If you are going into business for the sole purpose of “making more money” you are in for a rude awakening. Just because you have "Owner" next to your name, don’t assume that automatically means financial success.
My husband and I are both small business owners and I can not tell you how annoyed I get when I sense the assumption of, “Oh, they must be millionaires.” Please.
As a small business owner, you will work LONGER hours than before.
You will FAIL more than you think. Your stress level will go UP.
There is no such thing as “leaving it at the office.” Family vacation time becomes working remotely.
You will do ALL the behind the scenes business operations, like business development, billing, IT install and maintenance, which will leave very little time to do the actual work you like to do.
If you are thinking of opening a business -- great! Do it. But before you flip your website live, here is my advice:
If you are currently employed, stay employed and spend the next year saving half of your monthly paycheck. That’s right. For the next year, put half of your monthly check into savings. Trust me. You’ll need it. It will also give you (and your family) a real sense of what it's going to be like adjusting to your new (low-to-no) income the first few years of your business.
Talk with 5 business owners you know either personally and professionally and ask them if they had to go back and do it all over again, what would they do the same and what would they do differently.
If you are in a serious relationship, married or co-parenting, have a heart-to-heart with your significant other about the changes that will need to take place. You will NEED your partners support in this.
Even if it’s in its simplest form, write a business plan. It’s actually a difficult task and forces you to think about what your purpose is. If you can't come up with a 30 second elevator pitch to write down on a piece of paper, how will you be able to articulate your company's value face-to-face with a prospective client? Writing a business plan will help.
Here is my final tip on being a small business owner:
Are you a business owner? What advice would you give a start-up?