What No One Ever Tells You About Starting Your Own Business: These days, most people wants to be an “entrepreneur,” without knowing that there’s a lot about leaving your job, following your dreams, making money while you sleep, and living with passion.
14 Things No One Tells You About Starting a Business by Young Entrepreneur Council.
The Common Things to be prepared for, the 14 young entrepreneurs was asked.
1. There Are Incredible Highs and Lows
Running a startup is truly like riding a roller coaster that doesn’t stop. I’ve had some of the highest highs and the happiest moments I could remember while running my business. But it also comes with some of the lowest lows, and I’ve endured many sleepless nights. Rarely are there any feelings in between, but I think it’s important to celebrate even the smallest of victories.
—Ross Cohen, BeenVerified
2. Networks Are Critical
I started off as a solopreneur with a small freelancing gig. For the first six months, things were very slow. However, when I joined my first official mastermind networking group, the business took off immediately. Surrounding yourself with the right people from the start (ideal clients, business mentors) will help you tremendously both when you’re starting up and down the road.
—Patrick Conley, Automation Heroes
3. Camaraderie is Important
I wish someone had told me to be prepared for the feeling of isolation at times as an entrepreneur. On a daily basis as an entrepreneur I am faced with new challenges, many of which I must tackle alone. I have since brought in others to assist in building the business. Knowing that you are going down the path together definitely brings a feeling of camaraderie to the company.
—David Schwartz, EMMDeavor (DBA Qruber) and Wireless Watchdogs
4. Mentors Are Necessary
Having someone who has walked the path as an entrepreneur is vital. You can gain wisdom from your mentor’s experience and discover insights that you would never have had before. I’ve missed out on so many opportunities to build my ideas because I didn’t have someone to shine a light in the right direction. Having a mentor is imperative.
—Rob Fulton, Matikis
5. There is No Set Path
You have a big dream and you know exactly how you are going to get there—until it all changes. It’s great to have a business plan and a strategy, but I wish I had known that it is totally OK if you have to change directions. In fact, that’s good business!
—Vanessa Van Edwards, Science of People
6. There’s No 4-Hour Work Week
Don’t get me wrong—I love that book. But no one ever told me that I would be trading my 50-hour work week for a 100+ hour work week when I first started my company. The one piece of advice I would give new entrepreneurs is to plan on investing all of your time and then some if you plan on being successful. It’s worth it in the long run!
—Roger Bryan, Enfusen Digital Marketing
7. Everyone Has Unsolicited Advice
No one told me just how opinionated others would be about my business. People will come out of the woodwork with what they believe to be sage advice, when they’ve never even been in my shoes. People who have had corporate jobs all their lives will tell you exactly what you should be doing to run your business. Just nod and smile.
—Maren Hogan, Red Branch Media
8. Early Success is Temporary Luck
When you start a new business and achieve some early success, you need to be disciplined to always keep your ego in check and keep your starting vision in mind. I learned this lesson the hard way when I divided my team’s focus early on in favor of building an unproven product. Avoid the same mistake by staying focused. The best entrepreneurs are paranoid and never believe their own press.
—Matthew Ackerson, Petovera
9. Advisors and Consultants Are Useful
When starting up, I bootstrapped in every sense of the word. While this enabled me to propel my company forward, it was the hours of consulting and advising from industry experts that truly helped me make positive, long-lasting business decisions that continue to have a strong impact on my company and its success today.
—Zach Cutler, Cutler Group
10. Starting Up is Unpredictable
Oftentimes people compare their expected entrepreneurial journey to what they hear or read about from others who’ve succeeded, and assume their experience will be similar. Or, they write a business plan and anticipate it will go according to that plan. Rarely do people let you in on the secret that your plan will not be the way it looks—it will be a meandering path, not a straight one.
—Darrah Brustein, Network Under 40 / Finance Whiz Kids
11. Partnerships Can Be Good
Partnerships can be challenging, but they can also be rewarding. If you are really going after a game-changing concept or something big, odds are a partner is a good thing. They can help carry the workload and keep the vision or dream going when things get tough.
—Matt Ames, MN Pro Paintball
12. Learning From Other Entrepreneurs is Invaluable
One of the most impactful ways that I was able to grow and succeed as an entrepreneur was by connecting to and learning from other entrepreneurs. Nobody ever told me this or mentioned this to me. Immediately connecting to other people who have been there is crucial for your success. Learning from others’ successes and failures will accelerate your growth process.
