By: Shreya Jain
Starting a new business can be impressive, exhilarating and daunting. There’s a lot that could go right, but there’s also a lot - possibly more - that could go wrong. But for many of us, the pros far outweigh the cons, and half the battle is knowing where things can go wrong so that you can avoid mistakes - or turn a disaster into a profit.
Regardless of whether you know what you want or are just exploring the idea, read on, this guide is for you.
Developing the skills of a business owner means you have a great deal of freedom and flexibility in how you work and what you work on. You get to choose your own working hours, decide where you work, and dictate your own schedule. There's no manager that you report to every day, you have complete autonomy over your professional life. You have the total freedom to bring that concept to fruition.
Not all of us excel in environments of total freedom. Some of us need boundaries, some of us like having someone to report to in order to get feedback and confirmation that they’re doing the right thing, and some of us don’t know when to stop. Burnout is a real issue. When you have total freedom, every hour of the day is simultaneously work time and holiday time.
The key here is to control your workspace. Set a schedule, and manage yourself. It’s up to you to decide how much time, energy and effort to put into growing your business, and it’s up to you to keep tabs on yourself and realise when you’re not doing enough, but also when too much is too much.
Instead of working for someone else and making money on their behalf, all the profits you earn go directly to you and your business! New businesses can be incredibly profitable! Even small businesses can see hundreds of thousands of dollars passing through within the course of a year!
Businesses can also cost a lot of money. An unprofitable business, especially in the early days, can cripple new business owners and entrepreneurs – even if only mentally and emotionally. When all your money is wrapped up in a business, the business’ failure can quickly feel like it’s become your failure – even if the reasons are outside your control.
Proper management and financial acumen are essential, as are key details like knowing the laws around your business so that you can maximise profit – and minimise the chance of accidentally committing a criminal offence! Delegation is key and hiring people to manage these other parts of the business can both take a lot off your plate and protect you and your business from disaster. When you’re still building up you may have to do everything yourself, but reach out! Don’t let the fact that you’re a small business stop you from learning from or working with the people you might want to employ in future.
At its core, entrepreneurship is a passion project for many professionals. It’s a chance to really impact people, learn, create and develop yourself. As your business grows and becomes more profitable, you can build the things that drive you even higher while simultaneously providing many people with good-paying jobs to help them achieve a higher quality of life.
Stress. More responsibility sometimes means more personal stress and having to play so many roles all at once can be emotionally and physically taxing, and often costs you further in long hours and pushing yourself to or even beyond your limits. Not only that, but when others are reliant on you it’s not just your future that’s impacted but theirs as well. All of that can be overwhelming and emotions like fear, worry, anger or even simple exhaustion can cripple a growing business.
Sometimes stress as an entrepreneur is unavoidable, but there are strategies you can use to help you mitigate those stressors and keep them from controlling your productivity. When you're feeling really stressed, take some time to relax by engaging in an activity that you enjoy or that brings you peace of mind. Give yourself incremental breaks so you're less likely to feel fatigued or overwhelmed. Most of all, don’t forget what made you want to become an entrepreneur in the first place. Keep that passion front and centre, and let both your heart and your mind guide you to a brighter tomorrow.
Working as an entrepreneur is an opportunity for you to become more than what you’ve ever been before. Taking an innovative idea and transforming it into a lucrative business venture is a lot of work, but it can be among the most rewarding experiences in your life. Sure there are risks, but once you’ve developed the skills of a business owner to compensate for those risks the rewards both financial and personal can far outweigh the costs and help you lead the life you’ve always wanted.