So, you’ve gone and done it. You’ve hung out your shingle. You’ve taken the leap into entrepreneurship. You are now your own boss. Why? Because of the unlimited potential, of course! Set your own hours! More family time! Huge earnings! No commute! Small business owners have it all, don’t they? Actually, no. Having it all is a myth.
Behind every successful business is the literal blood, sweat, and tears of an entrepreneur. There is no free ride, no risk-free strategy, and no situation where an idea meant falling into a pile of profits within days. Even businesses that grew quickly and were profitable within the first year have challenges. Fast growth means growing the team just as fast, which does not allow for careful employee screening or administrative management.
Running a small business is very rewarding, but it is important to manage expectations. You can’t have it all, but you can have “most” of it when you approach small business ownership with a solid plan.
Small Business Owners Always Think About the Money
Your great idea will not get out of the gate if you don’t have a plan for how to finance it and how to manage costs. You need to keep detailed accounts of your startup costs, your expenses, your taxes – especially if you need funding for your idea or business. “Not being a numbers person” is no excuse. If numbers are not your thing, add a bookkeeper, accountant, or analyst to your team.
Small Business Owners Have This Conversation with Family and Friends
“Surprise! I quit my job to open a restaurant!” That is NOT the way to let your family and friends you know are getting into small business ownership. It’s important for small business owners to have a robust support network of friends, family, industry professionals, and mentors. Before you start your journey, have a conversation with your friends and family. Get their honest feedback on how they think you will do as a small business owner. Ask if you can count on their support. Let them know you may not have money or time for hanging out for the first year or so. Think of was to stay close (at-home dates, free festivals, etc.) so you don’t lose out on being social while also being entrenched in your startup.
Small Business Owners Take Care of Their Health (and the Health of their Team)
A big perk of being an employee is the health and dental benefits, and the life insurance. When you strike out on your own, you need to buy a personal policy. Having a big expense, like a child that needs braces, can really derail your startup plans. Although health benefits are an expense, they are a necessary one. Life insurance is too – as a breadwinner, your family relies on your income and you don’t want them to have to deal with the bills and mortgage on their own. As you grow your team, you’ll retain the best staff if you offer employee benefits. Factor this into your budget.
Having it All
While having it all is truly a myth, small business owners can enjoy the rewards of small business ownership. It’s long days, sometimes the bank account is lower than what is comfortable, and it is a lot of work. However, being in charge of your destiny, having more potential in your career, and building a legacy can’t be beat. It just takes more than a great idea. It takes time, planning, and effort.
AF Accounting helps small business owners reach their goals. Contact us today to learn how.