What You Need to Know BEFORE Starting A Business

What You Need to Know Before Starting A Business

My husband took the big leap in June of 2016. It was one of the scariest decisions we’d ever made. It wasn’t just a decision–it was a move, a jump. There were some things we knew, but there was a whole lot we didn’t know. Since then we’ve learn so much about business, entrepreneurship, and making stuff work. That’s what I’m going to share with you in What You Need to Know BEFORE Starting A Business.

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How It Got Started

We’d been married a year and a half. That’s not very long at all. I was working a full time job in the medical field as a certified professional, doing what I loved. Having that backup income gave my husband the confidence to start his business.

My husband, Adam, had been working a 9-5 doing meticulous work that he absolutely did not enjoy. Furthermore, he was terrible at it. We look back and laugh now, thinking about how he was trying so hard to be a square peg in a round hole.

June of 2016 was the big month. He took off. Well, it was more like he started. Because nothing actually took off.

Hindsight is 20/20, so here are 5 things that our now-perfect vision taught us and what you really need to know before starting a business.

Don’t Expect A Big Return During the First Year

When I say Adam started and that nothing took off, that’s exactly what I mean. We planned, we prepared, and we prayed.

That does not mean that massive success plopped into our laps. All that means is that we felt like it was the right decision.

We still had to start building from the ground. From nothing. It didn’t come easily, either. There were so many times we just wished his business would take off and the income would come pouring in.

But that just isn’t how good business is built.

Proverbs 13:11 says, “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it” (ESV).

Searching for get-rich-quick-schemes isn’t realistic, and it isn’t wise. When it comes to building your blog or business, you need to understand that you have to build it up just like you would a sturdy house.

You start with a solid foundation and then you build upward, slowly but surely. All the parts of what you’re building have to be constructed correctly. If something isn’t right, you have to tear it down and start over.

This takes time, learning, growing, and a lot of hard work. So don’t expect massive profit during this season. It takes at least a year for things to start gaining momentum.

A year of no real profit does not mean failure. It means you’re learning.

Make sure you’re expecting the right things and have the right perspective about time.

Prepare to Make Some Serious Sacrifices

How we would have loved for Adam’s business to explode immediately. It didn’t. But it still required 500% out of us.

Every day.

There were times when I watched him work himself into exhaustion for very little return. This is where his vision and his determination became everything.

Adam believed in his business. He knew he was on to something and was prepared to make the sacrifice.

It also meant I needed to sacrifice, too. I was part of the team. Working my full-time job to help provide financial security was only part of the game. I learned how to shave our budget down like crazy and how to save over $500 a month doing these basic things.

I also learned how to have the ultimate yard sale and whatever else I could to earn extra cash, save, and budget.

Whether or not you’re part of a team, if you’re building a business, it’s absolutely crucial that you be prepared to sacrifice.

You’re going to pour your time, money, energy, and effort into making it work.

To get a business off the ground you need to understand what it’s going to take. It requires enough hours to make a 40-hour work week seem like a cake walk.

I can’t tell you how many people have since come to my husband asking for advice on starting a business because they don’t want to work 40 hours a week.

Adam’s response is very straightforward. If you can’t handle a 40-hour work week, then you definitely can’t handle building a business. It requires at least twice that.

Your Business Idea Had Better Be Good

Since you’re going to be making some serious sacrifices and you won’t see the benefit of those sacrifices for a while, your business idea had better be a good one.

Your business idea must be thought out and well-planned. Here are some things to ask yourself:

  • Is your business fulfilling a need that’s in high demand?
  • Is the market saturated with your type of business? (Think population, area, demographic and demand)
  • How are other businesses in your niche doing in your area? Are they succeeding?
  • What’s your plan to stand out? (Think branding, identity, P.R….)
  • What is your marketing strategy?
  • Is there room for growth, expansion and longevity?

Making sure your business idea is awesome doesn’t guarantee success, but poor planning and choosing a not so great business niche will certainly hurt your efforts and your business probably won’t survive.

Make sure your business or blog is something that’s in demand, that fills a current need, and is a space where you can flourish and stand out.

Does it feel like walking a tightrope yet? It should. That’s what it is.

What You Need to Know BEFORE Starting A Business

Stay Ahead of The Marketing Game

What you need to know before starting a business is your marketing strategy.

This is the era of online marketing, and while technology makes it easy to put your name out there, it’s that much more competitive.

Before you ever launch that blog or open up for business, you should already have a marketing plan in place and you’ve got to make it count.

Think unique and creative branding, connection with your audience/clientele, and your strategy for promotion to gain traction.

No matter what your business is, you need a following. Where are you going to find it and how are you going to get it and maintain it once you have it?

These are detailed questions but they need to be answered before you start your business.

Which social media platforms will you use (it’s best to not use all of them when you’re starting out but rather do well on a couple)?

Every niche is different, and your type of business will determine whether Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google, LinkedIn or other platforms should be your main focus.

Each social media platform has its own kind of law of attraction, so-to-speak. The same formula will not work across the board.

My husband’s business is local, providing a service to residents and businesses in our area. Because of that, he learned how to harness the power of Facebook and Google, and let me tell you he’s incredible at it.

For my blogs I’ve learned to use Pinterest since it’s the number one traffic driver to blogs.

When it comes to your business or blog, knowing how and where to market is crucial.

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Love It Enough To See It Through

In order for your business to succeed it has to meet a demand somewhere. Choosing a niche willy-nilly is certainly not going to set you up for success. This is particularly true for blogging. Let’s just keep it real. Certain blog niches do better than others. Period.

Okay, so now we’ve established that your choice of business must be a thought out, strategic decision.

There has to be some balance to this decision. You still have to love what you do.

My husband’s business is flooring maintenance. Surprise! Yes, he chose to provide an in-home or business service that is considered blue collar.

And it does really well.

Why is that? Because Adam loves it.

Adam is not interested in real estate, finance, or accounting. He’s not interested in graphic or web design enough to make an entire business out of it.

Adam loves connecting with people and he loves moving and putting in some sweat. That’s his personality. Because he chose a simple business that he loves, he excels and the business is flourishing.

He could have chosen to build a financial company or an investment company since those both tend to pay high dividends. The reality? It probably would have failed.

It’s not his thing.

Your business choice needs to be something you love to do, something you’re willing to work at even when it’s not working for you yet.

You’ve got to love what you do or you won’t do it for very long when the going gets rough–and it will. Trust me.

What You Need to Know BEFORE Starting A Business

Ready To Do This?

Now that you have an idea of what you need to know before you start a business, you may decide to take a little extra time to plan and prepare before taking off.

Using wisdom, especially when you feel impatient about getting started, will only reap long-term benefits.

If you’ve got these questions answered and your business is well-planned, you’re that much closer to taking off.

The most important thing is to have a plan and make sure it’s thorough. Starting a business is a big deal. It’s important. Don’t treat it like it’s some little side gig that won’t go anywhere. You’re not giving it enough credit.

You business matters. It’s your future, and it deserves respect.

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Author: Elizabeth

My son, Kai, was born in the summer of 2018. My husband and I made the decision that I would leave my full-time job in healthcare to stay home and raise him. It meant a lot of changes, but we are doing it, day by day. Together we are building a business and I've embarked on a new journey creating Mama Fearless, a site to encourage moms to walk fearlessly while pursuing their goals. We are thankful to be able to forge new paths and to keep earning while still focusing on what's truly important--our family, our home, and serving a loving God.