When it comes to starting a business, there is a lot of talk about how much money you will need, how to find a good location, buying office supplies, payroll, etc.but not enough talk about the realities of starting a business. Realities such as what you might experience physically, emotionally, and financially. We can pull up charts and figures and map out a business plan and research our target markets but the reality is that it’s rare to see things actually go as planned, so let me tell you how it’s really going to go down.
Having your own business sounds fun and exciting, you set your own hours; hire people to work for you, and you hope to make lots of money, sounds pretty easy right? It all sounds great rolling off your tongue but when it’s time to roll up those sleeves and make your dreams a reality it’s not always fun, exciting,or promising, in fact it’s going to take a whole lot of blood sweat and tears to get your business off the ground and even more, sometimes harder to keep it afloat.
Don’t get discouraged; think about this: UPS was started by two teenagers with a bicycle and $100 borrowed from a friend. 5Links is a multi-billion dollar business started on the back of a napkin. Apple originated in a garage and was created by two young men, one of whom was a college dropout.
Start-ups usually have little to no money to work with, there is no payroll, it’s just you and your ideas, the location could be a room in your house, the money you need is the money that sometimes comes from your own pockets, so don’t quit your day job. Often times the thought of running your own business is what some will believe makes it a success, but we know nothing gets done unless we actually take action. Starting your own business takes a lot of commitment, dedication, and devotion but you will need more than that.
There may or may not be technical support, no vacation time, no boss, no schedule, no secretary, no accountant, and you will be responsible for making everything function and flow.
Everything is on you and it’s a lot to carry so at times you may find yourself ready to cry when you get stuck between a rock and hard place, feelings of being overwhelmed may overtake you, friends might fade away, downgrades will be implemented, and many other sacrifices will be made.
You might miss days of sleep, weeks, months, even years if you last that long.You will be so busy that you will sometimes forget to eat, you will forget the day, month, even the year you are living in. Then you will come to a crossroads where you begin to doubt yourself and feel like you’re not cut out for this, which is normal, but you have to remember; People are only going to take your business as seriously as you do. If you’re not willing to invest time and energy why should anyone else?
You could take out a business loan but you want to make sure you don’t take out too much with the possibility of owing more money than you generate in your first three years which will send your business in the wrong direction. You also have the option to keep your day job and work your business during nights and weekends until you generate enough money with your business to sustain your living expenses. The goal is to generate more money than you put out, which is going to take some networking, bartering, and prioritizing.
Depending on the type of business that you choose to start, you might have minimal to zero contact with humans of the outside world, little of no social life, and maybe even no sex life.
Expect to work your business for three to five years before you actually make any real revenue from it. Many won’t make it past the first year; more won’t reach the three year mark. Three to five years sound like a long time but you will need that time to hit the ground running, come up with a vision, ad campaigns, establish credibility and before you know it five years will pass and you will be just warming up. If you happen to withstand the test of time and make it out with heart and some limbs still attached you might actually have a chance at success with your business.
There are a lot of unrealistic expectations when it comes to starting a business and honestly you won’t know what you’ve got yourself into until you’re in it. So keep yourself around positive forward-thinking people who encourage your success, keep you focused, and think business because starting your own business is cutthroat and you want to make sure you don’t cut your own.