Some people dream of running their own business. Being their own boss, working the hours they desire, in the industry that they love, sounds bliss, right? With uncertain income, stresses of accounts and those hours you work being longer than you can imagine, is running your own business worth it? Let’s take a look.
Firstly, as much as entrepreneurship and small business ownership is amazing, it’s not for everyone. It’s a lifestyle choice for sure but also there are positive and negative trade-offs which you should weigh up. This isn’t meant to put you off, far from it. We aim to simply engage you with the reality before taking that leap of faith.
It is a leap of faith. Starting a new business means that the likelihood is you won’t have a clue how much you’ll earn, if anything at all, in that first month. The second and third months will probably be the same. Getting a business off the ground takes patience, time and money. You also have to have an element of luck as a lot of small business don’t survive even a year. Not knowing how much you’ll be earning whilst having to cover bills and rent to live your family life, means there is stress and unpredictability. If you’re looking to buy your own house, the mortgage provider will probably need a couple of years’ worth of accounts to ensure you can afford repayments, which could set back your life plans.
You’ll probably not see friends or family for the first few months as you put every hour of the working day into launching your new venture. Your social life will be out the window and so often with new businesses, there are emergencies you need to take care of, cash flow you need to keep on top of and ‘fires’ you need to put out. If your business is seasonal, kiss goodbye to the run up to Christmas or perhaps a summer break.
If you are in a regular employed job, you have your role and you probably don’t look past that in terms of responsibility. Whilst your role might seem stressful and your 9-5 hours are jam packed with meetings and you feel there’s more files piling up on your desk than you could ever possibly work through, when you are running a business everything comes back on you. Everything. It is all on you, your livelihood depends on you executing your business plan and keeping your company in order. Every tiny thing is your responsibility, down to making sure the carpets are clean, suck it up and accept it.
Unpredictable hours might mean you have to sacrifice not going to a football game or perhaps you’ll end up doing something different for one of your children’s birthdays this year. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Working for yourself, making your own success and carving your own path is admirable. Showing future generations that they can do something creative instead of entering a business and trying to climb a ladder to make money for someone else could be game changing.
You might be able to figure out your workload and do two longer days so you can have a day off. Don’t forget, you are in charge. Imagine trying to hire someone else to help you with your regular day job, it wouldn’t happen.
You can find freelancers who can help out, maybe by taking care of your bookkeeping and maybe down the line employees can come on board as your business grows.
Even if it all falls apart down the line, you’ll have learned something from the experience. If it works, you’re going to get into a flow of how to run your business and find a great work life balance where everyone wins. There are so many potential negatives but the overall positives of being your own boss with your own business, having created something from the ground up outweighs that. The answer is yes, it’s worth it, but only if you are willing to put the effort in and play the long game which could ultimately change your life for the better.