So, you’ve got a great business idea. It’s totally unique and you’re sure it would be a hit in your neighborhood.
Well done. That’s awesome. Really. It’s an overused maxim that anyone can have a great business idea – you’ll often hear business experts telling you, ‘it’s the execution that matters’. But the truth is that it’s actually incredibly difficult to have a truly unique business idea.
At Counter Culture, we love innovative ideas that drive small business forward in interesting new ways. We also know that just taking the plunge and starting a new business isn’t easy.
Opening your own small business can bring all kinds of benefits, not the least of which is the ability to take control of your own financial destiny. And yet, it is all to easy to find reasons why people choose to put the decision off.
Fortunately, those reasons are, by and large, terrible.
Lack of startup capital
Depending on your business idea, you may need less startup capital than you think. Do you really need an expensive, street-facing storefront location to make ends meet? Not always. With the right amount of marketing and publicity, customers will come to you, no matter where you are.
You can apply for small business grants. If you have good credit, you can get a loan from a bank. Look to your family for support – many small businesses owners get the startup capital they need from family and friends who believe in their vision. Do you know someone who’s got the money but not the drive? Well, you’ve got drive in spades. A silent partnership might be the way to go.
What about yourself? Have much money have you squirreled away in savings for that Caribbean cruise? How much did that new car cost? You may need to cut down on some expenses to start saving, but if you truly have a great business idea, it will be well worth it.
No job security
Lack of job security used to be a pretty good argument for not starting your own business. Working for an employer meant paid vacation time, paid sick leave, health care benefits, matching 401k contributions, and more. But we all know what’s been happening with the economy lately. Perks like that are increasingly rare in many industries. And job security? Forget about it. The very moment corporate profits start falling, employees are on the chopping block. “Downsizing” or “restructuring” they like to call it.
If you’re worried about losing that job security, it might be time to do some hard thinking. How secure is your current job? Can you guarantee you’ll still have it five years down the road? How about in ten years? Building your own successful small business will give you the kind of security no job can match.
Fear of competition
There’s already so much competition out there, you think. Surely I can’t compete.
Not so fast! There’s a reason both Coca-Cola and Pepsi exist. People like to have choices.
Do some research into your competitors. What can you offer that’s different from them? What areas are they lacking in that you can exploit? So many new startup ideas come about because someone just like you thought, “If I was running this business, I’d do things a whole lot differently.” Now’s your chance! Find a way to be unique and stand out from the crowd.
Fear of the unknown
You’ve been a cubicle drone all your life. You don’t know the first thing about starting your own business, right?
With the invention of the internet, all the information you could possibly want is at your fingertips. Government websites have all sorts of resources for those looking to start a small business. The local library has plenty of books dedicated to helping small businesses succeed. Your Chamber of Commerce holds networking events, no doubt. Is there a business owner you look up to? Ask them if they will mentor you.
Knowledge is power and the information is out there – if you’re willing to work for it.
For a primer on the world of small business ownership, make sure to check out our very own, completely free guide, Small Business 101.
You’ve heard of business owners working around the clock and pulling 20-hour days. For some this can be off-putting. But hard-work is not the enemy. Boring work is.
It’s true that owning your own business can be hard on your personal life, but as the saying goes, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
It can be really useful to lighten the workload and share the decision-making responsibility with a business partner that you can trust. Ben and Jerry wouldn’t be where they are today without helping each other through the small business maze!
You’ve been dreaming about being your own boss and starting your own business for years. It’s going to be tough at first, we’re not going to lie – but in the end, all of these reasons to not open a business are really just excuses. You can’t let your fear and uncertainty get in the way of your dreams. Think of the day when you finally open your doors and have the pleasure of saying “Please come again!” to your very first customer. If you’re willing to work hard and put the effort into it, there’s no reason you can’t succeed.