The reality of starting your very own business is becoming harder than it has ever…and rightfully so. Although we may see the beauty and rewards of operating and ‘founding’ and successful startup, this is undoubtedly a small insight and representation of the hundreds of thousands of people who venture off by themselves in the pursuit of starting a business.
When trawling the Internet for articles on people who have started their own business successfully, it may be hard to understand how they have differentiated themselves from the rest of the market and the other Joes’ and Janes’. However, drawing from Darwinian theory of evolution – “Survival of the fittest” – it is clear that those startups either exploit their competitor’s/industry’s disadvantages or ingeniously create their own advantage/s. Although this may sound simple and straightforward, it should be unsurprising to those reading this article that those are the reasons for a startup typically having exponential growth once their product, channel and market fit are established. As such, their management and understanding of demand, supply, price, and human behaviour have lead them to prosper where so many others have failed.
Moving on from the somewhat nihilistic tone of the previous paragraph, the toughness of starting a business comes from one’s own willingness and skill…that is, some people are not prepared to put in the additional effort to work a total of 100 hours a week, or go payless for a month or two. Not only that, depending where you want to run a startup can determine the proliferation and longevity. For instance, in 2015 Australia was ranked by the Wall Street Journal as the 10th best country to do business in, which is a respectable score but is relatively underwhelming compared to the US(7th) and UK(8th) and very poor compared to Singapore(1st) and Hong Kong SAR(3rd). Interestingly, for Australia which is a highly developed country, our performance is dampened through the legislative and regulatory procedures imposed, as well as the ‘brain drain’ effect which sees domestic talent being scouted by overseas reps.
As you have probably noticed, this article has mentioned the difficulty behind starting up a business by taking a multifaceted approach to the topic. Firstly, we looked at the strategy/model that a business needs to develop in order to survive and succeed – exploit disadvantage and create advantage, which can be off putting given the ‘in-you-face’ promotion of other competing successful startups. This means, not only are your own ideas rivaling the fame of those on the 30 Under 30 Entrepreneurs, but also the personal insecurity of money, skills, products and market opportunity. And to make things tougher for a startup to get a foothold, there are more chances than not that the country you a operating in makes regulation, licensing and patent develop even more complex and difficult than necessary. As a result, today’s business environment is only suitable for those willing and capable of navigating those obstacles, in order to strategically insert their product into a market where there is either an opening or a need for a fix.