With almost everyone talking about the Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal, we ask ourselves, ‘Why wasn’t the Volkswagen emissions fraud discovered sooner? ‘Was it because no one was looking? ‘Well, i came across this interesting article by npr.org which was quite informative about how a small lab in West Virginia discovered Volkswagen’s big cheat! The story behind the scandal discovery sounded more like the Volkswagen company actually got busted! Apparently, it was a nonprofit organisation known as The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) which hired West Virginia University to do the emissions tests on Volkswagen diesel cars in the U.S, because they were hyped to be environmental friendly and fuel efficient. A team of scientists, including Dr. Arvind Thiruvengadam, who is a research assistant professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, at the West Virginia University, carried out the emissions testing. Well, the results proved otherwise and that’s when they discovered that Volkswagen was actually cheating! Now that raises a lot of other questions! For example, who else is cheating?
Today’s increasingly tough job market is pushing people to have a desire to create their own jobs. People want to start their own businesses and enjoy the privilege of being their ‘own boss’ while making their dreams come true. However, to some people the idea of starting a business may seem like a daunting prospect and the closest they get is just to dream about it! I agree there are various limitations, obstacles and hindrances that cause people to shy away from starting their own businesses. Here are 5 common hindrances and how to overcome them.
Fear due to lack of knowledge
A majority of people are afraid of starting a business because they strongly believe they need to be experts in certain kinds of business fields they’re interested in. They are obsessed with the idea that they need to know every single detail about the business they are about to venture into. Well, It’s ok to think that way and i fully understand and respect that, especially when it comes to uncertainties or legal matters that could cost you thousands of cash. But fear not! Remember, the most important and fundamental aspect for your business, is your idea, the vision and the plan to execute it successfully. Once you are in charge of that, it is advisable to start taking your business one step at a time. A long the way, you‘ll pick up new and sharpen your other exisiting business, management, interpersonal and leadership skills. Experts agree that having knowledge of atleast the basics of management, accountancy and financial skills that are related to your business is essential and quite helpful for successful entrepreneur.
Fear that the business idea already exists
This is a common one! I’ve seen this issue being addressed to in articles such as Lifehack and Q & A forums like as Quora. I’ve also personaly encountered people with exceptional ideas, quickly giving up because they fear their idea already exists. While it is normal for people to want to be successful inventors in the fields their passionate about, In business, always remember your idea might not be so new. I recently read an article the other day on Entrepreneuer.com and i absolutely agree with the author that your idea probable already exists elsewhere in some form. So,what next?
One of the most important thing you need to realize is that, most successful businesses we see today, probably came from improving an existing idea. People have different takes on existing ideas. They see improvement opportunities on existing products, services or even ideas and turn that to a profitable venture. So in this case, if you think that someone else is doing the same thing then why don’t you try doing things differently? Just like in design thinking, your power of creativity can be of great use to help you to find an alternative and you differentiate yourself by how to solve that problem probably with a different approach, team, technology, or strategy. Always bear in mind, the only thing that makes your business idea worthy is how you execute it and make it produce results.
Cash as a limiting factor
We’ve all heard the good old chorus that ”Cash is king”! Yes it is and it’s usually the biggest limitation that many businesses face regardless of their sizes. Problems and obstacles usually start at the funding phase where enterprenuers are trying to get the required capital to start a business. Depending on the nature of the industry you might want to venture into some businesses require less than $100 while others require way more than that. However, when it comes to raising money, I’ve seen people discouraged by money lenders because of their tough demands. Nonetheless, these days, raising money for your business shouldn’t be a problem because thanks to technology and knowldege advancements, there are many to ways of rasing cash for your business. I read an excellent article on Forbes and the author discusses great ideas on how to raising funds for your business! I couldn’t agree more!
Time as a limiting factor
“Time is money”, right? I think that depends on the situation. Well, not starting a business because of ‘bad timing’ may be an excuse but not always. Timing may be a hindrance depending on personal circumstances such as school, medical or health. However, certain circumstances that tend to fall under the ‘umbrella of timing’ may be exempted and not be used an excuse as to why you can’t start a business. For instance age! I believe you can start a business at any age. Toddlers ? I am not sure about that! But when it comes to age, i like to give examples about brilliant kids the internet has mentioned many times. For example, i like to talk about Thomas Suarez who at a tender young age taught himself to build iphone apps and became successful at it. I watched a video about him on BBC news and i found that really inspiring. There are many more inspiring stories of brilliant young minds i read on Ted Blog about kids who despite their age, still decided to start something successful and profitable.
How about starting a business at the age of 35 and above? How about above 60? Yes, it’s possible. There is a whole inspiring article on Business Insider about people who started business at the age of 40 and above and became successful! Charles Flint is well known because he launched IBM at the age of 61. I also read an inspiring article about him on Entrepeneuer.com and i can tell you, age should never limit you, if you want to launch a successful business and fulfill your dreams.
Fear of failure
Fear of failure is the most common hindrance known in business! I know a bunch of people who have had to give up on their dreams because they feared to fail. Some didn’t even launch their businesses! All they saw was a mountain of problems and decided to quit before even starting! I can totally understand because not everybody is daring and no one wants to look like a looser. The truth is, fear can be tormenting and it has crippled many brilliant people with excellent ideas and skills. But remember, fear is only in the mind! One of my favourite quotes from a poem by Erin Hanson is, “What if I Fall? Oh, but my darling what if you fly?” In many business podcasts and interviews i have listened to or the blogs, articles and book i have read, i’ve come to understand that people who started and now successfully run their businesses required a huge leap of faith. Business is all about taking risks. It’s true, you’ll definitely come face to face with lots of uncertainties and If you are a start-up you’ll need to be strong and not give up along the way.
What is hindering you from launching your own business? Let me know in comment section below