Have you ever thought about starting your own business? A lot of people do.
Have you ever conducted research on several markets that you were considering jumping in to? Now you’ve begun to separate yourself from the rest.
Learning the ins and outs of your prospective industry is just one of many actionable steps that can lead you to be a full-time entrepreneur. But if you have made it this far, at least you’re taking action. A lot of people dream all day, and never wake up, so I commend you for venturing down the path of business ownership.
Whether you’re fascinated with getting to work for yourself on your own terms, being able to work from anywhere in the world, or not having to wake up to an alarm clock–but rather a calling–the opportunity to do business your way truly is magical.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with working a 9-5. Heck, the world needs loyal employees like that. But as I see it, if you’re not spending at least an hour or two a day working on your personal goals, business goals, spiritual goals, fitness goals, etc. then you are merely existing. The objective is not to merely exist, but to live. To live out a life you have always dreamed of. That’s not to say it’s going to be easy, however.
You have to be willing to get punched in the face. A prerequisite for getting back up is that you first must get knocked down. Maybe you already know this stuff. But maybe it’s time to internalize it further.
However you want to put it, owning, managing, and spearheading a small business is not easy. And in this article, I am going to lay out 4 ugly truths that come with making your grandest dreams into a reality.
- You can’t do everything yourself. You’re tenacious, talented, and a true go-getter. You’re determined to win at all costs and you’re the reason why you will be successful. But sometimes you have to let your employees, helpers, virtual assistants, college kids, etc. think for themselves. For instance, it’s not unlikely for roofing contractors to subcontract their work out to other roofing companies. You have to trust that your teammates will get the job done. I’m sure you’ve probably tried to do everything yourself in the past, but you have to work smarter than that. As small business owners, we’re fearless and sometimes a little overconfident in our own ability. Sometimes it’s better to empower others to get the job done.
- Listening is the most useful business skill you’ll ever attain. The man upstairs made us with two ears and one mouth for a reason, right? If we listen more than we speak, we enable ourselves to learn what we don’t already know. But if we’re speaking all the time, we’re simply preaching our current beliefs. It’s important to listen to everyone around you, including your customers, your employees, fellow small business owners, and your community. They might know something you don’t know, and it just might relate to your business, increasing profitability, retaining customers, fulfilling needs, or something else of great value.
- Track everything that goes in and out of your business bank account. Get a professional CPA and a bookkeeper or utilize software like QuickBooks and FreshBooks. Although it would be nice, everything you buy once you’re in business isn’t necessarily an expense for your business. Another thing, get organized. Ask your accountant to show you his or her spreadsheet. Imagine being able to look at your business and run a real profit and loss statement. Having all that stuff on paper, or in one place at least, relieves stress in troves! And of course, knowing that you’re actually profitable and not in debt (at all times) is nice too. If you don’t know where you’re wasting money or overspending, it’s impossible to propose a solution. Remember that.
- Your customers are the most important people in your business–even more important than you. Yes, you may get all the hard work done. You may be a networking machine and close deals daily. But at the end of the day, if you’re customers aren’t happy, you don’t have a business. Without customers, there is no business. Period. Which is why you must treat them that way. Make them feel like they are your utmost concern, and make sure it’s genuine. That realness will shine through your soul and you’ll be that much more successful with your small business.