If you haven’t started a business before, you can probably think of a million reasons not to do it. Feeling apprehensive about taking the plunge is justified. Creating a successful business isn’t easy.
The problem is that not running your own business may be keeping you from living your ideal lifestyle. Luckily, starting a business isn’t really that difficult. It is a lot of hard work, but your ideal lifestyle is worth it, right?
So what are you waiting for? Are you afraid of failure? Everyone fails at some point. It’s part of the journey of success.
And as Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”
Here are 6 common excuses that shouldn’t stop you from your first business venture.
1. I don’t have enough money
Money doesn’t guarantee success in business. I can tell you that first hand.
You’ve heard that most businesses fail because they run out of money, right? The saying should actually be “all businesses fail when they run out of money.” It’s not about how much money you have, but how long you make what you do have last.
The fact is that most businesses don’t start with much. Instead of waiting for venture capital or an inheritance from your grandparents, use proven techniques of bootstrapping to give your business better odds and get started sooner.
2. I don’t have the time
Saying you don’t have enough time is really a way of saying that something isn’t a high priority for you. We all have the same number of hours in a day, and you decide how to spend those hours.
If you want to be successful in your new business, you’d better assign it a very high priority. Practically speaking, if you can’t afford to quit your job but want to free up some time to work on your new business, why not scale back your hours at your job? That could be a great compromise between income and time for the business.
3. My business plan isn’t perfect
Your business plan? If this is your first time, there’s so much about running a business you don’t know that your business plan can never be perfect. Planning is important, but use the Pareto principle (80/20 rule) to plan what you know and ignore details early on.
4. The timing just isn’t right
When will the timing be right? Are you waiting for the stars to align? Starting a business is a deliberate action, not an act of happenstance.
When you’re running a business, disruptions and moments of bad timing will be common. You might as well gain an advantage by learning to deal with those competing priorities now.
5. There’s too much competition
There’s probably two types of competition you’re worried about: the big guys (established corporations) and the little guys (other startups).
As far as the big guys are concerned, they’re actually afraid of you as much as you are of them, and for good reason. Our increasingly volatile and hyper-innovative economy has decidedly given advantages to startups.
And for the little guys? To some degree, the same fear you have about competition limits the number of startups you might be competing against. On top of that, most markets have room for many winners. You and your competition can both be successful.
Also, don’t forget that during an economic downturn there is probably less competition. That may make a bad economy a great time to start a business.
6. I don’t have all the skills I need
There are a lot of ways to get around this one. Learning the skills you’re missing may not be as difficult as you think. If you don’t want to learn or don’t have the time, you could partner with someone to trade services (for instance, you provide marketing skills, and your partner helps you write software).
If neither of those options are appealing, consider outsourcing. Sites like Elance and oDesk can help you find resources for a reasonable price.
So there, you shouldn’t have any more valid excuses. Get out there and change the world. Just make sure to consider your own lifestyle in your business plans from the start.