There are certain things that it’s nice to have as a startup but that not every company needs. Angel investors are terrific as is a sleek office space, but you can start your business on a shoestring in a garage or a corner of your kitchen. However, while nothing can guarantee your business will prosper, it’s very difficult to succeed without the things below.
You need to have the right kind of knowledge. What this is will vary based on the business you are running. This doesn’t mean that everyone will need to go to college, but a degree may be necessary for some fields, and for others, it can be a big help. You can take business classes as well as classes in the field related to your startup idea. There are Earnest private student loans available that can help pay for your education.
You also need to be connected to the right people. This includes professional acquaintances, mentors, potential employees, and partners. Relationships are key to a successful startup, and the more people you know and the more you can draw on their expertise, the better off you will be.
When you set out to turn your passion into a business or even just start a company that stems from your passion for business in general, you must have a thick skin. If you can’t summon up fearlessness, at minimum, you need to be able to push past that fear and do risky things anyway. A fear of failure holds many people back from taking the steps they need to make their business successful. It’s important that you reframe failure in a way that will destigmatize it for you. Of course, you don’t want to be reckless and do things that will destroy the entire business, but it is good to learn how to evaluate calculated risks and to not let fear hold you back. Sometimes, you will fail at the things that you try, and this doesn’t mean that you are unsuited for the endeavor. You simply need to learn what you can from the failure and try again.
It would be nice to think that all it takes is a good idea and determination to succeed, but you will need some money. What is actually most important is cash flow. It doesn’t matter if you know that you have a lot of money coming in but it hasn’t arrived yet or if you have plenty in assets that you can’t liquidate. Even if you don’t need much in the way of funding your company, before you open your doors, you need to make sure you have a source of ready cash for lean times and emergencies.
It’s not impossible to get lucky and run a successful business without much in the way of planning, but you will make your life much easier if you do plan. These are two elements to this. First, you need a regular business plan that addresses such things as what your competition is doing and how you will market yourself. Next, you need contingency plans in which you think about some of the worst-case scenarios and how you will solve them. Both sets of plans can help ensure that when things are stressful, you have a blueprint you can reach for to walk you through problems.