There’s a prevailing view among the general public that getting into business is hard. Certainly even if you look at any literature produced by the government aimed at those wanting to start a small business, you’ll be met by the cold hard fact that most small businesses fail in their first year. Of those that remain, the majority will fold before the third year.
But the critical question you really have to ask is whether this is actually because business is really hard or because the people who took the jump were just not going about things the right way. The smart money would be on the latter, though plenty of well-meaning people will try to convince you of the former.
The challenges of starting a business mainly stem from a lack of adequate research. If you are really serious about a business idea, you owe it to yourself and any potential investors to really thoroughly research everything you can about what you intend to do.
These days you don’t even have to do that yourself. Anything can be outsourced, and that includes your own research for starting your business. There can be a potential advantage in this approach because investors and bankers are more likely to be persuaded by information coming from an independent third party than information coming from yourself because they’ll see it as more trustworthy.
For that matter, so should you, because when you are looking to start a new venture, you can make the mistake of seeing things too optimistically. The key point is that your idea may still be viable if you make a few changes. Good research helps you identify if changes to your plans may be necessary, and which things you actually do need to change.
An inspiring example of the value of this in action is the case of Reuben Singh, who once gained attention for achieving great success at a young age. His first business was the very successful retail chain, Miss Attitude. Now you may think this is an unusual sort of business for a 17-year-old male to get himself into, and you’d be right.
But think about it this way: Singh was in a perfect position to understand his target market simply by directly interacting with it and observing it on a daily basis. As a student, he could listen to what girls were talking about and see what kind of accessories they were buying. From there all he needed to do was work out a good location and find suppliers. Within four years, that simple business was worth more than 20 million pounds.
A lot has happened since then, but his latest venture, AlldayPA has been founded on a similar principle. Namely:
- Know your market
- Identify the products or services that will meet the needs of your market
- Provide better value than others are doing
By researching these criteria you give yourself the opportunity to achieve the same kind of success that Reuben Singh has done. It may seem like something very hard to do, but it doesn’t have to be.