By Rajiv Varma
Starting a new business can be an exhausting but tremendously rewarding experience. Unfortunately, most new businesses fail within the first year of inception. Here is a brief guide which will increase your chances of succeeding in your business venture.
Starting a new business is an enormous undertaking and has a considerable amount of risk, especially if you are already employed and have a steady source of income. Yet, millions of people around the world take this challenge everyday - Why? Because of an adventurous nature or because of a desire to build a beautiful future or some other reason. As the title suggests, this article is about succeeding in your business rather than the reasons people choosing to go down this risky path. So why talk about this? Because: You must know the reason why you are undertaking this risk. Knowing yourself and why you are choosing to go down this path will be the constant fuel behind the success of your business. Making your venture a success will require many sacrifices and hard-work. There will be times when there is a little voice in your mind which will tell you to give up and move on, but if you know your reasons well and you meditate on why you are going down this path, you will be able to quickly re-focus and put yourself back on track.
Know your reasons
Dig deep into yourself and meditate; eventually, you will know. Then, write it down on paper and work on improving and verbalizing your reasons and intentions. Read this document every day and internalize it thoroughly. Memorize it. You should be able to read with your eyes closed. Now, you will have the most important ingredient: a clear, well-defined and powerful intention.
What is your business idea? The first step is to for you to reflect on why you want to start your business. Choose the type of business you are passionate about: a yoga studio, a dance studio, or a cooking business; whatever it is, it must get your juices flowing. It should be a field in which you have expertise already or you plan to acquire expertise by getting specialized training.
The next step is to develop a commitment and faith in the success of your venture. This is another magic ingredient which is also an internal phenomena. You must practice positive thinking and stay focused on following through with the immediate plans. In times of distrust, meditate on your reasons developed in the first step, but do not dwell on the possibility or the consequences of a failure. Do not dwell on the likelihood of success and the rewards that would come with it, do not fantasize, and do not worry. Just stay focused on the task at hand. Respect the present moment and all that it has to offer.
The above two steps may be the hardest parts, everything else is just mechanics and hard work.
Be practical and grounded
Be practical in your approach before you jumping in. Get a taste of things: If you want to start a yoga studio then get a job at the front-desk of one and gain experience. If you want to open a dance studio, then may be become a part-time dance instructor in a nearby dance-school. You should get involved in the community so that you build your network and get an understanding of what makes a business successful. Distinguish between a marginally profitable versus an extremely profitable studio, and study the differences: Is it the teachers? Is it the quality? Is it the location? Is it the marketing? You could even talk to the patrons and find out what brings them back.
Become an expert
Build technical expertise in your field. If you want to open a yoga studio, then you should try to become the best yoga teacher you know. You should be passionate about yoga and understand the history, philosophy, current trends and also the future of yoga. This will help you in several ways. Firstly it will allow you to startup with minimal running costs. For sure you will be working hard, but you will have first hand understanding of you your customers experiences and develop a more intimate connection with them. Leaders in all successful businesses have a good understanding of their products at the most basic level. One of the most common failure points is poor decision making at the managerial level. If you hire a manager and expect the business to automatically be successful, that may not be the case. The reason is obvious: the passions, incentives and driving force, which you have as an entrepreneur may not be as strong in a manager.
Nourish Your Business
Starting a business is like giving birth to a baby: the business cannot sustain itself even for one day if you don't nourish it or take care of it. It requires a lot of effort just to get it started. There will be many uphill battles while your business continues to lose money. There may be discouraging remarks from friends and family, but you must keep going and pay no attention to those. Go back to the reasons why you started the business. Eventually, the baby will grow up and will be profitable, and then it will keep giving back to you again and again.