You’re thinking about taking the plunge and starting your own business. You have an idea, you have a plan, and you have a market. And the thought of being your own boss, embracing entrepreneurship, and charting your own course is appealing. So, what’s the holdup?
Well, a lot of things. Leaving behind a structured job for one where everything is on your shoulders is intimidating. Fear of failure and fear of no longer having a safety net are among the top reasons cited by potential entrepreneurs as a barrier to jumping in. Additionally, what if someone else is already working on the same idea for the same applications?
Check Your Assumptions at the Door
The reality is that entrepreneurship is difficult. But while it is true that 20% of all new businesses fail in the first year, it also means that 80% don’t. A quick look at the top reasons new businesses fail can be revealing. These include:
- Small or no market
- Lack of access to capital
- Lack of planning
- Lack of management skills
All the above reasons can be overcome with due diligence, careful planning, and basic business practices. They can also be overcome by putting aside assumptions about the difficulty level and getting busy uncovering the things that will move you past the barriers. It may mean learning new skills yourself, but there are tools and resources available to help entrepreneurs conquer these barriers either before they undertake their journey or after they begin.
Entrepreneurship is Not as Difficult as You Think
Today, there are more resources than ever that help entrepreneurs beat obstacles. These include training, mentoring, access to capital and other avenues to enable entrepreneurs to succeed while growing the very skills needed to knock down barriers. As the world recovers from the pandemic of 2020, here are a few reasons why entrepreneurship may not be as difficult as you might think.
1. Less Competition – Yes, there is the normal one-year and five-year average fallout for new businesses. But the pandemic added even sharper reductions in companies that either went out of business or were never able to get off the ground. Because of this, many will be hesitant to start a new business so soon after this last, global disruption. If your planning and business model are correct, this opens a clear lane with less competition than in past years.
- The success of a Business Started During a Downturn – This may sound counter intuitive, but many of the most successful Fortune 500 companies began during economic downturns. A downturn forces entrepreneurs to manage costs frugally from the start. It also helps them stay laser-focused on core products because there is no time or funds to pursue tangents or “blue-sky” projects. Starting a business in a downturn forces financial austerity on a company, a skill that can help competitiveness during startup and after the downturn is over.
- Large Skilled Workforce – Severe disruption often pushes highly skilled workers out of their traditional jobs. And with that influx of labor comes an opportunity. Many workers who would not have considered working for a startup in the past may find doing so a rewarding experience. The worker benefits from a new position where their skills are valued, and the company has access to skillsets on par with larger corporations.
- Age is Not an Issue – Some potential entrepreneurs may feel they’ve “missed the boat.” But age is not an issue in the world of startups. For example, in the US, the average age of new business startups is 42, and in many industries, that average is even higher. In fact, in some countries, entrepreneurs over 45 account for more than a quarter of all new businesses.
- Resources Abound – As governments, academic institutions, and businesses began to realize the power of innovation and entrepreneurship, many participated in resource centers and incubators to help nurture and advise existing and potential entrepreneurs. This includes general business training, assistance in ideation and bringing product designs to market, access to finance, mentoring, and more.
Today, there are numerous avenues available for new and existing entrepreneurs. Institutions such as the Research and Innovation department at Georgian College help new business leaders develop skills for success. Through outreach and instruction at the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (HBEC), these leaders can find assistance with training, connections, funding, and mentorship.
By tapping into these resources, new business owners can learn the skills needed to overcome barriers and discover that in addition to the personal rewards, entrepreneurship may not be as difficult as they think. To find out how your idea or business can benefit from these programs, contact us today.