Small Business Ownership: Reality CheckPinot's Palette
Be your own boss! Make your own schedule! It’s easy to see why so many people are attracted to small business ownership. It’s an economic venture at the heart of the American Dream. And small business ownership can provide a dream lifestyle… but it’s not a golden ticket.
Avoiding the pitfalls of small business ownership depends largely on putting a lot of research and even more hard work into your business. Before you even put one dollar on the line, you’ll want to look into several business opportunities and compare their potential and risks. Check out sites like Franchise Business Review for reputable information on franchises and then compare those figures with independent business ideas. Talk to current franchisees and small business owners. Hound them for the good, the bad, and the ugly of business ownership.
Keep talking. Talk your way up the chain of command until you’re able to speak with leaders of a franchise. Figure out what type of support these people will offer you. Will you be on your own with a fledgling franchise or will corporate support you and walk beside you through every milestone on your way to success? If you’ll pay a hefty franchise fee, make sure it comes with plenty of value in the form of support, brand recognition, and advertising.
Banking on Successful Steps
Next, take an honest look at your finances. Do you have what it takes to invest in a quality business, or do you need to keep saving? Remember that it is not usual to make a profit in your first year of business. Make sure that you have the financing to see you through that first year, without facing undue economic stress. Talk to your financial advisor, franchise development teams, and consult the SBA’s Funding Guide.
And speaking of capital, much of it should go toward hiring the right people. You don’t usually want bargain-basement employees to help you get your business off the ground. You’ll want to be hands-on for your first year of business because no employee will care as much as you. But you’ll also need a strong team that you can trust so that you don’t overwork yourself. As they say, “no man is an island,” and no small business owner can succeed as an island either.
Keeping It Real
While you’re building that strong crew of co-workers, stay humble and realize that you’ll need to take on a variety of roles in the first year of business. From cleaning toilets to running social media campaigns, be prepared to step outside your comfort zone and take on whatever task is necessary to propel your business toward success.
Eventually, you’ll find the right people for each role in your company, you’ll be able to relax more and sweat less, and the revenue from your hard work will start rolling in. Until then, roll up your sleeves and get to work.