Donna Reade

QuickBooks Online Consulting & Bookkeeping

The Ugly Truth about Owning a Small Business

Are you thinking about leaving your corporate job to start your own company? Have you already made the jump into business ownership? No question about it, leaving nice coworkers and a stable paycheck not to mention benefits, can be scary. I am with you. In 2008 I left my corporate job of 6 years. Looking back, it was the defining moment of my life. Up until that point earning an income had been relativity easy for me. Companies paid me to work and I did not have to worry about the bottom line.

Here is the truth. With the experiences and personal growth I have gone through in the last few years the fact remains that I am now so enamored of blazing my own trail that I could never go back. Now I work on my own terms and I am hopelessly, incurably, unemployable.

If you want to or are currently blazing your own trail here are some Ugly Truths that you need to know:

Every Small Business Owner Struggles
While your industry may be unique, the struggles of taking an idea to market remain the same. You might feel alone but you are not. The person you see tweeting about how awesome their company and life is goes through the same thing, you are just brave enough to admit it.

At least Two Years and No Pay – If you have employees forget about it.
The fact is you can’t get to selling or marketing your product until you wade through a huge number of administrative tasks that must be completed. Depending on your industry you will need to deal with all kinds of licensing city, county, state or national. If you have employees then there is a whole layer for taxes and insurance. The point: Know you’ll be strapped – for a while – and plan for it.

Owning a business is more about the numbers than anything else.
Cash is the life blood of your company. So you need to know how every dollar is earned and spent. The accounting of your business is the report card of your success or failure. It is where you learn the reality of your efforts.

Your idea but it’s only as good as people will pay for it.
Just because you have a good idea means nothing unless someone will give you their credit card number for it, over and over again. If no one will give you any money, it’s either the wrong idea or you are the wrong person.

There is a dark side to being so engaged in your work – you can become totally consumed by it. You have to know going into it that every insecurity you have will eventually surface. When you take the fear, uncertainty and doubt and combine those with a negative customer experience you will want to quit. Don’t underestimate how much of a strain that can take on your loved ones and friends.

To Improve Your Odds – Keep Focused and Plan
Most small businesses don’t make it. Don’t be afraid of the challenges as you start and grow your small business. Instead, plan, anticipate and prepare. Make sure to remember that every day you make it increases the likelihood that you’ll survive.

2 Responses to The Ugly Truth about Owning a Small Business

  1. Luigi Fulk says:

    I wish someone would have told me this stuff when I started my business.

  2. liz Updegrave says:

    Donna, you are so right. Even if you have been in business for years there are many factors that can hurt your business. If you have employees, one accident can make dramatic increases in your worker comp insurance. PA has a compensation rating bureau. AS an employer can be surcharged 30 percent or higher. In simple terms for every $1,000 insurance you would have to pay an additional 300 or 400. This is a sizeable amount added to the yearly costs. I do not now if this is the same in other states.

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