You May Need Enough Resources For Time To Adjust
One of the biggest challenges to the small business owner, especially at startup, is having enough resources to give your business the chance to win. Sometimes the entrepreneur is so eager to get started they begin before they’ve gathered or considered the proper resources and targets; funding, people, the customer base, the real problem you’re solving, your message, etc.
I had the great advantage in my own startup of watching a friend try his business startup idea first. His idea was very similar to mine; a very specific management consulting approach to improving a client’s business. I have no doubt that his idea was a very good one, but he didn’t think about all the resources and targets he would need to consider to make sure that it could be sustained. He was in a hurry to get to market.
Patience: Don’t Get In Too Big A Hurry
After he started, he had some initial success. I believe there was very good evidence to suggest that he could make his idea work. But alas, he failed and walked away, having spent more than two years trying to make it work. What happened? Why didn’t it work out?
In my discussions with him afterwards, I noted a couple critical things he didn’t consider: (1) he had not properly identified his true market starting out, the real customer who would benefit from his idea, and (2) he ran out of money before he could adjust his targeted customer strategy.
Now let me say up front, no matter how hard you try, you can’t always predict how things will go. My friend had probably thought long and hard about his target market. He was convinced, I’m sure, that he had identified it. But things will not always go as planned. He had identified a good customer base, but it was actually much bigger and broader. He limited himself. By the time he noticed it and what he needed to do to adjust, his funds ran out and he had no backup plan.
When you think about the resources you’ll need for your startup, don’t just consider what you’ll need if everything goes right; but think about what you’ll need if it does not. My friend ran out of time because he ran out of money. I’m convinced he would have been a success if he’d had more funding. He did not allow himself any room for errors or adjustments to his business idea.
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