Optimism is good, but keep it realistic

30751840 - this is too much  young woman can t handle that workload anymoreOptimistic about starting your own business? Great. You’re going to need that enthusiasm. However, too much confidence can cause things to go south in a hurry. Overconfidence often leads to faulty business decision-making that squanders precious investment capital.

That’s why a little naysaying often spares an entrepreneur the pain of a failed dream. Replace those rose-colored glasses with a scrutinizing mindset willing to fearlessly detect those faulty financial projections. It is at this stage, in particular, that your accountant can be your lifesaver.

It may be just a small mom-and-pop venture, but “mom and pop” still need to work as a team. That’s why well-defined leadership roles are important, whenever there is more than one principal in a business venture. Develop a decision-making process to resolve conflicts, soothe fears and tackle tough issues before the pressure mounts.

One of the advantages of operating a small business is the ability to nimbly shift course, and take the growing business into new directions, when opportunities arise. Organic business growth can produce the loveliest of fruits, while a rigid mindset will lead to a lot of missed opportunities down the road. Many a startup business finds the first or even second idea doesn’t quite gel. Often, it requires the willingness to experiment.

Reach a happy medium between too narrow a business niche and one too wide. Go with a gut feeling, when it’s time to branch out, taking lessons learned from your existing customers, while you cautiously diversify your customer base.

And, remember: It’s sad, but true that skimpy analytics have torpedoed many an aspiring entrepreneur. Never make assumptions about your target audience’s preferences. Pin it down with accurate, up-to-date analytical data, using the best sources you can afford.

Have a backup source of funding available, when those startup cash reserves dwindle. The hardest decision an entrepreneur faces is determining when it’s time to pull the plug on a comatose business concept. Entrepreneurs often become emotionally attached to an idea that has been nurtured for an extended period of time. Dreams die hard, but remember that many a successful entrepreneur has seen his or her share of failures.

And, remember: Even a little foresight has spared many an entrepreneur a painfully hard landing.