Does it make sense that if starting your own small business were easy then everyone would do it? Offering bookkeeping services to various very small businesses is like having a non-stop education in entrepreneurship and starting a business. We see a lot of different business approaches, owner personalities and outcomes. There are two things that I think all successful small business owners have in common; a passion for what they do and the determination to succeed no matter what. Since I started offering accounting marketing consulting services I have met with a lot of different people wanting to launch their own service. They face the same main obstacle that anyone looking to start their own business does; it is very hard work.
Excuses For Not Starting A Small Business
No money - This is probably the most common excuse I hear from the prospective small business owner; lack of money to make the leap. The problem is usually not the lack of start-up capital like you might think. The obstacle is usually having enough money to survive and pay for their current lifestyle while they grow their business. Money is the #1 reason in my eyes most people never start their own business. My advice is that if you want to start your own small business bad enough you need to find a way to make it happen. Save for the launch of your small business like you would save for the down payment on a house. Determine the amount of money you need to cover your everyday expenses until you predict your small business can support your life financially. Your business needs to be considered an asset so save enough money to invest in that asset.
No time - How can I launch my business while I am working a full-time job 8-5? My thoughts exactly. Well that can be tough, but not impossible. If it is imperative that you be available during some of the normal business hours to "sell" your business then you need to find a way. If that means cutting back your hours or working nights and weekends then that is what has to happen. If you can't afford to cut your hours go back to the section 'no money' above.
Don't know how to get clients - Learning to sell can be difficult for anyone that does not have experience doing so. It seems so easy to break out on your own and just get clients. The typical scenario is you work for someone and deliver the services. You see how much money the business owner is making and think to yourself how great it would be to make the entire amount. So you start your own business and realize that marketing and selling your business is important, but also very difficult. If you don't know how to sell and acquire new customers for your business you need to identify that as a weakness. Like any other weakness it takes training and hard work to get good and overcome your weakness. Consider finding a mentor or looking for small business sales coaching.
It Is Hard Work
Starting a small business is incredibly hard work. The #1 reason I hear people tell me why they want to start their own business is for freedom. Sure, I get that. However, I think most people think that freedom and a good paying job will come without hard work and they are just wrong. Many people have the vision of spending more time with their family, following their passions outside of the office or taking a day off just because. However, it takes a long time to get there.
Do I have a lot of freedom in my job? Yes I do, but I didn't always and it took a long time to get to where I am at.
Can I choose to work less than 40 hours a week? Yes I can but sometimes I work much more than that. Additionally when I first started out I almost always worked more than 40 hours per week for several years.
Don't get this false sense that starting your own business is all fun and games. If you envision sleeping in late, having short days and lots of time on the beach in some exotic location you are in for a reality check. You should approach starting your own business with the mindset that you are going to work your tail off for a long time in the hopes of having a little bit more freedom and making more money than you do now.
You Need To Leap
So you have made it all the way through this article nodding your head up and down saying to yourself, "Yeah I get it. I'm into this. I want to start my own business." So now what? Go for it and just do it. I'm dead serious and I know you have heard it a million times before. You have to take the leap of faith, believe in yourself and just go for it.
I had two interesting calls today from people that wanted to start their own business. I left the calls thinking to myself "they get it but they won't do it." They will end up like so many other people, working for someone else and wanting something different. After the calls I sent a few emails grabbed the dog and went fishing for a few hours. I dragged a half dozen trout out of the river and came home smiling.
That is why I am a small business owner....that is why I broke out on my own and continue to work so hard.