I love owning a business and wouldn’t trade it for a traditional 9-5 job no matter what the offer. However, it’s not all roses. There are a few things that make it tough, especially for those just starting out. I’m wondering if you can relate to my top three.
1. Time off is relative. Whether you’re sick (as I am now), you’re on vacation or there’s an after-hours client or customer emergency, I find it’s hard to truly ‘get away’ when you own a business. This could be dependent on the size and scope of your business, but for those who have less than five people on your team, I’m thinking you know what I mean.
2. The paycheck is never guaranteed. All business is cyclic and it’s a scary place when profits are down. I would venture to say it’s just as scary when profits are up because there’s the fear of keeping it sustainable. Carrie Wilkerson said it best in her book, The Barefoot Executive, “The truth is, being an entrepreneur is tough. It’s stressful. Most folks act as if ‘working for yourself’ is the ultimate vacation. But, you’re responsible for everything. While employees get paid for showing up and doing what they’re told, entrepreneurs get paid for taking risks and even then income is not guaranteed.” Enough said!
3. We have to make tough decisions. Without a doubt, owning a business means taking risks. With that, we are forced to make decisions that could not only affect us but also our staff, clients and partners. I think the decision-making process gets easier with time and experience, but it’s still uncomfortable because the outcome is uncertain.
What would you add to this list?
All very good truths, Rachel!
I would say another challenge goes along with items 2 and 3. To Grow or Not to Grow! Once you've made the decision to take the risk and grow the business, it requires a solid flow of income. Where do you go? Do you ask friends or others to invest in your services or products? Do you go to a financial institution for a business loan? If so, do you take out an SBA loan or a Line of Credit? Many institutions require your business shows at least three years of tax statements so if you're in your first year, forget it!
It's a daunting task trying to determine which path is the right one for your business. That doesn't even include yet another challenge: Hiring the right people! But that's a whole other blog...and I think you've written about that already! LOL
I can certainly agree. And I've been there a few times - grow and hire... then stay where I am and cut back. I'm in growth stage again... it's an ongoing battle!