—Matt Shoup, MattShoup.com
13. Ideas Themselves Are Not Worth Much
I have seen many early entrepreneurs get excited when they think they have a billion dollar idea. We feel that just because we thought of it, we own it. Here is the bad news: Chances are that multiple people have tried most of these ideas in some shape or form. In most cases, it’s your team and your execution that will differentiate you rather than the idea itself.
—Karan Chaudhry, DropThought
14. Family Comes First
Family should always come first. You’re going to take big risks and risk almost everything, but I recommend that you never risk losing your family for your entrepreneurial adventure. It’s really not worth losing what’s most important in your life.
—John Rampton, Adogy
Here are six tips by By Aaron Vick (Entrepreneur) that no one tells you before you start your business:
1. It’s still about who you know
When you start your own business, you may have done so for an array of reasons. One of them may be because you didn’t have the right contacts to get a job where you wanted in the first place.
Unfortunately, opening up a business solo isn’t void of other people. You’ll need partners, potentially, and at least other business contacts to help you advertise. Don’t delete your contacts, because you don’t think you need them. Believe me, you do.
2. You’ll want to quit
As passion-driven as you are, there are still times when you’re starting your business that you’ll feel like throwing in the towel. Even if you “do what you love,” running your own business is hard.
Work can exhaust you, so make sure you’re taking breaks. Even if they’re mini-breaks between phone calls or meetings, giving yourself a little breathing time is essential. Contrary to what many believe, taking breaks doesn’t cut into your 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’s non-stop
When you’re starting your own business, there is always more work to do. When you can always be working, and there’s no one to put restrictions on you, you’ll find yourself working all the time.
Don’t do that! Set boundaries for yourself and for your workday. Some days you’ll have to work later or earlier than others. If you can, only schedule meetings or consultations within your personal work hours. If you have to work late one night, make sure you stick to your limit the next day.
Burnout is a big reason that businesses have a hard time getting off the ground or never launch at all. Don’t let your hard work go to waste!
4. You’ll have to ask for money
Whether you thought you had enough capital or you underestimated the loan you need, you’ll have to ask for more. This is true for a reasonable percentage of startups.
Asking for money is hard, especially if you’re asking for more from the same person/entity. Don’t feel guilty about it — though it may seem like that’s all your brain wants to do. Come up with a plan for how you’ll use the money and how you’ll pay it back.
If you’re borrowing from the same person again, show them that you have a plan for how you’ll use their money so that you don’t run out again. Being able to show how you will spend the money shows you have spent time defining projections, runways, timelines and go-to-market strategies is key to backing up your confidence in the company.
5. You can’t double dip for customers
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking their friends and family will be their first clients. While that’s true for maybe 20% of your personal network, that doesn’t mean you can count on them to get your business off the ground.
You have to invest in marketing, both digital and traditional. 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 advertise.
That’s the kiss of death for a new business. Using at least 10% of your budget for marketing will ensure you don’t doom yourself. You can always buy more decor as you make profits, but you can’t buy back under-utilized time.
6. You’ll need to reinvest
It’s exciting when you make a profit for the first time as a business owner. You stressed all that time about being able to pay everyone, the rent, buy supplies, etc. — but making a profit shows a great step in operational achievement and synergy.
Of course, you may feel like spending your profit on a reward for yourself or something new and exciting for your shop. But stop and think: How can I reinvest that profit back into my business? Maybe buy some more ad space or add to your cost-per-click budget. You may have a need to hire a new employee or pay off a debt that has a high interest rate.
What I’m saying is, your profit should cover your expenses, then go straight back into your business to make a bigger profit next month or create operational efficiencies for scaling. Don’t worry, once you do this for the first month, you can invest a little less the next month or create/update budgets.
With these tips in mind, some capital and the right business strategy, you’re all set to start your business. It won’t be a straight road to the top, and it’s okay to have some roadblocks along the way. We all face them, even the unicorns.
The best thing to do when issues arise is to ask for advice from a network of mentors and advisors. Seek to learn more things unique to your niche, and ask your advisors the hard questions to help unlock the early mysteries of starting a business.
Starting a business can be tedious and often times, no one tells you all of the steps that need to be taken in order to get started. In this article, we have outlined 21 things you should know before starting your own business. So read on and start planning your road to entrepreneurship!