Starting your own San Diego business is as scary as it is rewarding. It requires an entrepreneurial spirit, common sense, commitment, organization and resources. This series looks generally at the process in order to focus the young San Diego entrepreneur on the task at hand beginning with the opening move. The series is not for those with unlimited resources. For most of these folks, business opportunities abound whether expanding on already successful business models or selecting among numerous business ventures proposed by others, those with unlimited resources can afford to risk their capital. They simply choose among the most lucrative options, if they choose at all. For most of the rest of us, we pour everything into a new business and each decision is life affecting.
In this writer’s opinion, the single most important factor in the success of a business venture is the owner’s steadfast commitment. While the phrase is perhaps an overused cliché, “No Fear” should be the guiding light for the young entrepreneur. A timid part-time attempt at developing and nurturing a new business idea rarely pays off. This is not to suggest that the young business owner should ignore reality and dive head first into an empty pool. What it does mean is that after carefully surveying the territory, taking inventory of his or her resources, doing the leg work necessary to evaluate the business venture’s potential (due diligence), determining the income necessary to maintain a living wage (including that necessary to support his or her family) and evaluating worse case scenarios and exit strategies, the entrepreneur can make an informed decision, and upon making that decision should commit to it.
The prevailing wisdom is that one should have two years worth of living expenses set aside before starting a new business. This is of course hard to argue against. Nonetheless, putting aside that much money is not always practical for every entrepreneur and the ultimate decision depends on one’s individual risk profile. Someone with a family of five will be far more concerned with risk than the unmarried graduate just out of college. Whatever one’s risk profile, there are other ways to marshal resources including business loans, investment capital, selling and collateralizing existing assets, revolving credit and the assistance of friends and family. While the topic of marshaling resources will be dealt with later in this series, it is illustrative here as one of the advance considerations one makes before committing to the business venture.
If, after a diligent evaluation, you decide that the business venture is worth pursuing and that you have the resources to go forward, commit. Prepare for setbacks and be ready to address them head on. This is where the “No Fear” concept comes into play. If you face setbacks with anxiety, you will make tentative choices. Tentative choices not only undermine your marketing efforts, they show existing customers, clients, vendors and partners that you aren’t up to the challenge. Take charge. Ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen. Fortunately, debtors prisons are a thing of the past. If the business venture doesn’t make it, you should be confident that you have the ability to pick yourself up and start again. Obsessing over worse scenarios is self defeating whether your start your own business or continue to work for others. Accept the possibility and move on.
Technically, you’ll make this commitment after completing your initial evaluation. It is discussed first in this series because of its importance.
Continued in “Be Prepared Before Undertaking a New Business Venture“.