Starting and running a business may seem like a lucrative decision, and it can be so when plans and operations are properly executed. It can be a fulfilling career move, but only for entrepreneurs with the right mindset and skills.
According to Lifuo Makhele and Brian Barnard (2019), entrepreneurial development and success can depend on business acumen and startup skills (p. 34). The authors cited Glerhorn who defined a person with business acumen as someone with “the ability to make profitable business decisions” and uses insights to “penetrate deeply into ideas” (p. 4).
Entrepreneurs must have such competencies and skills in order to launch a successful startup. Business acumen and startup skills cover a lot of characteristics, practices, and behaviors. Without them, would-be startup owners should reconsider their plans. This article tackles ten factors that could make an aspiring entrepreneur reassess their decision.
1. Inability to Come Up with a Fresh Idea
One important aspect of business acumen is the ability to process ideas. Someone who is planning to start a business should not only be able to digest and understand an idea, but also come up with new and fresh ones.
Remember that a new business needs something to make it stand out. A unique idea for a product or service is what can set it apart from its potential competitors. Its brand, message, and strategy also play a part.
2. Incomplete Business Plan
Once a fresh idea has been processed, expanded, and accepted by the founders, entrepreneurs already have a seed for their business plan. The next big step is completing a business plan that can serve as a guide for the establishment of the startup. It can also help aspiring business owners get funding.
The Small Business Administration (n.d.) says that a comprehensive plan requires an executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and management, service or product line, marketing and sale, funding request, financial projections, and supporting documents.
3. Failure to Do Enough Research
The business plan requires a lot of research as it provides information on feasibility, projected finances, and market insights. However, this is not the only type of research an aspiring startup owner needs.
They should also take a look into the lifestyle of business owners, the types of decisions they needed to make, the personality required to make tough calls. Researching these aspects can help individuals determine if running a startup is suitable for them.
4. Risks are not Welcome
Establishing a business is a risk as entrepreneurs need to invest financial and opportunity costs in order to get it the company up and running. Individuals who are not willing to take risks might want to rethink their decision to start a startup.
Additionally, it is important to remember that risks are present not only at the beginning of a business but also during its operation. Different factors can pose risks including human resources, public policies, and competitors.
5. Unwillingness to Use Technology
Startups nowadays cater to customers that rely on technology for all kinds of reasons including communications and purchasing. Entrepreneurs should be ready to adopt technologically advanced solutions that can make their offerings more appealing to their target market.
Moreover, most business solutions can be done offline and outside the digital space, but information technology solutions make the performance of such much more effective and efficient. Would-be business owners should be willing and able to handle such options.
6. Routines are a Must
Most business owners want to have routines, but the nature of the business world calls for flexibility. Meetings are not always scheduled, deliverables are not always met on time, and payments are not always received at the same time and date.
Aspiring startup owners who prefer to have a routine should reconsider their plans. Startups, especially, are likely to require more flexibility as a lot of elements are still developing and thus, changing.
7. Aversion to Networking
Business owners typically find new clients and parts through networking. Such activities help them leverage their relationship with a customer in order to find new ones. It can also help in securing funds and gaining human resource assets.
Individuals who do not like networking activities may not be cut out for the job. Startups would need to have this advantage as they are still in the process of building their name and network.
8. Selling is a Weak Point
Sales of goods and services are the most essential aspects of a business as they are the best source of revenue. A successful business will find their sales resulting in revenues, and if all goes well, this can translate to profits.
This is why selling is a vital part of a startup. Would-be owners should be comfortable selling the goods and services offered by their startup.
9. Reluctance Toward Delegation
No individual person can perform all the roles needed to run a business effectively and efficiently, even its founder. Delegation of tasks and responsibilities is required in order to facilitate smooth and productive operations.
People who are reluctant about assigning tasks to team members or subordinates may have a hard time operating a startup. While such businesses tend to be small, a focused approach on each essential aspect is important, and delegation can help with this.
10. Compromise is Not an Option
Compromise is an essential part of running a business. Entrepreneurs may have a solid vision of what the company would be like, but as businesses have several parts and elements, not everything will go according to plan.
Having the ability to compromise is a great characteristic of an entrepreneur, given that starting a business requires risks and flexibility. Compromising in terms of compensation for employees, pay from clients, and timetables is also required.
Individuals who are planning to start a startup should have business acumen and startup skills in order to be successful. These ten elements can be reason enough to rethink their decision to launch a business. Those who find some of these characteristics in themselves may need to take some time to work on their acumen and skills.
Barnard, B. & Makhele, L. (2019). The development of entrepreneurs: Business acumen and startup skills. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Brian-Barnard/publication/337944478_The_Development_of_Entrepreneurs_Business_Acumen_and_Startup_skills/links/5df6f58f299bf10bc35f06e4/The-Development-of-Entrepreneurs-Business-Acumen-and-Startup-skills.pdf
Small Business Administration. (n.d.) Write your business plan. Retrieved from https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/plan-your-business/write-your-business-plan