Nothing is quite as scary, exciting, or fulfilling as running a small business. You might have heard all of the typical advice – about profits, insurance, and so on – but you may want to consider the aspects that no one tells you about. Here are some things to look out for on your first trip around the business block.
Progress Isn’t Steady
Business comes in cycles, and the reality is that most of those cycles are out of your control completely. That doesn’t mean that you can’t prepare for them and use them to your advantage. You absolutely should, as a matter of fact. Getting caught by surprise could have serious consequences, after all, since one big financial emergency in the early stages of a small business can kill the project entirely. Be aware that even if you’re getting regular customers, you may not be getting the kind of profit you might want or need for a year or even more. A lot of your money will go towards paying off loans, insurance, and whatnot.
The Busy Work
There are many aspects of running and owning a small business that have nothing to do with the product itself. Unfortunately, this means that your attention will always be demanded by something small or big. This can include accounting, hiring or firing, marketing, and a million other things – even just repainting the outside of your commercial property. And it’s not all unskilled labor, either. Accounting can be a time-consuming task that requires accuracy. Hiring new employees requires at least basic HR training on nondiscrimination. One thing you could consider is hiring professional contractors to help you complete whatever busy work you need done.
Starting any new project is stressful. But a small, local business even more so, because its financial destiny can be so uncertain for so long. Thus, many first-time business owners have no way of regulating how much of their work can or cannot work its way into their personal lives. While it is important to make time for your business when an early-onset emergency demands it, you also need to create some healthy boundaries. That might mean setting at least a small amount of time aside for you and your family each week. It might mean delegating to business partners when you need it.
The reality is that every market and every location is different enough that you can only follow a list of guidelines so far, because your small business experience will be unique. That’s scary, but it’s also freeing. Don’t be afraid to plan extensively and then adjust as needed.
Check out this article on how to avoid regrets when hiring for your company!