These are uncertain times. There are millions of people unemployed and many forecasts are predicting that 1 in 4 dining establishments might not even bounce back from the COVID-19 crisis. While some people would say it’s the absolute worst time to take a leap of faith and start your own business venture, others might argue this is the exact push you need to dive into the unknown. There are several obvious things you should check first before deciding on one of the riskiest and scariest ventures of your life.
The first thing to do is to have some self-reflection. Have an honest conversation with yourself about how much you are truly dedicated to the idea of your business possibly taking off. Are you prepared to do this for years, sacrificing everything? If it’s something you love, are you willing to accept that you might not get to do it first-hand once you are running a business? Someone who loves children and opens a childcare facility doesn’t necessarily get to play with children all the time.
Aside from getting enough cash flow, acquiring a successful team is a major secret behind not failing, at least for the first few years. This means a combination of soft and hard skills in addition to extensive knowledge about the product or service being sold, and all of its potential competition. Having social media and the interconnectedness of all things is great, but it also expands your neighborhood competition to include pretty much the entire world.
Get a business plan together that includes projections for the next 5 to 10 years, including when you expect to reach profitability. Make your numbers realistic but don’t be afraid to have confidence. Investors are looking to invest in you as much as they are what you’re pitching to them. They want to feel like their money is in good hands.
For people who are going it alone, bootstrapping means doing side hustles to make ends meet until you are free to fully commit to your new mission and finally quit your fulltime job. This moment might actually be the scariest part. If possible, try to keep holding onto your steady employment until you can’t possibly stretch yourself any further.