Written by: April Franklin
Do you dream of running your own business? For many people, having the freedom to pursue their passion and work on their own terms is an important ambition. Being able to build wealth for yourself, not someone else, and follow your own interests sounds amazing.
But, the reality can often be different. Starting a business has lots of rewards, but also comes with its own challenges. In fact, 22.5% of small businesses fail within the first year. To help you avoid this, here are 7 things no one tells you about running a small business:
1. Business networking is so important
Running a small business can be isolating, and it’s very important to build a strong support network. Business networking can help you find mentors and get valuable wisdom, insights, and honest feedback from other business owners.
Networking with others in your industry can also help you find new clients and contacts. This is one of the best ways to boost business growth and get your idea off the ground.
2. You need to be very adaptable
Even with careful planning and a clear strategy in place, launching and running a business rarely runs smoothly. There’s no set path to follow, and things can change really fast.
Because of this, it’s important to be adaptable, willing to adjust your plans, and to be prepared for a variety of unexpected situations to happen. You may need to change direction at any point with very little notice, and this is something you must be ready for.
3. It’s long hours and hard work
If you’re starting a business to avoid the 9-5, you might not realise that running a company actually means working very long hours – often, it’s much more than a regular job.
Although in the long-term it can be very rewarding, both in terms of increased personal freedom and having more opportunities to grow wealth, it’s important to be prepared to work hard, especially in the beginning.
4. You need a lot of self discipline
Being a business owner requires a great deal of self-discipline – this is something lots of entrepreneurs are not expecting! It can take a while to get results, and this means working consistently for long periods without seeing immediate results.
To help you get started, make sure you have a good routine in place, know your long-term goals, and stick to your plan, even if you don’t feel like you’re making progress straight away.
5. Outsourcing costs can build up fast
Another thing people don’t realise when starting a business is how quickly costs can accumulate. Outsourcing work is common for new business owners, especially if they have a heavy workload, don’t have strong expertise in some areas, or have types of work they don’t want to do.
These costs can build up quickly. And, although it’s important to get professionals to help with more complex tasks, there are lots of things that aren’t as hard as they seem, and you can actually do yourself to save money.
For example, you might choose to design your own website using SquareSpace or a similar service. Or, you could do your own design work using Canva or create your own logo using a tool like LogoCreator. This isn’t as time consuming as you might think, and can save you a fortune.
6. You need to reinvest profits
You might be looking forward to having extra cash after starting a business venture. However, most business owners find they need to reinvest their profits for a while after launching a new business
Most of the time, you need to spend money to make money! If you want your business to grow in the long-term, reinvesting your profits is essential.
So, make sure you amend your income expectations and prepare for lower income accordingly.
7. You don’t need to quit your job straight away
Lastly, when you start a business, you don’t need to quit your job straight away. Taking a big leap of faith isn’t for everyone, but you can still start your business alongside your job and quit later if it’s a success.
By building income gradually, you still get the security of your 9-5 job whilst working towards a bigger dream. Although this means working longer hours, many people feel it’s worth it.
About the author:
April Franklin is a creative (fine arts) and a freelance writer. She is on an assignment to change the world with her writing, one creative piece at her time. She has been on this journey for years, and when she is less busy, she teaches yoga.