Home Startup 3 Essentials To Help You Navigate The Entrepreneurial Journey

3 Essentials To Help You Navigate The Entrepreneurial Journey

Want to launch a business? Put safety guardrails in place before your budding brand ever 'goes live.'

By Inc.Arabia Staff
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Want to launch a business? Amazing. Just make sure you don't end up closing shop prematurely. You want your upcoming venture to be a success from the get-go and bypass the dismal startup failure rates. How? Put safety guardrails in place before your budding brand ever "goes live."

I realize that walking the entrepreneurial tightrope with a safety net below doesn't sound sexy. Many of us like the idea of being mavericks. Unfortunately, renegade founders don't always wind up with business successes. Remember: Around 20 percent of startups become has-beens within a year. Within five years, just about half remain. 

These are important numbers to remember if you dream of making decisions by the seat of your pants. Unfortunately, your pants aren't likely to help your business stay afloat. Plus, knee-jerk reactions aren't usually backed by wisdom, which can lead to colossal, expensive, and fatal mistakes. That's why you need to structure your business from the beginning in a way that will be likely to net you wins, not losses.

Guardrails. Structures. Safety nets. Sounds pretty boring, right? Not if your overarching goal is to position yourself to be an outstanding leader -- and earn enough to either retire comfortably and potentially start more businesses. If that describes you, use the following tips to navigate you as you bring your entrepreneurial vision to life.

1. Jot down a business plan.

Around two-thirds of businesses are operating without any kind of formal business plan in place. While you don't necessarily need to have an in-depth business plan that's hundreds of pages long, you should have something on paper. Otherwise, you could find yourself in dire straits, particularly if you intend to borrow money or snag investment dollars.

It's very hard to get anyone to invest in your company with just a concept. Most serious investors want to see that you've put the "sweat equity" of thought into your startup. Your business plan is proof that you're not just winging this. Ideally, the plan should include some kind of research to help back your claims that your product, service, or invention will be a hit.

2. Get someone to coach you up.

When athletes win games, they frequently note that it is all due to the vision and leadership of their coaches. As a CEO, you're expected to be the head of your own team. However, that doesn't mean you can't use coaching yourself. The most successful executives find coaches to help them become stronger. Nothing compares with having a coach push you outside your comfort zone so you reach your full potential.

Executive coaching can take many forms. For instance, Velocity Coaching offers one-on-one coaching, group coaching with execs in similar roles at other firms, and team coaching for team members in the same company. Each type of coaching helps executives achieve different outcomes from personal development to better collaboration. Consequently, you can design a personalized coaching track to match your current challenges and goals. As your company grows, you can adjust your coaching goals based on where you are in your entrepreneurial journey. 

If you're in the market for more of a mentoring experience, SCORE offers a mentorship program. SCORE's mentor "matchmaking" service can help you extend your network and learn from others who've been on your same path. Mentors can be terrific advisors and complement what you discover during your formal coaching sessions.

3. Hire the top talent you can find and afford.

Your employees are the people who are going to help you bring your business concept to life. Instead of just recruiting anyone, seek out the most talented people -- even if they don't have the experience. Today, the labor market is somewhat less rocky than it was immediately after Covid, but it's still hard to find skilled professionals in some industries and workplace settings.

Knowing this, think about ways to make your business as attractive as you can. Even if you can't pay a top salary, you may be able to offer flexible scheduling, promotional opportunities, employee ownership options, and other perks. Be inventive and be open as well. The Gen Z worker who applies for a position may not have a long resume but could end up being a future C-suite contender with the right mentoring. It may be worth your effort to find people who have a passion for being on your team, not just a long list of credentials.

When you have the drive to become an entrepreneur, you shouldn't let anything hold you back. But you shouldn't just go forward without putting measures in place to give you the best chance at long-term success. By constructing a plan, getting a coach, and hiring wisely, you'll have a smoother transition into leadership and the founder life.

Photo Credit: Getty Images.

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