Let’s face it, being a business owner requires a specific type of personality and an unmatched level of passion and drive. Not many people have what it takes to start their own business and be successful. That said, it’s doubtful anyone who owns their own business would trade it for anything. Nothing beats being your own boss and working to make your idea into a reality. Even so, owning a business isn’t as glamorous as many imagine it to be. It can be really tough.
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1. You take a large financial risk.
When you start a business, you fund the project yourself. There’s no telling if you could lose everything six months later or grow it into a wildly successful company.
Remember: Running a business is always more expensive than you think it will be.
2. There’s no guarantee your business will be successful.
Money is not a key to success, however. It’s a fact that about half of all entrepreneurial ventures fail and less than 40 percent of all start-ups are still in business after five years.
3. Income isn’t always steady.
There’s no reliable, bi-weekly paycheck to cash. Your income is dependent on the success of your business. Every business goes through ups and downs in revenue, which means your income will as well. Kiplinger.com recommends in Six Steps to Starting Your Own Business that when you plan to start a business, also plan to live off of at least six months’ worth of savings because you will likely have no income at all.
4. You have to work longer and harder.
You have to be 100 percent committed to the success of your business. That means putting in more work than anyone. According to the 2008 Staples Small Business Survey, “98 percent of U.S. small business owners and managers are working during their time off, including nights, weekends and vacations.”
5. No overtime pay.
All those extra hours and hard work you put in won’t be for a salary increase, either. You do it because you believe in the future of your venture and are passionate about its success. You simply have to hope it will pay-off in the long run.
6. Your relationships become strained.
Owning a business requires more than your total commitment. You need the devotion of your spouse, children and maybe even your friends, too. Since it’s a 24/7 job, you may find that you sometimes have to put the needs of your business above those of other people.
7. A heavy burden of responsibility on your shoulders.
Running your own business means you’re responsible for every aspect of its operation. When a problem arises, it’s on you to fix it. There’s also payroll, taxes, administration and more to take care of. You have to handle much of it yourself (for a while, anyway) or hire and manage someone else to do it for you.
8. There are numerous rules and regulations to be aware of.
You will have to be aware of all your state’s required permits, licenses and regulations regarding owning and running a business. This includes the statutes and regulations that often require tests and proof of financial responsibility in order to obtain a particular business license. You have to know them all and stay up-to-date on any changes.
9. You must learn many new skills.
You are forced to become an expert in every area of your business in a short amount of time. Not great at math? That will have to change fast. Never really used a computer? Better learn how if you want to stay ahead of competitors.
10. It’s a thankless job.
You will sacrifice your time, energy, money and maybe even your health, all so your concept becomes actuality. Don’t expect a lot of people to thank you for all the extra effort. As Forbes.com explains in 11 Myths of Owning a Business, “entrepreneurs need internal motivation and reassurance because it rarely comes from outside.” One way to know you’re doing a good job? Your revenue increases.