I’ve heard a lot of debate around going all in on your business from both sides.
The ALL IN ON YOUR BUSINESS side says you need to be all in to commit 100% to building your business. Without that 100% commitment, you will always have a Plan B and a way out. If things get too hard, you will opt out.
The other side says to start your business while still having a steady income (even if its a part-time income), which allows you to be less stressed about getting initial revenue in the new company.
Each startup business is unique largely due to the people starting it. Know that “ 18.4% of private sector businesses in the U.S. fail within the first year. After five years, 49.7% have faltered, while after 10 years, 65.5% of businesses have failed” (Lendingtree.com). A lot of this seems to be from not being 100% prepared to start the business. It’s not asking enough powerful questions as you get started.
Ask the Right Questions Before Starting a Business
Having an entrepreneurial mindset is all about asking powerful questions. It’s asking yourself the hard questions. It’s challenging your thought process and your beliefs. You don’t do this only at the beginning of the entrepreneurial journey but forever. These may seem like basic questions but you would be surprised how many individuals starting a company don’t think through all of these.
The Personal Questions
- Do you have savings that you can rely on during the initial starting of your business? When I say savings, can you cover your personal expenses for at least the next six months if not longer?
- Are you able to live on a small amount of money as you get the company started or do you have a lot of personal expenses like a mortgage and debt? Are there personal expenses you can cut out?
- Are you able to start your company on a shoestring budget or does your industry have a lot of overhead?
- Is your spouse or partner supportive of this next step? This is critical as you move forward to start a business. You need an understanding spouse so when you are working long hours or putting some hours in on the weekend, he/she is supportive.
- If you do have a family, is your spouse or partner able to carry the income if necessary for a while?
- Do you have kids? If so, what are the expenses for your children?
- Do you get health insurance from your current employer? Is your family on your health insurance?
The Business Questions
- Have you written down the vision for your company?
- Do you have a short business plan? Depending on the type of business, I don’t always feel you need a full blown huge business plan unless you are starting something that is capital intensive where you may need loans now or down the road. For service-oriented companies with low overhead, having a short initial plan written out is a good place to start your road map.
- Have you created initial goals and action steps for your business as you get started? This includes annual, quarterly and monthly goals along with the action steps it needs to take.
- Have you assessed your strengths and weaknesses before getting started? When you begin a business, depending on your startup capital, you often do it all in the company. You are the visionary, bookkeeper, service provider, website designer, sales person, marketer etc. You need to be clear on what you are good at and know the expenses needed to farm out the other aspects to another person or company.
- Do you have startup capital?
- Are you clear on your avatar, target market or ideal client? No not everyone is your ideal client.
- Are you involving your spouse/partner in your big picture? This can be critical in helping gain his or her continued support and buy in for the business.
The two lists of questions above are not exhaustive but a place to start. Ask your own questions to round out the list. To learn more about what entrepreneurs face each and every day when they first start a business, check out our Dream Plan Start Grow podcast where we interview everyday entrepreneurs on how they got started. We discuss the challenges and success each has had as they developed the business.
Go All In on Your Business
First and foremost, if you can go ALL IN immediately without jeopardizing your family, DO IT! When I say jeopardizing your family, this means do you have a mortgage that you are largely financially responsible for? Do you have kids? This does NOT mean driving a luxury car or eating out every night of the week. Starting and growing a business takes a lot of hard work and financial success isn’t generally immediate. It may take a year or many years to get where you want to go. Entrepreneurs I know are never satisfied. As they complete one milestone, they surge ahead to the next one. Understand that if you are used to making a lot of money and supporting a lifestyle of nice cars, eating out a lot, vacationing at the nicest resorts and more, you may need to cut much of this to start as you build your company.
If its fear holding you from going all in on your business then examine your beliefs and level up. Hire a business coach to support you. Look at your immediate friends/family circle and determine whether they are supportive of your dream or negative about your vision. Find people who continue to support you and boost your energy and confidence and not tear you down. If necessary, cut the others out.
Reap the Rewards
Starting a business is a tough but rewarding journey. Ask the right questions before you get started. Continue to learn, grow and expand as you go all in on your business and build your company. Know that you are not alone. Join a mastermind, hire a business coach, create a friend/family circle that is supportive and doesn’t tear you down. If there’s anything I can do to support you, schedule a complimentary 30-minute call. Go to the home page of Dream Plan Start Grow and click on “Book a Meeting with Me”.