In some aspects, starting your own business could be the best thing you do today or even tomorrow. You will no longer have to answer to anybody else. You might be able to skip the daily commute. You can do something you are passionate about. And especially if you work from home, you might even get to run your business in your PJ’s. In many ways, you will be able to live the dream! Right? Well…erm… yes and no!
Unfortunately, running your own business isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. There are some rather uncomfortable truths that need to be taken into account; some of which you will be aware of if you have already struck out in business on your own.
Truth #1: Failure is a real possibility
According to the stats within this article, 20% of small businesses fail within the first year. Yikes! And even if you do make it through your first twelve months in business, you might still fall into the 30% of those who fail after their second year. It’s enough to put you off your cornflakes in the morning! Still, despite those statistics, there are obviously those who succeed, so it’s not all bad news. The onus is on you to make your business work. This means getting on top of your finances so you don’t run out of money early, and improving your marketing strategy, so news of your business spreads far and wide. You should also start a business that you are passionate about, because when you do start to face challenges, you will be more likely to face them head on instead of withering away because of them.
Truth #2: You’re a small fish in a large pond
Now, if you were to start a business that was completely original, you might be able to carve out a comfortable niche for yourself. Chances are, however, your business will be somewhat similar to others, be that on the high street or on the greater realms of the world wide web, and as a small business owner, you might be crushed by those bigger businesses who have already made a name for themselves in the industry you are involved in. Therefore, professionalism is key if you stand any chance of gaining credibility in your field. Turn up to business meetings on time, and dress professionally. Use the resources available to you to convey a professional image, such as using a professional looking invoice template when you’re dealing with clients. And outsource certain areas of your business to convey quality, such as hiring a website designer to give your business website the look and feel it needs to garner respect from potential clients and investors to your business. You see, even the smallest of fish can make big waves if they make an excellent first impression.
Truth #3: Burnout isn’t far away
Running your own business could take its toll on your mental health. With a lot to do, especially when you’re just getting started, you might well face exhaustion. And then there are all the stresses that prevail in business, from having to fight to keep your customers to dealing with non-paying clients. It’s tough, and if you aren’t mindful of your health, you might well face burnout. Still, you can prevent it. As suggested above, you might outsource some of your business tasks, so you don’t have to do everything yourself. You should also manage your time, so you don’t work overtime too often. Eating healthily, exercising regularly, and getting a good night’s sleep should also be a priority when it comes to caring for your wellbeing and avoiding burnout.
Should you let these uncomfortable truths put you off starting your own business? No, of course not. There are ways to counter any negatives, as we have suggested in the points we made above. Still, it pays to know what you are letting yourself in for if you are still in the business planning stages. Let us know what you think, and if you have countered these uncomfortable truths in your business, do the right thing and share your strategies with us.
Take care, and thanks for reading!