How to Overcome a Lack of Experience When Starting Your Business


Do you need business experience to start a new business? The answer is not necessarily.

Many successful entrepreneurs have launched their companies with little to no actual business experience. How? They have focused on the passion and skills they do possess and developed the other tools necessary to succeed.

Here are six ways to overcome inexperience when starting a business.

1. Write a Business Plan

Every new business needs a roadmap. By writing a business plan, you outline your business goals and the steps you’ll take to achieve them. You can share your detailed plan with lenders, partners, and potential investors.

The main components of a business plan include:

  • Executive summary. This section should include your mission statement, a description of your products or services, and a summary of your financial growth plans.
  • Company description. Here, you will include your business name and address, the key people in your business, your business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation), a brief history, and a description of your current status.
  • Goals. This section shares your short-term and long-term business objectives and how you plan to achieve them.
  • Products and services. Details about the products and services you offer and how you plan to serve your customers.
  • Marketing and sales plan. Here, you describe what sets you apart from your competitors and how you will reach your customers.
  • Financial analysis. Here is where you outline the financial strategy for your business, including how it will generate a profit.

If writing a business plan seems daunting, many resources can help. Check out SCORE, a nonprofit association in the US with a network of volunteer business mentors. Meanwhile, in the UK, there are organisations such as the FSB that can provide resources and guidance.

2. Build a Network

Just because you don’t have all the answers doesn’t mean you can’t surround yourself with people who do.

Find ways to meet and learn from others in your industry and other parts of the business world.

Here are some sources of support:

  • Friends and family. Tap into the wisdom of your existing support network.
  • Professional organisations. Seek out local groups or chapters of national organisations for advice and information. Many of these groups offer online opportunities for education and mentoring.
  • Attend events. When you get involved in your community, everyone wins. You’ll meet new people, and you’ll do good at the same time.

3. Find a Partner

You don’t have to go it alone when starting a new business. Consider teaming up with someone who has more experience with the business side of things.

For example, you may be great at coming up with ideas but not so great at managing the books. Or you may know your product inside and out but lack marketing know-how. The right partner can fill in those gaps so that each of you can shine.

A partner will also bring in their own connections that may help your business attract investors and raise more capital.

4. Outsource Some of Your Work

In addition to hiring the people you need to run your business, you can outsource some of the work to a team of experts.

For instance, you could work with independent contractors who are adept at handling the areas in which you’re inexperienced. Whether it’s marketing, sales, accounting, or research, you can find professionals to help you get the job done.

5. Expect Some Ups and Downs

In the UK, on average almost 20% of new businesses fail in their first year. Common reasons for failure include insufficient funding, misunderstanding the market, lack of marketing, and unreasonable sales expectations.

No matter how experienced you are, you should assume that you will make some mistakes. The only people who never make mistakes are those who never try anything new.

A critical key to success is how well you learn from these missteps. Do you let them slow you down, or do you learn from them and move forward?

6. Keep Up with a Changing Business Environment

The shutdowns of the pandemic taught us all some important business lessons. Chief among them is the importance of embracing change.

Remember reading about the small businesses that revamped themselves for takeout and delivery? We may need a 21st-century rewording of the phrase “only the strong survive” to “Only the agile survive.” Here are some ways to remain agile in a changeable marketplace.

  • Keep up with news trends. With today’s instant information, not knowing about something is no longer an excuse.
  • Invite and respond to customer feedback. Use reviews and comments to improve your products and services.
  • Try new approaches. Technological advancements continue to reshape how we do things and think about them. Be ready to learn about and embrace the new tech that will help streamline your business.

In summary, business inexperience need not keep you from starting a new venture. In many cases, the knowledge, passion, and ideas you have will outweigh the need for business acumen. By surrounding yourself with people whose skills augment yours and developing a growth mindset, you can build a thriving company.


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