Despite the lockdowns, quarantines, and restrictions, 2020 witnessed the birth of more new businesses than any of the past 4 years.
Statista.com reports over 800,000 businesses in 2020 being less than a year old and it’s a safe bet that with all of the obstacles imposed by COVID-19, a large amount of those were formed online.
With the way things are going and uncertainty looming in the background of the near and foreseeable future, it’s an even safer bet that many more new businesses are going to be springing up. But before you start filing for that LLC or trying to find those perfect “Bone and Silian Grail” business cards (obligatory American Psycho reference), there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.
- Start Before You Know Everything
The biggest obstacle you’ll be facing right out of the gate is trying to memorize and learn as much as you can about all there is to know about running a business.
Yeah it’s best to know some things before hand but the majority of what you’ll need to learn will only be necessary to learn WHILE you’re running your business. You really only need three things to get started. A product, an intended audience, and a way to get it in front of them.
Worry about Search Engine Optimization, Keyword Farming, Email Scraping, CRM, and Conversion Rates when you’re trying to scale your business.
- Perfect As You Go
Similar to the first point, if you’re anything like me it’s that you have the desire to make everything perfect before you release it to the world.
The truth is that you only need an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). That’s a product that is finished to the point that it does exactly what it’s advertised to do. You can always go back and add on finishing touches and smooth out the edges as time goes by and you’re getting feedback from your customers.
- There is no Such Thing as a Saturated Market
It was 2019 when I decided that I was going to start a Men’s Grooming Supply company. The one thing that I heard from just about everyone (who knew absolutely nothing about business) was that the market was already too saturated for me to be able to ever make any real money from it.
Coffee and Bottled Water are two things that smash their little theory to smithereens.
The fact is that there are no new ideas to be had whatsoever. Unless you’re an inventor, you don’t need to come up with an original idea. You simply need to take an old but proven idea and put your own spin on it with an original audience.
- Automate Early
There is a difference between being an entrepreneur and being self employed that is overlooked by almost everyone. An entrepreneur owns the business while the self employed does the work in a business that he owns.
If the dream is to have more freedom and more money then you need to be automating early on in the game.
Find whatever is taking up the most time and energy and figure out a way to take it off of your plate as soon as possible whether it be by using a software that schedules all of your emails or paying someone else to run and manage your ad campaigns. The rule of thumb that I hold on to is that if it is anything that I either don’t have time to do, don’t know how to do, or simply don’t like doing, I pay for something or someone else to do it for me.
You started a business to stop having a job, not stress out about another one.
- Build Your Business to Fit Your Life, Not the Other Way Around
Lastly, and this is probably the most important one, is that you don’t want to create a business that is going to take away from what you already have. If you’re life allows you 20 hours a week of time to work on and build your business while still leaving you time to spend with the ones you love, then you don’t want to build a business that’s going to cost you 40 hours a week to run.
You want more freedom, more money, and more happiness. Make sure those things are prioritized above all and the money that you make will only multiply them.
Oh yeah. I said 6 things, didn’t I?
Never be afraid to learn from people who are doing what you want to be doing. Most people are more than willing to teach you what they know.
All you have to do is ask.
Now go get started, and good luck.
I’ll look for you in Forbes Magazine this time next year.