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“You’re crazy!” “are you sure?” “This is going to be tough.” These are all things that entrepreneurs feel when they talk about business. The critics were not wrong; It will be hard, but that shouldn’t stop you from being successful in your business. As long as you strategize, plan, and read this article before starting a business, you’ll be well on your way. Here are seven tips that no one will tell you before you start your business:
1. It’s still about who you know
When you start your own business, you may have done it for many reasons. One of them might be that you didn’t have the right contacts to get the job you wanted in the first place.
Unfortunately, starting a solo business is not void of other people. You need partners, potential and at least other business contacts to help you promote. Don’t delete your contacts because you don’t seem to want them. Trust me, you will.
Related: 8 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Business
2. You want to stop
As much as you’re driven by passion, there are still times when you feel like throwing in the towel on starting your business. Running your own business is hard, even if you “do what you love.”
Work can make you tired, so make sure you take breaks. Even if it’s just short breaks between phone calls or meetings, it’s important to give yourself some breathing time. Contrary to what many believe, taking time off does not reduce productivity. It’s quite the opposite. A well-timed and well-deserved break can re-energize you and help you get through the rest of your day faster.
3. It is constant
When starting your own business, there is always more work to do. When you can always work and there is no one to stop you, you will find yourself working all the time.
Don’t do that! Set boundaries for yourself and your workday. Some days you will have to work later or earlier than others. If you can, only schedule meetings or consultations during your personal work hours. If you have to work late one night, make sure you stick to your limits the next day.
Burnout is a big reason why businesses struggle to get off the ground or fail to start at all. Don’t let your hard work go to waste!
4. Everyone has an opinion
If you have children, you know that everyone has something to say about raising them. It’s the same when you “grow” a business.
You might mention to a friend that you’re having trouble with something to blow off some steam. Then, when you just want to listen, they come up with three ways to fix your problem.
They mean well, but you don’t have to listen to them or take their advice. Seek advice from trusted advisors and counselors who have been in the trenches before you, so there is some wisdom in alternative opinions.
Related: 5 Real Truths About Starting a Business
5. You will have to ask for money
Whether you think you have enough capital or have underestimated the amount of credit you need, you may need to apply for more. This is true for a reasonable percentage of beginners.
Asking for money is difficult, especially if you are asking more from the same person/entity. Don’t feel guilty about it – even if it seems like that’s all your brain wants to do. Plan how you will use the money and how you will pay it back.
If you’re borrowing from the same person again, show them how you plan to use their money so you don’t run out again. Being able to show how you’re going to spend the money shows that you’ve spent time defining forecasts, runways, timelines, and go-to-market strategies.
6. You can’t double dip for customers
Many people make the mistake of thinking that their friends and family will be their first customers. While this is probably true for 20% of your personal network, that doesn’t mean you can rely on them to get your business off the ground.
You should invest in both digital and traditional marketing. Where can you go and promote your business to interested customers? Too many small business owners spend so much on startup costs, they forget to promote.
That’s the kiss of death for a new business. Using at least 10% of your budget for marketing will ensure you don’t blow yourself away. You can always buy more decorations when you make a profit, but you can’t return unused ones.
7. You need to invest again
As a business owner, the first time you make a profit is exciting. Pay everyone, rent, buy things, etc. They’ve stressed all that time about affordability – but making a profit represents a big step forward in operational success and coordination.
Of course, you can feel free to spend the extra money on a reward for yourself or something new and exciting for your store. But stop and think: How can I reinvest that profit back into my business? Maybe buy some extra ad space or add to your click budget. You may need to hire a new employee or pay off high-interest debt.
What I’m saying is that your profits should cover your expenses, then go straight back into your business to make a bigger profit the next month or create operational efficiencies. Don’t worry, once you do this for the first month, you can invest a little more or create/update budgets the next month.
Related: Starting a Business Is Not What You Think Instead, here’s what to expect.
With these tips, some capital and the right business strategy in mind, you’re ready to start your business. It won’t be a straight path to the top, and it’s okay to take some detours along the way. We all face them, even unicorns.
The best thing to do when issues arise is to seek advice from a network of advisors and mentors. Find out more about what’s unique to your niche, and ask mentors to unlock the secrets of starting a business.