You might be seeing a lot more encouragement from social media to start a business these days. You might also have just been toying with the idea of owning your business without prompting from Instagram. That urge to be your own boss can be especially strong those days when your boss and coworkers are getting on your last nerve. You may be wondering how to start a small business or if it’s even worth it. There are many perks to owning a business. While it may not be for everybody, if you do decide to give being your own boss a try, it’s worth going in with some hard truths. That’s why we’ve compiled our list of 5 things you need to know about starting a business.
1. Business plans are still important
You may have a million and one ideas inside your head, they all seem viable and you’re already visualizing retiring early. However, when you take the time to write out your business plan, you’ll not only see the viability of your business but also answer some tough questions. It forces you to answer questions that will not only inform where and how you market your business but you’ll be forced to consider how much this business will take to start and run. If you weren’t a business major in school and have no idea where to start, don’t worry. You can start out with our simple business plan called The Roadmap to Business Success Business Plan. This 5-page pdf template is a great tool for anyone looking to brainstorm and start their business.
2. You may end up working more than 40 hours a week
Many of us fantasize about the flexibility that often accompanies the idea of entrepreneurship. You may see your entrepreneurial friends posting themselves at the beach on a random Tuesday afternoon while you’re falling asleep at your desk. It’s true, people on social media make owning a business look like a day at the beach but that’s not the reality. The truth is, especially in the beginning, many solopreneurs or small business owners end up working an excess of 40 hours per week. There’s just a lot of work to do sometimes. Solopreneurs typically end up being the accountant, the social media manager, the copywriter, and everything else in between. For some people, they can’t hire a team yet because they can’t afford it.
Before you feel discouraged, flexibility can be achieved, and remember there are grants available (free money). In addition to that, there are a number of online software that makes running a business, especially by yourself, much easier. For example, Quickbooks is an accounting software that allows you to manage payroll, invoices and track expenses in one place. You can access them through our affiliate link where you get 55% of Quickbooks for three months.
3. Getting a mentor will put you miles ahead of the competition.
We already did a lengthy blog post on mentorship and its importance that you can check out here. However, to reiterate, a good mentor will share not only valuable industry knowledge with you but can also be a source of valuable connections. You can get mentors by asking around, reaching out to them on social media or by joining SCORE. SCORE is a nonprofit organization filled with volunteers ready and willing to be your mentors. It’s completely free so give it a try, what do you have to lose?
4. You’ll have to find a source of motivation
At work, you’re probably kept on a tight schedule or have someone hold you accountable. You also probably have a set time that you have to get to work. When you own your own business, there isn’t always a set time to start your day or someone micromanaging you. You’ll have to be disciplined and motivated to get the job done.
Your source of motivation when you start your business can be your ‘why’. Why did you or do you want to start this business? It’s worth writing it down and keeping it somewhere that you’ll see. It will get you through the rough days.
5. You don’t need to quit your 9-5 yet…..or ever
There is lots of talk on social media about quitting your day job and we can see why. People crave flexibility, jobs they actually care about, more time with their friends and family and the ability to earn more. However, maybe you don’t need to quit your 9-5. You may find that your business is better suited as a side hustle and not something you want to jump into full time. In addition to that, starting a business often requires money, you can use your 9-5 to fund your business or pad your savings account. If you do decide to take the leap and run your own business full time, sometimes the business won’t be profitable right out the gate. Therefore, saving up from your 9-5 can help you weather those rough periods.
In addition to that, you can use your 9-5 to continue making connections and sharpening your skills. Your 9-5 may seem totally unrelated and irrelevant to the business idea that you have however a lot of the skills can be transferable. For example, your people skills that you’re perfecting at work can help make the customer service and team leading at your own business impeccable.
At the end of the day, the choice is yours. Just make sure you do it because you want to and not because social media told you to.
Being a woman in business will have its own unique challenges especially if you’re a minority. However, don’t forget there is a community of people like us at She Boss Talk, rooting for you. We have tons of resources and information that you’ll find helpful so if you want to start a business sis do it!