You’re starting a small business? Why?
You listened to your parents. You went to school. You got a good education. You got a good job. Wow, it’s paradise, right? The commute to work. You fight traffic and hope that no one gets a sudden case of road rage. You work the 9 to 5 grind. You get your health insurance. You get the 2 weeks of vacay. You play office politics to see who will get that promotion first. Hey, it’s a $2,000 a year raise and an extra week of vacation. It’s worth it, right? You fight the traffic going home. You get home. You eat dinner. You help the kids with homework and you sit down to watch 2 hours of TV. Then it’s bed time. The alarm wakes you up the next morning and guess what? You get to do it all over again, today.
You’ll run on the hamster wheel for 40 maybe 45 years.
That’s a lot of work! Who benefits? You?
Well, maybe a little bit. You did get that third week of vacation. You should be proud! You’re now the head assistant to the assistant of the vice president of sales and marketing.
Are you paid what you are worth? Probably not. Who is? Don’t worry, not many of us are paid what we are worth. The difference of what we are paid and what we are worth is the company’s profit!
Did you ever look at it like that?
Some people will tire of the rat race and decide that they want to start their own, traditional business. A kind of “mom and pop” shop or a service business that they can run out of their home.
Starting a small business – is it for you?
I can’t answer that question for you. I would say, no, don’t do it! It’s a tough life owning your own business. Let’s take a look at what you need to do when starting a small business.
If you have a big dream and a really good idea, then maybe starting a small business is the right thing for you. The emphasis is on a “really good idea.” I always advise people to start out small. You don’t need to invest a ton of money to find out if there is enough people out there who will be willing to pay their hard earned money for whatever it is you have to offer.
If your convinced that the business idea is sound and you’re ready to go, then get started!
Starting a small business – what do you do first?
You’ll need to invest your hard earned money. If you don’t have enough to get started, you may need to borrow the rest from friends and family. If you are lucky enough to qualify, you might get a bank loan.
If you are starting a brick and mortar business, you’ll need to lease a storefront. I hope you find a good location! You’ll need inventory. You will need to buy counters and fixtures. Don’t forget the cash register and you’ll need a merchant account, so you can accept credit cards.
You’ll need money to advertise.
That’s where it all starts, with advertising!
Unless you have really deep pockets or a really nice banker, you’ll end up having to fill every position in the company. You’ll be owner, sales person, advertising director, marketing specialist, door greeter, cash register person, hand holder and floor sweeper!
That’s a lot of stuff to do everyday! I sure hope you get a bunch of sales quickly so you can hire someone else to sweep the floors.
Starting a small business – it gets easier, right?
Maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t. If you have a great location, a good product line or service, top notch advertising and if you don’t get completely worn out from running the entire business, then maybe it will get a little easier.
If you have to money to hire helpers to do some of the things that you have to do in the beginning, it will take some of the “heavy lifting” off of your shoulders. That’s a really good thing. Business life can run you ragged, to the point of exhaustion.
Starting a small business – things are going good now!
You’ve been in business for a while now. You’ve gotten a loyal core of customers. You’re making some money. You’ve hired someone to run the cash register and stock the shelves. You’re now able to concentrate on those things that you are really good at.
You have turned a profit. You can meet payroll every week. You can even pay all of your bills, now. Life is good right?
After starting a small business, most people find out that they’ve just created another job for themselves. They still have to wake up and go to work. It’s no longer a 9-5 job. It’s a 12 hour a day job.
Sure, you’re the boss. You get to make all the big decisions. That’s what you wanted, right?
When summertime arrives your employees will get a week of vacation. You probably won’t. You’ll think that there is no way that the business can run itself. It will fall apart if you aren’t there. In most cases, that’s true. Try leaving the cash register person in charge for a week and see what’s left of your business when you return!
Starting a small business – it’s been a few years now
The business has been growing. You’re able to save a few dollars each month toward your retirement. You’ve hired several more employees. You might be feeling like you are running a daycare by now.
You’re not rich, but your doing well. You have a nicer home and a new car. Ah, the good life!
A few more years go by and you look around you. You have this sinking feeling. You don’t own this business. It owns you! You’ve not only created a job for yourself, you’ve created a prison.
It pays the bills, but are you happy?
Maybe so? Who knows. It is your own business after all. Being trapped in your own business is better than being trapped working for someone else, right?
Starting a small business sounds like a good idea, on the surface. It looks good, on paper.
For some, it is a great idea. It could be successful. You might not mind the long hours in the store. You may think that giving your weekends to the business is a good investment of your time. It might not bother you that the employees get paid first and you get whatever is left over. You may never think that you are being deprived when you never get to take a vacation, ever again!
Then again, some of that might bother you!
If you decide that starting a small business, a traditional brick and mortar business is for you, then I wish you the best of luck and great success!!
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