Uncover the Mixture of Uncertainty and Challenges
Do you ever wonder why we have difficulty answering our own
questions when we are planning our future?
It’s likely the stakes are high, the risks are great, and fear of
We may ask, “Which direction should we take?”
Uncertainty causes us to feel stuck. When we are unsure
whether to embark on starting a business, a few indicators can help assess our
skills to determine whether we are suitable for becoming the next
entrepreneur. We may believe our
business can take off until we come face-to-face with obstacles and
uncontrollable challenges. That old cliché, “When the rubber hits the road”,
comes to bite us. The bite in those challenges may raise doubts in our
capabilities and circumstances.
This survey conducted by the RBC
Royal Bank Small Business in 2005 shines a spotlight on the top five challenges
experienced by business owners. Those
challenges then are most likely the same ones now.
clients and developing your market (56%).
2. Keeping a
steady workload (37%).
long hours (34%).
4. Keeping up with the competition (19%).
5. Finding qualified employees (16%).
Before determination sets you on
the business path, let’s delve into helpful resources to pave the way and lead
you to make the right decision.
Starting a business can feel both
exciting and frightening. Finding the right balance is crucial. We should always be mindful to feed the right
emotion and starve the wrong emotion. The best way to combat our fears is to acknowledge
and identify them. Fears can be warnings
worthy of our attention. Preparation is
the solution. Some sure ways to determine
our suitability for self-employment are: asking “What do I need to know?”, hunting
for information, and probing for honest answers to assess the prospect of being
a small business owner.
A recipe for a successful
business can be compared to the creation of a tasty dessert. Both are based on the premise that the right
ingredients are essential to be prosperous and enjoyable. The methods in the preparation are as
important as the ingredients. The ingredients have to be blended together in a cohesive
Humor me and follow along with my trite comparison.
If you are looking for the ideal
recipe for starting a business, look no further than to the website of Community Futures Saskatchewan which offers this guidebook, Starting a Business 101 (Canadian Edition).
like any recipe, you will discover whether you personally have the right
ingredients for starting a business. Simply
answering the “To Be, Or Not to Be An Entrepreneur”
quiz, comprised of 41
questions, will provide insight into your attributes and the confidence to proceed with
your business idea.
Acquire the Ultimate Ingredients
To condense the former list, the
RBC Royal Bank emphasized a shorter version in their archived brochure (June,
2010). You have to be willing, able, and
above all passionate about forging ahead. Certainly some of these qualities may
point out some personal weaknesses.
Recognize them and engage with someone who can complement your strengths
and offset your weaknesses. This list of fourteen traits allows you to quickly
assess yourself with a simple, “Yes” or “No.”
Passionate about their work
Someone who takes action
Create an Effective Method
When we design an effective
method, we will never have to guess. We
will know how we will begin and what things to investigate (market,
competition, products and/or services). This task is achieved with the creation
of a solid business plan. Community Futures Saskatchewan provides a Business Plan Guide
to create a winning plan for our business. It’s the
roadmap to our success especially during the challenging times.
Robert (Bob) Stocks, a business consultant and coach, looks at a business plan in a different way
He visualizes a business plan the same
way you and I use the mirrors in our vehicles. The side and rear mirrors are
always in sight. He claims, “If you move
your side mirror to block your vision, you are blocking your visibility to the
road. What would you be looking at--you would be looking at your past. Mirrors
are representatives of the future and the past.”
Bob always recommends keeping our
business plans current. This means we should review our plan regularly and adjust it accordingly.
Another important consideration
is to create a value proposition statement
you have heard the term, “elevator pitch or speech”, you’ll understand a value
proportion statement is the same. By definition, an elevator pitch is a slang term used to describe a brief speech
describing an idea for a product, service, or project. The name is derived from
the view that the speech should be delivered in the short time period of an
elevator ride, usually 20-60 seconds.
On the business front, value
proposition statements have gained popularity in providing customers or clients
with a clear perspective for the services and products offered. I believe they help explain “why we do what we do”.
For example, when asked what I
do, my response could be, “I create
Some may think, “That’s
But if my response is “I am in the construction business. I create financial roadmaps to help people
understand where they are financially going and how to get there,”
lead to more questions about how my work may help them. I encourage you to reflect on how you provide
value to others in terms of the services and products offered through your
Pay Attention to Specific Details
When I think about the people who
didn’t do their homework, their stories did not end well. One person believed a small city with an
aging population had the potential for a men’s hair salon offering high-end
haircuts and other exclusive services. He had misread the demographics, concluding
that if the service was available, men would be willing to pay the higher
price. Another unfortunate incident occurred
with a talented drywaller. He had a
strong market; his services were in high demand. However, he encountered financial difficulties
managing his business. The business
venture came to a halt when Canada Revenue Agency came to collect taxes owing
on his business income.
Be Ready to Cook Up a Plan
Arming ourselves with valuable
information is crucial. Many believe all
we have to do is work hard and our businesses will take off. The guidebooks show how much “Business Stuff”
we need to consider. To be honest, this stuff is too important to ignore. A
great place to start is adopting the guidebooks as your own personal
A one-stop shopping centre
generally offers everything we need.
When we are looking for a one-stop learning centre about starting a
business, I recommend you stop here, Community Futures Saskatchewan
The best part is the services are free for browsing, investigating,
learning, and much more. Take a peek for