By John Peterson – With bloggers and fellow entrepreneurs blasting the benefits of small business ownership through bullhorns, it’s easier to get caught up in the noise than you might think. Sure, the opportunity to be your own boss, arrange your own schedule, and directly reap the fruits of your labor makes opening a small business an attractive proposition. But don’t let these perks steer you off course and blind you to the realities of a small business owner’s day-to-day life.
Unfortunately, people who haven’t opened a business tend to have misconceptions about what it takes to keep the doors open and the profit margins in the black. With so much information available to aspiring entrepreneurs, opening a small business is more appealing than ever. But, once the business is open, the challenges will start to mount.
Without a firm grasp on reality, you may find yourself ambushed by the startling realization that small business ownership isn’t all you cracked it up to be. Fortunately, being familiar with common misconceptions might help you better understand what it’s like to have a small business and enable you to separate fact from fiction with ease. That way, you can make an educated decision about whether small business ownership is right for you.
Even if you’re a solo entrepreneur, you don’t have to do everything yourself. You can automate or outsource several tasks, which gives you time to grow your business. For example, you can cut the daily or weekly trips to the post office out of your schedule by opening a digital mailbox to check your mail remotely with an app or the web. Tech tools like this show that even if you don’t have employees in your business yet, you can employ technology to help you manage rote tasks.
In the 24/7 business world, entrepreneurs have little free time. These go-getters have to be ready to respond to emails, customer inquiries, technology glitches, and other problems. Most businesses aren’t open from nine to five, which means most entrepreneurs don’t have free time compared to employees with set hours each day.
In a perfect scenario, business owners who press their noses to the grindstone day in and day out would be rewarded for their hard work. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees in the all-too-competitive business sector. While late nights spent conducting inventory or weekend hours logged may put you ahead of schedule, these extra efforts and demonstrations of persistence may not be enough to insulate your business from bankruptcy. At the end of the business day, input doesn’t always equal output.
Before shelving your dream of business ownership in the name of this bitter reality, recognize that the recipe for small business success consists of equal parts persistence and strategy. So, rest assured that your can-do, go-getter attitude won’t go to waste, just as long as you take the saying “work smarter, not harder” to heart. By fine tuning your marketing strategies and connecting with the right investors, you won’t have to bank on a miracle or wish on shooting stars when operating your small business.
With so many businesses competing for the same clientele, marketing can be the make-or-break between success and failure. Marketing involves more than sharing an email or delivering fliers. The process should be thoughtful and intentional, with a marketing sales funnel at the heart of everything. If you can’t reach your customers, they won’t know your business exists.
While the stories of entrepreneurs who put everything on the line dominate the media, most company owners don’t jump all in at once. Instead, prospective entrepreneurs take their time and use their resources wisely. Make smart choices with your money and save up enough to bail yourself out if things don’t go well.
This myth is another frustrating and consequential misconception about entrepreneurs. Many small business owners spend their days wearing professional clothing because they interact with vendors, customers, and other business representatives.If entrepreneurs do get to wear pajamas or sweats all day, that’s a perk they get for the work they’ve done to be able to work from the comfort of their homes.
The world of work has shifted from brick-and-mortar spaces to online shops and offices. Entrepreneurs can have real businesses, even if they don’t have a physical space with a sign atop it. Rather than paying rent for a physical space, entrepreneurs pay rent for their websites.
Running a business involves various tasks that most employees do not do at a typical day job. It is a risk that entails working more than forty hours weekly, often doing tasks far outside one’s comfort zone.
Misconceptions about entrepreneurs often can cause friction between employees and business owners. Being an entrepreneur is hard work, and the most successful ones move past the misunderstandings and learn to thrive.
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