Running your own business is wonderful! No one is looking over your shoulder or telling you what you should do. Most people who start their own business don’t do it for the expected financial gain, but either to control their own destiny or to achieve certain goals (eg, sales of $5,000,000).
If you look at people who have started their own business, they have a certain sense of contentment, but more importantly, they are engaged with the challenge of running their own business.
While it’s wonderful to start and run your own business, we’ve also seen many people fail at it. Failure is generally not related to motivation or desire. In my opinion, most of these business start-up failures have to do with the entrepreneur not having enough experience or knowledge. I met two men last week who wanted to start their own business. While they were currently working in the industry in which they wanted to start a business, they had no idea of the cost of running the business or an understanding of marketing.
Another entrepreneur I helped was a great chef and wanted to start a restaurant, but had no knowledge of employee management, accounting, or purchasing.
In both cases above, the “future entrepreneur” lacked the required experience so crucial to running a business.
Starting a business is great, but without that experience, it’s license for disaster.
Experience is needed to learn how to avoid costly mistakes and run a business profitably. A new entrepreneur was buying a product, and when all the shipping and handling costs were added up, she was losing money on every item.
Experience can be gained from two sources. First, you can take classes on starting your business at a small business development center. Additionally, I encourage all entrepreneurs to take an accounting course on Quick Books. Quick Books is the leading accounting software for small businesses.
Some of the areas you really need to learn a lot about before starting a business are:
These three areas are the basic areas in which you must have expertise before starting a business.
The other way to gain experience is to work in a meaningful job in the industry you choose. My sister and her husband run a business in Miami that specializes in towels for the hotel and motel industry. Before buying the company, they worked there for 6 months. They had no experience in this type of business before buying it, but acquired the necessary skills through this apprenticeship.
The more experience you gain working in an industry, the fewer mistakes you will make and the more likely you are to succeed.
Starting a business is a difficult but rewarding process. You can increase your chances of success by taking courses in critical areas of running a business and/or gaining as much experience as possible in a meaningful position.
You can do it!
Dr. Osteryoung has directly helped over 3,000 companies. He is the Jim Moran Professor of Entrepreneurship (emeritus) and Professor of Finance (emeritus) at Florida State University. He was the founding executive director of the Jim Moran Institute and held that position from 1995 to 2008. His latest book co-authored with Tim O’Brien, “If You Have Employees, You Really Need This Book” , is a bestseller on Amazon.com. He can be contacted by email at [email protected]