people hold.
But statistics show that 20% of these will not survive the first year and around 60% of startups in the UK fail within the first three years. One of the most common reasons is a lack of planning and a lack of understanding of what going into business involves.
Quite often, people start a business without spending sufficient time thinking about why they want to be in business and failing to plan properly. In fact, some people take their holiday planning more seriously – they know exactly where, when and with whom they will be travelling as well as come up with specific travel itineraries and tourist attractions they want to visit. Building a successful business is no different – it’s a long journey that needs to be thought through.
The very first question you need to consider before you even start with your business plan is “why do I want to be in business? What is it going to bring me?”
If you know your “why”, you are more likely to stay committed to your dream and inspire other people to get on board with you..
When working with startups, we typically ask a few key questions to get people thinking about their reasons for going into business and whether it is suited to them.
– What do you want to accomplish?
– What are your goals?
– What does success look like for you?
– What is the vision for your business?
– How will this business affect your personal life?
It’s important to not only understand what your career goals, wants and needs are but also how they will impact on your personal life and other people in your life and your plans for the future.
For instance, if you’re considering relocating or perhaps starting a family, your plans, short-term and long-term, may need to be considered. You’ll need to give time and focus to your new business to be successful, so making sure that you will be able to do so is essential.
It’s also important to take stock and make sure you’re going into business for the right reasons.
Now, while this may be different for everyone, there are some general right and wrong reasons to be in business. And if you’re in business for the wrong reasons you’re more likely to fail.
Let’s have a look at them:
The best reasons to be in business
Successful entrepreneurs know that the best business ideas come from a genuine interest and belief that something can bring value to people. This will more likely to lead to success:
You see an opportunity
Have you noticed a gap in the market that you can fill in and a considerable amount of people are willing to pay for it? Or maybe you have a new innovation that could attract customers’ attention?
Then go for it! But make sure this opportunity is actually real by doing some thorough market research to make sure you’re being realistic and not overly ambitious.
You believe that your business will bring value to people
The main purpose of every business is to bring value to their customers – that is why they are willing to pay for it. If you think that your idea will bring value to a sizable number of people, you have a good reason to start a business. Again, do your research or consult a professional for advice on whether your idea is scalable.
You are excited to work hard on your passion
Looking at successful entrepreneurs, you will seldom find one who doesn’t work hard on their passion. The most successful businesses in the world are run by people who have tirelessly pursued their dreams.
Have a look at Elon Musk, for example. Even being one of the richest businessmen in the world he still works 80-hour weeks and sometimes even sleeps in his office to get everything done.
You have the necessary experience and resources
While business success will be mostly determined by your attitudes and hard work, having the appropriate experience and resources will certainly help and could be essential for some types of business..
When starting a business you will benefit from any knowledge on the industry, its markets, customers, competitors and so on. You’ll also need the relevant resources to turn your idea into reality. This could be in the form of information, financial capital, valuable networks, etc.
The worst reasons to be in business
If you start a business for the wrong reasons you will most likely struggle to be self-driven and passionate about your business the moment you encounter challenges. If you’re considering going into business for any of the following reasons it may be a good idea to pause and rethink your plans..
You are in it for the money
While you should be able to make a good living out of it, money should not be the main reason to be in business. Profits will not necessarily come easy.
When you first start your business, you may face many challenges that will require passion and stubbornness. If you are in it just for money, you will find it difficult to stay motivated and work hard, especially when your business is not generating much profit.
When you do what you love, money is not the priority.
You want to work less
Running a business can be immensely time-consuming and, at times, challenging. This is especially true at the very beginning – there is always work that needs to be done and calls that need to be made.
As the owner, you are the one responsible for making sure that everything is finished on time at all times. So, if you expect to work less as a business owner you may be discouraged by the reality.
You want more flexibility
It is true that, as an entrepreneur, you can set your own working hours. However, you may still not have full flexibility. While no one can tell you when to do what, you might still have to deal with customers who do not care about your sleeping schedule, weekends or holiday plans.
You might have to be ready to drop everything when your business really needs you. If you truly care about your customers and your business success, this will not be an issue of course.
You want to be your own boss and only answer to yourself
Being a business owner means that you don’t have a boss who you need to answer to. This doesn’t mean, however, that you don’t have to answer to anyone. Running a business puts great responsibility on your shoulders – you are the one to deal with any issues, make difficult decisions and answer to customers, suppliers and your employees. The buck will stop with you!
You want to have fun
Starting your own business can be a lot of fun, especially if you are doing something you love. However, you may have to deal with some tedious and unpleasant tasks and possibly an overwhelming workload at times. So while it’s essential to enjoy yourself in the process, you shouldn’t only rely on the fun times to keep you going.
Running your own business requires a lot of time, effort and self-motivation. You will be the responsible person who people will come to with questions, concerns and issues. You will also be the only person that truly cares about the success of your business, with no external motives.
Coping with all of these things will not be possible if you are not genuinely passionate and excited about your business idea. Therefore, it’s vital that you understand your “why’s” before getting yourself into it.
Talk to us about your business idea
Do you have a brilliant business idea but you’re not sure how to get started? You’ve come to the right place!
Our friendly team will help and support you every step of the way. We will provide you with valuable business advice and help you better understand your numbers for a smooth start to building a successful business.
Call us on 01202 755600 or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for an informal chat.