Here’s a not-so-secret secret about owning a business in the hospitality industry: The first step towards succeeding in the industry is to take the first step!
If you’re still at the stage where you’re unsure about when the perfect time to start your hospitality business is, let us answer that for you: The best time is now. Sure, you can spend your time worrying about interest rates today, or the where the market’s at, or what other people are saying. We’ve all heard the saying that the best time to invest is “yesterday”. Whether now or in the future, you’ll always be able to find an excuse not to start, because in reality, the ‘ideal’ time to start a business doesn’t exist. If you only focus on the reasons why you shouldn’t start, you’ll probably never take the first step towards entrepreneurial success.
That’s not to say, however, that being apprehensive about starting your business is necessarily a bad thing. In fact, many business fears revolve around legitimate concerns. Instead of letting these stop you, it’s time to work through them and begin your journey on the road to opening your business. Here are four common fears we hear, and some ideas on how to overcome them:
1. “It’s too risky!”
More than anything else on the list, this is probably the biggest hindrance towards successfully establishing a business. Setting up a hospitality business – or any business, for that matter – will always come hand in hand with a certain degree of risk. There is no such thing as a “guaranteed” successful business, regardless of the circumstances or when you decide to invest. Business Review Weekly suggests the key is to acknowledge the potential risks, but only focus on the risks you face today and tomorrow; and then get started. If you’re really stuck on this one, spend some time learning about Risk Management – there are lots of great strategies out there.
2. “I don’t know how I’ll fund my business!”
It’s understandable for aspiring entrepreneurs to be put off by the amount of money you’ll need just to get the business up and running. However, there’s always the option to access finance from third-parties. In fact, the Veda Quarterly Business Demand Index reports a 4.2% growth in business loan applications over the previous quarter, which means more people are accessing business finance. As we’ve said recently to many of our clients, it’s becoming easier to access business loans, especially if you partner with a finance specialist. Always make sure you speak to the finance brokers who specialise in your business’s industry – as they’ve got the experience required to get you the best deal, quickly.
3. “I’ll need heaps of cash for an effective advertising campaign!”
Sometimes this fear creeps in only once the business is ready to launch. It’s a fact: No business would stay afloat for long without customers – so how to get those customers? Often the biggest obstacle for startups lies in making the presence of the business (or brand) known to its potential consumers. In the past, traditional forms of expensive advertising were the only solution; however, the dawn of the Internet – with its large and diverse audience, immediate exchange of information, and numerous social media platforms – has allowed business owners to promote their businesses at a much cheaper cost and with a much wider reach. There are plenty of free resources online about how to use social media and the internet to boost your hospitality business – including some of our own here:
- Using Social Media for Business
- Visual Marketing: Boost your business through images
- Is Your Restaurant or Cafe Menu Online?
4. “I’ll be going in alone, and I don’t know where to start!”
Of course, rushing in blindly won’t do an entrepreneur-to-be any good, either. Not having a complete grasp of what you want your business to be (and where you want it to go eventually) is tantamount to planting the seeds of your own eventual crash. Thankfully, it’s easy to avoid that scenario by simply formulating a sound business plan. Do your research, and don’t hesitate to ask other experienced business owners for guidance and advice.
If you think you have good business ideas but are still afraid to take the first step, don’t worry. Take small steps to begin with that aren’t too risky for your comfort levels, and eventually you’ll gain momentum and overcome the challenges. For example, if you’re not ready to access funding yet, a small step would be to simply have a chat to a specialist financial broker like Redmako Finance. Since Redmako Finance caters solely to the hospitality industry, you’ll be able to find the best deals from the best lenders, whether it’s for refinancing, equipment loans or even buying a franchise. Whoever your broker is, they’ll help you wherever you’re at, and give you great advice for how to get started.
Ultimately, your dream café or other hospitality business is in your hands. It’s still a small seed, but it won’t grow until you take the first step and plant it. We’ll never be able to control all the circumstances around our businesses, but there is a lot that we can control – and that’s a great place to start.