Running your own business: What to expect

Running your own business: What to expect

Starting your own business can seem like a dream opportunity. The internet is packed full of stories from people who have walked out of their day job and made it on their own. Being your own boss, taking time off as and when you need to and doing something you actually enjoy doing can be extremely tempting.


However, what you don’t see is the down sides to running your own business. Most start-up businesses fail within their first year. There are numerous pitfalls you need to be aware of and plenty of things that can go wrong. 


Here you’ll find a real life account of what it’s actually like to start out on your own. Discover the risks as well as the benefits, the challenges that can crop up along the way and the potential you have if you manage to make the business a success. 


How my self-employment started

A friend I met at University was a civil engineer. However, he really wanted to achieve bigger things. After researching he found there was a gap in the market for outsourcing AutoCAD within his workplace. He took the leap and created his own company, offering AutoCAD services and enlisting the help of overseas low cost drafters. He began pitching his services to large companies within all the major English speaking countries.


I decided to partner up with him, providing my expert web knowledge and funding. He took care of the sales and operations and that’s how it started. 


Making it work – passion and commitment

The one thing our business had was passion. My friend was extremely passionate about the services he was offering. This meant he dedicated all of his time creating online advertisements, setting up a voice mail service and gaining new customers. By taking it seriously and putting so much dedication into the company, it enabled our business to gain a great reputation that competed with larger, more established companies. 


I suppose what I’m trying to get across is that you need to be passionate about what you’re doing. So many people start businesses just for the sake of being self-employed. They simply want a change; they aren’t passionate about what they do. It’s these businesses that fail within their first year.


The trouble with funding

The number one challenge you have as a new business is getting the funding you need. It’s tough, especially right at the beginning. You don’t always get paid straight away. It often takes a month to receive payment for work you’re completing right now. When you don’t have any money coming in, it can be difficult funding the initial costs until you do get paid. 


Some level of funding is needed to cover your expenses when you start up. If you’re lucky enough to have money saved for a rainy day this can cover your initial costs. However, if you don’t you’ll need to rely on either investors or try to get a loan. 


Flexible hours and a better quality of life

The biggest benefit to being self-employed is the fact you can often work from home. You don’t have to go in to a workplace every single day or answer to someone else. You’re in charge and you can fit your work schedule in around your life. This means if you have kids, you’ll get to spend more time with them. It can really help to enhance your quality of life if done properly.  


Any business has the potential to make a lot of money. This can be really exciting and you may even get the chance to work alongside really large companies.


Potential risks

Of course, you really need to be aware of the risks too. All businesses can fail. There’s so much you need to take care of when you’re working for yourself. Payroll if you hire employees can be a nightmare. You need to work extremely hard to get the business off the ground. This includes working late and working at weekends. At first it can feel like you’re not getting much back. However, that hard work will pay off eventually.


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