Every business guru will tell you: start with what you know. You will have a greater chance of success if you know what you are getting into. But what if you want to try out something new that is drastically different from your present career or your realm of experience? Should having no knowledge of the business stop you from pursuing it?
The answer is a resounding ‘No!” You can start cold turkey – and succeed.
When trying to make a decision about starting your own business, you will find yourself asking either of these questions:
- “How much experience do I need to start this business?”
- “Do I have enough experience to start this business?”
There is no textbook answer to these questions. You can either go ahead and wish for the best, or go slowly studying every single step.
You can jump from being a Wall Street analyst to become a full-time personal chef if you want to. There are 15-year-old kids who, without even completing high school, stumbled on a bright idea and become entrepreneurial successes.
A growing number of stay-at-home moms like Kim Michaux of OneofAKindKid.com have gone out of their comfort zones to explore the world of business that they have never tried before. As Kim said, “Nothing has prepared me to enter retailing. I absolutely had no knowledge in handling inventory and such. But here I am.” It is all a matter of your willingness to take risks and to learn.
Tamara Carlisle had no knowledge at all of the video distribution industry when she started BigKidsVideo.com to distribute independently produced children’s videos. Yet she persevered, and now is loving every minute of it.
One of the important personal traits of an entrepreneur is the willingness to explore new horizons and accept risks. You need to have self-motivation or the characteristic that gets you going and keeps you moving when you are in business for yourself. It is the trait that will push you to continue despite drawbacks, such as minimal capital, lack of education or limited experience.
Don’t get me wrong: knowledge and experience are important. In fact, studies show that lack of business experience is one of the primary reasons for the failure of a business. The Small Business Administration estimates that only 66.0 percent of businesses remained open at the last 2 years, 49.6 percent at least 4 years, and 39.5 percent at least 6 years.
But nonetheless, there are ways to get around your lack of business experience.
If you are the type of person who prefer to analyze your options, weigh all factors, and make decisions slowly, then that is what you must do. Mike Reagan, Arizona-based franchisee of sign maker FastSigns, Inc. took about six months doing a systematic analysis of the right business for him.
If you feel that you lack the necessary business experience, you can take several avenues to help you gain the skills and knowledge you will need for your venture. You can enroll in small business classes through your local community college’s continuing education program, or even return to school to get a degree.
You can also opt to get on-the-job training to give you some hands-on experience in the field you are interested in. The advantages of working for someone else in your industry for someone else are numerous. You “earn while you learn,” and you’ll become known in the industry, making it easier when you’re on your own.
You should see the greatest obstacles, such as learning a new aspect of business management, as an exciting challenge that must be met head-on. Like some of the successful entrepreneurs who started their ventures without fully understanding the mechanics involved in performing the task, you must steel yourself to go on and learn whatever is needed to accomplish their goals.
Through your own initiative, you can learn about business basics, the product or service that you will sell, the industry you are entering, your competition and market. You can do your homework. Most of all, you need to have a lot of common sense.
If you have the tenacity to learn new skills, the willingness to take risks, the confidence to venture into the unknown, and the perseverance to continue – you may be able to conquer your lack of knowledge and experience and succeed in your own business. Your decision will be partly made on faith and the determination to have your own business and a 30-second commute.
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You have to accept whatever comes, and the important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best you have to give.”
- How to Start a Business without Personal Expertise
- How to Reduce Your Risks When Starting a Business
- Starting a Business: Passion is Just the Start
- 50 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Business
- Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made?
Recommended Books on Starting a Business:
- The Small Business Planner: The Complete Entrepreneurial Guide to Starting and Operating a Successful Small Business
- The Accidental Entrepreneur: The 50 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Starting a Business
- Birthing the Elephant: The Woman’s Go-For-It! Guide to Overcoming the Big Challenges of Launching a Business
- The Lemonade Stand: What every entrepreneur should know to succeed in starting and running any business.
- The McGraw-Hill Guide to Starting Your Own Business : A Step-By-Step Blueprint for the First-Time Entrepreneur
- Knowledge Management 101
- Challenges Facing Small Businesses
- Benefits of Baby Boomers as Mentors
- 10 Profitable “Go Out of Your House” Home Businesses
- Pros and Cons of Financing a Business