The beginning of any journey is usually the hardest. Be it personal or professional, taking those first steps seem the most daunting. Even the most successful of ventures had rocky starts, ups and downs, but those with real grit are able to weather the storm and find their footing. This applies to parenting, starting a new job, graduating from college, going on a hiking trip, training for a marathon, but in this particular case were going to look at taking those first steps to becoming an entrepreneur.
For over 32 years, LiftFund has worked with entrepreneurs from all walks of life, across a variety of industries. We’ve seen businesses transfer from parents to children, we’ve seen single moms take that step to being a “mompreneur,” and we’ve seen couples decide to do something different for the sake of their family. These pioneers have become part of a collective that many people aspire to be like. But before you leave that 9-to-5 there are factors that are key for successful entrepreneurship.
A Strong Network
Whether it be family, friends, professional contacts, or a mix, taking those first steps as an entrepreneur are going to be tough and you’re going to need someone to talk to, exchange ideas with, help you evaluate the legitimacy of your product or service. You don’t need a support group, because you don’t need people that tell you everything is great. What you need is a strong network of individuals that will challenge your ideas, make you think, and put you to the test in order for you achieve your best.
Time (lots of it)
You’re about to work very long hours. Day and night actually, especially at the beginning as you’re setting up your business, and might be the only employee for awhile. This investment of time will pay off, but it’s not an easy thing to do. It’s vital that you understand every aspect of your business, manage the accounting (even working with a professional), getting to know your customers, sales cycles, etc. Things do get easier over time, but plan on it being just you at the beginning.
You probably already know this, but starting a business requires money. But really stop to think what you’re doing to need, and then double it. So many things change, especially as you work with vendors, suppliers, property owners (if you’re renting your space), etc. Always plan for more than you think things will cost because something can always go wrong. In the event everything goes right, great! But at least you were prepared. This is why it’s important to talk to a team of professionals like ours because another pair of eyes from those that work with entrepreneurs just like you can bring new things to your attention.
Never stop learning. We can’t say that enough. As the industry changes, as the times change, as your business grows, as your experience grows, it all requires you to learn something new to become better than you were before. Opening yourself up to learning means that you can adapt quickly when new things arise. Your business will be better for it.
Some of our most intrepid entrepreneurs experience failure after failure as they tried one thing or another. The only way they got to where they got is because they took chances to learn, grow, and adapt. Too often failure has such a negative connotation, so much so that people are afraid of it. In reality failure is really a part of the learning process. Overcoming that fear, and understanding the lesson that needs to be learned from that failure is a true test of a successful entrepreneur.
The goal here at LiftFund is to set you up for success and be a resource for you as you make your journey. Whether you need business capital, tools and resources to manage your business, or workshops to help you become a better entrepreneur, we encourage all business owners to take advantage of what we have to offer.