Not everyone is built from the entrepreneurial mold, I understand. However, from the interviews we’ve conducted here, we’ve noticed Christian entrepreneurs are numerous and scattered across the world. So, if you’ve ever considered starting your own business, whether big or small, then you’re surely not alone.
If you’re like some, your first thoughts may come in form of “I wish I had this or that, but I haven’t found anything like it online or in a store.” Or you’ve considered your skill set and noticed you’re extremely talented in one area of your life and have a desire to make something of that talent other than using it for a 9-to-5 job.
However the initial thought or dream comes, it comes and you want to do something about it. But where do you start? Are you even called to start your own business or niche? Does God even want you start something new? Is it too risky?
You Need Focus:
If you’re even considering a new startup, I want you to take out a pen and paper, or your tablet, since we live in that age, and I want you to write all of your ideas. Try answering these questions:
- What skill do you have to offer?
- Or, what product do you have to offer?
- What makes you different?
- Have you noticed a demand for your service or product?
- What’s your target age/market?
- How can you get started on a small scale?
- How much time must you dedicate?
If you’re about to develop a new startup, then you can’t neglect these questions. As Jason Stambaugh (our last interviewee) explained, you don’t need to drop everything for your dream, especially if you have a family and children. It’s unwise to quit your current job for an unorganized dream you have. No matter how skilled you are, you need to take the transition a little slower, unless your spouse can support or you have a huge lump of money sitting in an account—even then, you need to approach the startup with caution before you toss money to the wind.
Yes and No:
Someone in your life has told you that you’re skilled at something. If not, let’s get to know each other and I’ll tell you what I think you’re good at. Whether a parent, close friend or significant other has identified your talents, someone has probably mentioned what you’re exceptional at.
But, has anyone told you that you’re quite sloppy at something? Has anyone ever told you “no” in regards to something you wanted to try? I doubt many have been so honest with you. If so, then good for them. Honesty is key at this stage. You don’t think your idea is bad, but it may be the worst idea ever and you’re blind to it because you’re a bit biased. We all need someone to tell us “no” from time to time, especially if it’s going to save us financially and save us lots of grief.
See, we’re all really gifted at something and we’re all pretty awful at other things. I like to believe I’m good at writing, expressing my thoughts through words and producing different types of media. But I know I’m pitiful when it comes to physics and higher-level math. My mind doesn’t function that way and I’ve accepted it. It took a few classes in high school and college to let me know I’m not skilled at engineering or computer science. So what did I do? I stuck with what I’m skilled at doing.
You should do the same and if you don’t know whether you pitiful at something, just ask an honest friend or organize a focus group.
Gather a Group:
Get some friends and family members together. Sit them down and pitch your startup business idea to them and ask for some serious feedback. Allow them to be completely honest about your pitch and pinpoint holes in your plan. Just a word of warning, you may feel defeated after this focus group session, but don’t let that stop you. Just let it stop you from doing what you shouldn’t.
If your focus group would rather write honest responses on paper, then have them do that. Give them a series of questions to answer that will allow them to guide your ideas and thoughts. Consider listing these questions on a sheet for your group members to respond to:
- Would you be truly interested in what I’m selling or offering?
- What do you like the most about my startup idea?
- What are the holes in my idea?
- Who do you think my target market is?
- How much time, energy and funds do you think my startup will require at first?
- How can I improve the idea of my startup?
Use the answers you gathered here for greater consideration and brainstorming of your idea. Obviously, if everyone listed the same hole in your idea, then you need to patch that hole. Let this be a constructive learning process, a type of refining, and let it guide you rather than discourage you.
Try giving these questions to several groups and see what answers you get each time.
You Have To Pray:
If you fail to pray about this business endeavor, well, you’re doomed to fail. Take the right first step by committing to prayer. Question God and allow Him to question you. Ask others to pray for you during this process and give them specifics to pray about. Remember that God’s timing isn’t your timing, yet it’s perfect. If you’re not receiving a response as fast as you would like, don’t consider it a failure. As James said:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt.” James 1:5-6