Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sacrifices of Owning Your Own Business

Starting your own business can be one of the biggest decisions you ever make and before I go any further with this post, I want to say that I believe 100% that anyone can do it and be a success if they are willing to make all the necessary sacrifices. The biggest sacrifice a new business owner will have to make is probably time, often having to work 16 hour days just to become known. Their business will have to become priority number one. Clients will come before family and friends. If this sounds like a huge price to pay to you then you're right. In time things do get better and work hours may shorten but in the beginning you will have some days when you question your own sanity for ever starting a business. After all, being your own boss is supposed to free up your time to do what you want, right?

I have made it past the majority of the time constraints my business immediately put me under however there are still some days I wake at 6:00 a.m and don't go to bed until 2:00 a.m the next morning. This week in particular comes to mind, my sales team is looking to make May a record breaking month for my company and as things stand now, their setting up deals as fast as I can close them. I get stressed when my free time I thought I was finally gonna be getting is taken away but in the end I know I did not start a small business to remain small and by doing what I have to now, I will be doing what I want to later.

Starting a business is not for the weak at heart and should not be done without fully understanding that your time is no longer yours. It belongs to your business and your clients and unless you treat it as such, at least in the very beginning, you will fail. No business starts off as a well known entity pulling a gazillion dollars a year. If you examine any successful business, you will find that somewhere in the beginning days, there was someone that skipped meals, breaks, and days off to build something from nothing. Only later, after paying their dues did they reap the rewards.


Ed said...

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Grace and Peace,

The Minimalist said...

Wow! That is so true! I have spent hours setting my son up in a contracting business. He's out there hustling up work as I write this. He'd say that it's always important to fish though.

Paul Eilers said...

Yes, owning your own business can be tough. My mother owns a restaurant in North Carolina, The Hunter Hill Cafe. She serves homestyle cooking with fast cafeteria style service. Prior to that, she owned a seafood restaurant, but realized that was not necessarily the way to go. So she sold it and opened up her current business.

She works 12 or more hours a day, six days a week. She has turned the corner though, and is hoping to start making a profit soon.

Funny thing is, she is slammed all the time with customers, but the profit margin on food is small. Plus, bills, labor costs, rent, taxes and other expenses eat away at the bottom line. Often she has commented that she is working for nothing. People do leave her tips, and that is what she is using to pay household bills. Yet, people that do not own a business think she is rolling in the dough.

Owning your own business can be highly profitable long-term, but in the beginning, it is extremely tough sledding.

Paul Eilers

TK said...

thanks, very helpful information. some of which i've already experienced, but it's always good to know you're not alone.

Michelle R said...

This is a great "warning" for those thinking about starting their own business. My observations have been that those who put in the long hours make a strong foundation for their futures. But remember you want to work smarter not harder. If you're not sure how to work smarter, put together a master mind group of business people where you can get together to figure out the best ways. Plus a mentor in the same industry is invaluable. Mentors have been there and suffered through all the mistakes. Not only listen to their advice but act on it.

One thing I have noticed is some people that own their own businesses do just enough work to pay the bills. My question would be why go into business for yourself just to break even? You can't afford the extras like family vacations or be able to put money away for Johnnie's college education. And the stress level never goes away. Make the extra effort to put yourself over the top.

Jason said...

Great Blog, came across it today through Entrecard.

I agree with you in that anyone can make a success out of their own business.

Here's what I would add...

You have to love what you do. If this is the case, those 18 hour days don't seem like 18 hour days because you're enjoying the time and not watching the clock.

If you pick a business that you have no passion for, just because you think it will be profitable and you'll soon be living at the beach counting your money, you'll end up burning out on 18 hour days.

Check out my blog A Guitar Teachers Blog. I just posted last week on leaving the corporate world 2 years ago and not working a day since.

Lubel said...

I agree with most of you, it's not easy to have your own business. Our coffee and tea kiosk didn't work in a mall so it was transferred to a school. The kiosk was always crowded with students, but that happens only when there are classes. I also realized that the school as a location for the kiosk is not aligned to the reason why I chose the coffee kiosk business, which is to enjoy my breakfast there. So many things to consider when you put-up a business. Maybe it was just too late for us to have a business. I also left the corporate world 2 years ago with an IT job, and now I want to have an IT job again. Maybe we should have chosen a business in that area. All these experiences, I shared in my blog,

Earn Cash said...

Wow...that's good that i didn't miss out your post. That's really good and i did learn something here. Keep forward!

condoms said...

Ya Paul, you state out the good point and generally, people will just fall down during the beginning step. agree on what you are saying and good luck for your mom