The latest numbers on new business creation are staggering. New business registrations in Q3 of 2020 are up 77% over Q2. Which means there have been more new businesses registered in the past few months than at any comparable time in history. The Covid-19-induced disruptions have created all kinds of new opportunities for entrepreneurial-minded earthlings to capitalize on.
There are suddenly great interests in face masks, Non-Brooke shields, plexiglass, distance learning, contactless-anything, at-home entertainment (which sounds dirty, and maybe is), home remodeling, camping, food delivery and a hundred other things.
Of course all this new business creation isn’t purely good news. Much of the new business development is from displaced employees whose best, if not only option, is to start their own business and give it the ole college try. (Or, in some cases, the ole high school or GED try.)
As an entrepreneur, I find this extremely exciting. There will be great businesses that come out of this time. But not all the stories will have happy endings. (Meaning fairy tale-style, not Robert Kraft). I predict that the brave women and men who are now embarking on their entrepreneurial journeys will have one of three outcomes:
- Little To No success: This is due to an inability to attract customers or clients. Costumers are the helium in a startup. If you can’t find customers the business won’t float.
- Great Initial Success, Then Dramatic Failure: This is because they found initial customers, and delivered the initial product or service, but then couldn’t keep it going and build momentum.
- Huge Success: These startups will quickly mature into real businesses and will flourish for years if not generations to come.
What Makes The Difference?
Anyone can start a business. If you can find customers you can do the work yourself and make your customers happy. But that’s not where the long term, sustainable, flywheel-style magic happens.
To build a business you have to create a system. Create Your Way. Make it repeatable. Your repeatable system is what enables you to both deliver for your current customers and attract new customers at the same time.
The system, your system, creates order, predictability and a clear division of responsibilities. It creates room for continuous improvement. It allows you to bring in help (employees) with little to no experience and contribute in meaningful ways.
The system allows you to step out for a bathroom break without the business also springing a leak. If fact, with a good system in place you should be able to take a monthlong vacation in Europe and the business will keep humming along. (Assuming American’s are allowed to visit Europe again. And assuming businesses are allowed to hum.)
Failed business owners realize too late that they didn’t have a repeatable system. A system that could be used to attract new customers, and keep them happy in a profitable way. They didn’t have a system that worked in both good times and bad (Think JJ Walker and Michael Jackson times). The didn’t have a system that enabled them to scale up and down when needed. Don’t let this happen to you.
Don’t just do the work. Or all you are is a worker working without a net. From the beginning you need to create and use your system. Think about what works now, document, follow it, and continuously improve it. It should allow you to use other people’s time to get the work done. Because if you have to do all the work yourself it is not a business. You simply own your own job. Which will be hardest, most stressful job you’ve ever had. But a system that sets you up for long term success will create a great work environment for everyone in your business. And you’ll wonder why you didn’t start your own business years ago.