Someone asked an interesting question: “Is it normal to run into delays with a new business BEFORE you even get started?”
The asker has been focused on her new business and has been working hard to get everything in order. Alas, things are not working out as planned and she has experienced delays and other challenges. Now she wants to know if delays are normal and whether she is not trying hard enough.
Business experts typically say that when starting a business, you need to research thoroughly and know what to expect. You need to understand potential problems and risks accompanying each step — and then make plans to minimize if not totally eliminate those risks.
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Unfortunately, many small and home based entrepreneurs, especially first-time entrepreneurs, don’t usually go through a systematic and informed process in starting a business. Most are driven by passion or just the idea of starting a business and then run away with it. They do not evaluate the risks of each step. Heck, they are not even aware of the risks they are about to face.
As a result, problems crop up and throws them a curveball. The asker, for example, had trouble finding the right programmer to develop the website she envisions at the price she can afford. She was surprised to learn that the functionalities she wants do not come cheap. She knows that someone out there can give her the site she wants at a budget she could afford, but she underestimated the time it will take finding that programmer.
I’ve talked to another new entrepreneur, who thought that getting a credit line with wholesalers and manufacturers will be a breeze. She then found that she is required to pay upfront given the newness of the business and the account. As a result, she had to scale back on her plans for her new business. Or another startup entrepreneur who thought that finding customers for the business is a breeze, only to find that it is tough to even get a single client. And so on and so forth.
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It would really be nice to be psychic and see what challenges starting a business will bring. Alas, not many have a gift to see the future or at least have the wherewithal to analyze potential risks.
But more importantly, the lady who asked must learn from her mistakes. The mark of successful entrepreneurs is their ability to bounce back from adversities. Understand what went wrong, and find out how she can improve on what she did. Take for example the hiring of programmers — should she have done a better job in investigating the claims of the programmers’ capabilities; should she have thought more about the project to have clearer goals and objectives; should she have been clearer on the deliverables and the time frames, etc.
Remember, businesses both big and small experience curveballs and delays, though what separates the great businesses from failed businesses is the speed with which they realize and correct their mistakes.