Is it Hard to Start a Business?
Did you know that there are over 60,000 new small businesses formed every single year?
According to the Small Business Administration, there are more than 27.9 million small businesses and that number is growing year after year.
Owning your own business is exciting, rewarding and challenging and it is definitely part of the American dream.
But how hard is it to start a business?
The answer is probably what you already expect – it is hard work but it is so worth it.
As someone who has started my own business, I am going to share how hard it is to start a business but also why it is all worth it.
Why Starting Your Own Business is Hard Work
Forget the Standard Work Hours
As a business owner, you can expect to throw the standard 9am-5pm business hours out the door from the beginning.
A business never sleeps, especially when you are first starting out and perhaps don’t have someone to manage the operations for you.
As a small business owner you will be the point of contact for pretty much every business decision, you will be attending events, dinners, and be networking around the clock.
You and your business are one and it is a 24/7, around the clock job.
Even when you are not working, you are thinking about your business – it just comes with the territory.
To add to the fact that your business is now going to occupy your mind and your schedule 24/7, you can say goodbye to PTO, vacations, and uninterrupted holidays.
Even in the corporate world, taking a vacation is challenging.
You have a “backup” to take care of things while you are out only to come from your vacation and find that you have to fix or catch up on whatever was missed.
It could take weeks to catch up from a one week vacation.
If you think that is hard, it is even more challenging when you own the business.
You have so much more to lose by being gone because as the owner of a new, growing business, one mistake could cost you your entire company.
Until you have a trusted management team in place that has proven it can smoothly run operations while you are “out of office”, you may have to say goodbye to your summer plans in Greece.
Getting Your Name Out There
Many small business owners will say the same thing – they dread prospecting new business.
Most of them are not salespeople or marketing gurus and so this part of owning a small business may not come naturally to most.
No one is going to just hand you clients, and when you are first starting out, you probably won’t have a sales team to bring in a steady clientele.
You will have to find creative ways to generate business and this can be really challenging, especially when doors are constantly being closed.
Get ready to cold call, knock on doors, and even be that pesky solicitor we all love to hate.
Get Ready to do Every Job
Business owners wear a million different hats from receptionist, to accountant to janitor at times.
If you can afford to get help, that is great, but odds are when you are first starting out, you will be trying to save money.
This means taking out your own trash, ordering your own office supplies, and doing your own collection calls.
You have a lot on the Line
Many business owners put everything on the line to follow their dream of owning their own company, and with this comes a ton of risk.
Losing the company could mean losing thousands of dollars, getting into debt, and ruining your credit score.
Owning your own business also puts you at risk of being sued by clients, vendors, and others who you come in contact with should anything go south.
Knowing that you have so much on the line makes owning a business really stressful.
This is why many small business owners form their business as a limited liability company.
It doesn’t take away all of the risks, but it doesn’t at least protect your personal assets.
If you are looking for form a business, learn more about forming as an LLC here.
Why Starting Your Own Business is Worth it
When you own your own business you don’t’ have a boss to control your schedule, and that alone is life changing.
As a mom of two, I am able to pick my kids up and drop them off, make it to practices and birthdays, and decide what hours I work each day.
This also means I need to stay disciplined and get work done because when you own your own business, if you don’t’ work, you don’t get paid.
Some days I wake up at 4:30am to get work done and other days I take a break and get back to work in the late evenings.
The point is, you decide when and where you work and that is worth it every time.
Have you ever worked for a company where you didn’t quite fit into the company culture?
Well, as a business owner, you get to decide what your company culture is.
If you want a business casual atmosphere, go for it!
If ping pong and bean bag chairs are your thing, then you can do it.
Fitting into the company culture is part of being happy with your career or job and as a business owner, this isn’t an issue since you get to decide what your company culture is going to be.
You Control Turnaround Times
I remember when I worked in the corporate world, it would take a week just to turn a PO around.
The PO would go round and round on various peoples desks for approval and get stuck somewhere on someones desk for days.
When you own a business, you can make sure these sorts of things never happen and you can hold people accountable if they do.
You Decide Who You Work With
Not only do you get to decide who you work with on your team, you also get to decide what customers you want – or don’t want.
One of the best part of owning your own business is getting to choose your team and getting to do the work that you are passionate about.
Working with clients that you get along with and have a strong relationship with is rewarding and your employees are part of your team.
When you get to say who and when, it tends to run more smoothly and work more as a partnership, not just a bunch of people doing their own thing to get ahead.
Hard Work Pays Off
Successful business owners work hard, and the harder you work the bigger the payoff.
This is what makes owning a business so rewarding.
You work hard and you see the fruits of your labor as your business grows and flourishes.
You are in charge of your growth and how much you make – no more waiting around for your annual review and a small 3% raise or bonus.
Starting a business is no easy task and many small businesses do fail.
We don’t want to just look through rose-colored glasses and not say it how it is, there risk of failure is definitely there.
However with great risk comes even greater reward!
If you can put in the time, discipline, and hard work, owning your own business is perhaps one of the greatest accomplishments out there.
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