So, you’ve decided to take the plunge. You pack up your cubicle in a cardboard box and declare it time to move on to better things; maybe even do the Jerry McGwire scene of “who’s coming with me?” Whether it may be a grumpy boss or limited prospects to grow, or just trying to make ends meet, the reasons people decide to start their own business are endless; unfortunately, the reasons they fail are too.
A healthy mix of market understanding and a successful business model must exist to create a winning recipe from the get-go. Many business prospects fail before they start because they lack an essential understanding of their surroundings.
You see things come into place. Your dream is becoming a reality and you’re thinking of that latest Merc model. You may find it appropriate to charge ahead at full steam but easy does it. Many startups fail because they lack the correct pace of scalability versus the stage of business they are in. Growing too fast or too slow are deadly vices at the beginning of your business.
Focus is also an essential part of this mix. Many businesses fail by spreading themselves too thin by pursuing too many opportunities. In the beginning, you will get bombarded with numerous proposals to explore but you must learn to brush away ambiguous opportunities and stick to what works.
“Don’t put the carriage in front of the horse” is the saying. Before implementing your brilliant idea, proper market research must pave the way for those initial, critical business decisions. Many young entrepreneurs skip over this step due to a lack of finances to undertake them and an inpatient, ‘quick on the trigger’ zeal to launch their ideas. Remember, to ‘make bank’, you must first be bankable.
Timing is everything. According to a study carried out in Egypt, 23% of startups fail, partly due to a lack of ability to read their surroundings and adjust a business plan accordingly. This is especially true in the times of Covid-19 when the world is suffering a recession across the board.
Finally, when I was still learning to ride a motorcycle, my tutor told me: “You must learn how to ride, but you must also learn how to fall.” This is important because many entrepreneurs cannot sustain losses without losing their cool; worse yet, they don’t know how to fail safely and be able to adjust their business plan quickly to ensure a soft landing and swift relaunch.
To wrap it up, I think it is safe to say Egypt is a ripe ecosystem for starting up new businesses. The economy is up, and it’s encouraging many entrepreneurs to take that leap of faith. But besides having a good hand, you must also learn to play your hand well. Proper preparation and natural entrepreneurial skills are essential to making it to the other side, and finally, may it be a smooth sail.