Ah, you’ve finally developed that great idea you have. You’ve created the perfect product that the market needs and you’re excited to get it out there. You just know that this item is what so many people are looking for. Now to go into business, get this thing sold, improve and enrich other people’s lives and, be your own boss… how exciting!
But, then you start to look at what setting up a business includes; Registering and paying taxes, choosing how to handle VAT so that you don’t alienate your customers before you even start, or equally as bad, after, or for yourself into a financial loss. Wondering where to find, what kind, or if you even need insurance. Debating how to protect your copyrightable assets. How to market, where to sell, setting up an online shop… The list goes on! And do you even have any or all of the knowledge in these areas to be able to maintain and manage them to sell your brilliant product in the way it needs to be sold?
Then you realise that while you’ve been busy developing your product, you haven’t had any time left to do all these other extras you’ve now discovered you need. You sit, thinking about this great product that will now disappear in the abyss, not because it’s a bad product, but because setting up and running a business is so complicated.
But it’s not, really.
Looking at your brilliant product, you see a stunning end result. But, as you bask in all its glory, you forget the trials and tribulations you went through to create it. You forget the long nights, perhaps after your day job has finished. You forget the numerous mistakes you make, backtracking and throwing failed ideas away. You forget the days when you were stumped, out of ideas, and too tired to work. Yet, you sit looking at this great product you created, impressed with your abilities.
Developing a business is just the same. Stage one is the repeated failures that developed into the great product you have. It’s the result of taking small steps, making small choices, thousands of decisions that, when all were filtered and organised, resulted in the ideal set of conditions that helped you create your brilliant product. And you made each and every one of those thousands of decisions. You probably didn’t know it, but you were also learning and discovering along the way, working through new things that you had never worked through before. But you did it, most likely because it was enjoyable.
But we never see ‘setting up a business’ as enjoyable. It’s the side that most of us small business owners probably dislike the most, or do only because it has to be done to get our ideas out there. That, is the difference.
You see, all the steps to setting up a small business, stage two, are all the same steps that you put into creating your product. Making mistakes then fixing them, exploring and learning new ideas, getting stumped then finding the solution after taking a break, meeting people, making thousands of small decisions that add up to the end result of a business.
When you created your product, you probably never thought about the whole thing, in it’s entirely, complete and perfect. When you created it, you probably discovered many failures that you improved on. If you’re like most of us though, you probably envision your business complete; set in stone, unable to be changed, and that you have one, and only one, chance to get it right.
But it’s not true, really.
A business is just another aspect of your product. Something you can take your time with and have fun. You will have thousands of steps to take to get your business up and running so why try to do it in one big leap? Take the small steps, enjoy them and find something fun in each one. Discover something new and seek out or meet other people who might be able to help you. Who knows, they might need your product or know of others who will (that’s sales without trying).
When we look at the complexity and immensity of something huge, especially if it’s out of our comfort zone, we are often intimidated and become fearful. The key is to turn that around so that we are not afraid. Every now and then, forget about the big picture, look at one small step you can take that will move you forward. Keep in mind, if the details are right, the big picture will be right. Always remember too, just like your product, nothing is set in stone when setting up your business. Go back and change it if a decision doesn’t work out. Just take exactly what you did with your product and apply it to setting up your business. You’ve done it before, and now it should be even easier with all your experience. Make things easy so that they can be enjoyable. Don’t worry about money; find an accountant to keep things in order. Don’t worry about the law; find a lawyer to tell you if you need to be concerned. If you have no idea about online shops, hire an e-commerce specialist. Outsourcing is taking the big leaps, and turning them into just another of the thousand easy decisions, keeping it easy, keeping it enjoyable.
And if all else fails, if you find you are so out of your comfort zone take a step back, put on your imaginary mask and cape, and be your own superhero. You created a brilliant product, you’re putting it out there for people to see and use, you’re already successful, you’re just going to show it in a different way now.