Many people flirt with the idea of setting up their own company. Managing your own time, making your own key strategic decisions and creating a meaningful role is an appealing prospect.
But career independence for a startup founder doesn’t mean having an easy life. After all, starting your own business involves overcoming many challenges and assuming a great deal of responsibility. Launching a startup means you’ll become an entrepreneur. You’ll receive no more warnings about hitting deadlines. You’ll be responsible for generating revenue, financial planning and your own salary. And you’ll have to deal with much more than just your own specialist field. On top of all that, you’ll have to ride out the highs and lows. There are certain personal attributes that are vital to running a successful startup:
- Discipline: nobody will tell you what needs to be done and by what deadline. You’ll have to decide for yourself and make sure it happens.
- Self-belief: you have to believe in your approach and must not be put off or deterred by throw-away comments. However, you should listen to feedback about your product or service.
- Being inquisitive / open-minded: the challenges of starting a business are an adventure. An inquisitive and open-minded approach will stand you in good stead. These attributes will help you to learn quickly and adapt in an agile way.
- Appetite for risk: you’ll decide to leave behind the security of employment to go it alone. But don’t worry, the risks are limited. However, you’ll still have to get used to the idea of facing situations where the future of the company – or part of it – may hang in the balance.
- Optimism: don’t dwell on the worst-case scenario and try to look for solutions rather than problems.
In this guide we distinguish between three types of new business: startups, SMEs and sole proprietorships for freelance professionals. Although the three types of company all require similar attributes, the challenges faced differ greatly. That’s why they’re sub-divided into individual sections. Let’s get started.