Everybody starts out their new business venture with a vision of success. Even though we know success isn’t guaranteed, we think it’s worth striving for, so we try anyway, for any number of different reasons.
Let’s just say that people who go into business for themselves are a bit different.
Participating and succeeding in business can sometimes be a struggle. Having grown a successful business, and having worked with a number of different types of businesses, I think a helpful question people should ask before even lifting a single finger, is the question of how long you are prepared to pursue success. In other words:
How long do you think it will take for your business to succeed?
Getting to the Top of the Mountain
I haven’t climbed Mt Everest, and I don’t intend to. Mountains aren’t my thing! So the story goes, the top of Everest is extremely inhospitable. Climbers can only access the summit by getting to a staging area, where they can attempt the final climb. Opportunities to make this climb are limited by the environment, competitors, resources and capacity.
You can’t stay at the staging area forever, because the collective hostilities will effectively be overwhelming. Before even going there, you would need to know how long you can stay there before it’s time to turn around and come back. In essence, this is the same question as “How long do you think it will take for my business to succeed?”. The reason we ask this question is because in the event your business doesn’t succeed, you need to have a plan B.
What Does Success Mean?
Success can mean many things to different people. In the context of this discussion, let’s define success as the achievement of a level where the business can sustain itself – in other words, when the business becomes profitable.
This definition is deliberately simple, but relevant because no matter what success means to you, if your business consumes resources that are more valuable than the ones it produces, and continues to do so, eventually, the business will consume everything – like a black hole.
Success can be many things but the achievement of profitability is a relevant goal, especially if you don’t want to be sucked into a black hole.
How Long Will It Take For My Business To Succeed?
The question “How Long Will It Take For My Business To Succeed” is an important one to ask because it helps to understand the resources your business may consume before it becomes self-sufficient.
The time to success for any business varies. It depends on the business, the product, the overheads, the industry, the competition. Sometimes success stories are rapid and seemingly overnight, whilst others take years, or decades, to get the traction to succeed. Audacity, innovation, and fortune play complex roles.
Asking this question helps to clarify our expectations for our endeavours, and the extent to which we are relying on outcomes which are difficult to predict.
Taking the time to think these things through may help give you some realistic insight into the future that lies ahead. But if you can’t be bothered asking this question and just plough on into your business venture, you won’t be alone. I never gave it any thought at all!