Creating a new business can be terrifying. There's the initial fear of all things new, concern that customers won't get the idea, worries about finances, that desperate need for growth, and the pressure of staying ahead if you ever get there.
According to data collected by Startup Britain in 2016, around 80 new companies are set up in the UK every hour but more than half can be expected to collapse within five years.
But don't be discouraged. All it takes is one good idea and you can achieve anything.
So we at Startup September have put together a list of inspirational quotes from some of Business' greatest success stories to keep you going when things get tough:
Love Your Business Idea
“Find something you love and do it better than anyone else.” Gurbaksh Chahal, entrepreneur and founder of RadiumOne
It has been said that doing what you love means that it won't feel like work, and that mindset alone will help your start-up. A new company takes up a lot of time to be successful and will live or die by the passion you feel for it. You're not going to feel enthusiastic about sacrificing a night out with friends for something you don't truly care about. Passion is catching and a genuine love for your start-up will bleed through into your company, inspiring colleagues and investors alike, uniting others under your vision.
A love for your business area will also make it significantly easier to generate ideas to build it further. If you've set up a business that revolves around super cars purely because you think it's a good investment opportunity when you spend all your time daydreaming about gardening, you'll find it a lot harder to bring your enthusiasm to the floor and to come up with plans for growth.
As the poet Charles Bukokwski famously said: 'Find what you love and let it kill you.'
Hopefully, you'll die rich, famous, and successful.
Answer The Big Questions
“There's a lot of bad reasons to start a company. But there's only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it's to change the world.” - Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote
Once you've found a good idea for your start-up, it's easy to let visions of success and expansion run away with you. But planning how you're going to spend that profit distracts from one of the biggest questions of any new business; why this idea? Why can you do it better than anyone else? What difference will it make? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you map out what you want for the future of your start-up and find your target audience.
Keeping focused on the 'why' will make it easier to deal with any setbacks or problems you may encounter. Knowing that there is genuine meaning behind what you do is invaluable. With a clear idea of your start-up's purpose, the way you handle other hurdles will soon fall into place.
Timing is everything
“If you've got an idea, start today. There's no better time than now to get going. That doesn't mean quit your job and jump into your idea 100% from day one, but there's always small progress that can be made to start the movement.” - Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram
Careful timing will let you strike while the interest is there and before someone else comes up with the same plan.
Time is of the essence with a start-up so prioritise putting plans into action – even if it's only a step at a time - over daydreaming about that longed-for success. Make it happen.
Pay Attention To Your Customers
“We must learn what customers really want, not what they say they want or what we think they should want.” - Eric Reis, entrepreneur and author of The Lean Start-up
Even with all the passion and perfect planning in the world, a start-up can only be successful if it attracts the interest of customers. Their loyalty is one of the most important investments you can receive so it's worthwhile listening to what they say, even if it's not the shining beacon of positivity you hoped for.
Bill Gates, you've heard of Bill Gates, famously suggested that an unhappy customer is your biggest learning opportunity. Human beings love to complain and, if they have issues with a service your start-up provides, they'll provide you with areas for improvement. Use that. The way you go on to handle their problem can turn them from an unhappy user to a loyal customer, all while helping you mend the gaps in your service.
“I like to pride myself on thinking pretty long term, but not that long term.” - Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder
The world is unpredictable. As much as you try to plan ahead, there will always be surprises. Good business demands contingency plans and flexibility to help your start-up grow so be ready to change tack as needed.
Unfortunately not all start-ups are destined to make millions – most are lucky if they manage to stay above water – and sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes a new business doesn't work and the fantasy of a flourishing and much-loved company folds. Being flexible enough to absorb the shock of failure and learn from the mistakes that may have led you to that point will help you when the time comes to start again.
Focus On Happiness
“Success is defined in units of fun. It's all about happiness.” - Jake Nickell, founder of Threadless
Founding a start-up business is hard. It takes a lot of sleepless nights, flexibility, and determination to begin a new company, and even more of the same to keep it going beyond the five year mark. Remember the passion that got you into the business and you'll be sure to find happiness in your start-up as it grows. Enjoy what you do. You'll do it better.
Business Advice from the Start Up September Team