It’s real talk time. If you’re one of the millions of people annually who have decided to launch your own business, you are likely to already have a few key qualities. You’ll have vision. You aren’t afraid of a little hard work. You’re determined. And you’re optimistic – of bettering the world with a product or service that you’re passionate about, of being able to finally get your work-life balance in order and of being able to make money for yourself. The reality of entrepreneurship can be rewarding – but it’s also tough. You reap what you sow in terms of your work, but you also need a crucial dose of luck and timing for things to really take off. So, can you take the truth of knowing what it really means to run your own business? Knowledge is power – so understanding what lies ahead and you’ll be much better equipped to meet those challenges head on.
It’s Hard Work Mentally
What running your own business really means is constantly problem solving on a big scale. You may be used to solving your own working problems during the course of the day, but suddenly you now have to take on the problems of your customers, your staff, your suppliers and your investors – and this equals a whole new level of pressure. Often when you start out you won’t have much in the way of backup – you’re likely to start off as the only person on the payroll – so it’s a lot of responsibility resting on your shoulders. This is where it can be enormously beneficial to find local networking events where you can connect with other small business owners who are likely to be experiencing similar issues to you. Or you could take it one step further and find a business mentor who can help to give you perspective, challenge your thinking where needed and offer a little sage advice. Just remember that you aren’t alone and teach out to others for help. This can mean tapping into specialist support where possible – and whether it’s human resource management or working with a web design agency or even getting help with your marketing strategy, sometimes a little external backup via outsourcing can be a very worthwhile investment – so tap in the people and systems you need to get the job done efficiently.
Progress Tends To Be Incremental
Naturally we look for a big win to give us a sense of validation and reassure us that we’re on the right track. Generally in launching a small business these moments are rare – and over time you’ll see it’s more about incremental improvements. Each achievement that you make gives more opportunity – but also more challenges.
Staying Focused Is Difficult
From the outside, being able to call the shots seems great – but when you’re actually in that situation, it feels more like being pulled in a million different directions. There are a lot of factors vying for your attention – that marketing plan needs writing, you have invoices to chase up, you should really be out there pitching to potential clients, you’re days behind on the social media schedule, you need to look at the books and your office has completely run out of coffee because you didn’t remember to order in office supplies. In the midst of all these competing demands on your time, you have to try desperately to stay focused on your vision and values and your business plan. This can be extremely hard. Begin by sorting everything into a prioritisation matrix to get clarity on what to tackle first. Write up a handful of goals related to your business plan and put them where you can see them every day. Each morning read through them and remind yourself of what you really need to be doing in order to move closer to them. No one ever said entrepreneurship was easy, but with persistence and a lot of work, you can make it and in time, reap the rewards.