For many, launching their own business is a dream of a different kind of life. So what can you do to make that vision a reality?
Starting a business requires a huge investment. I’m not talking just about financial investment, it also costs time and often a large amount of emotion. It’s so important to start your business doing something you love. In the words of the late Steve Jobs: “If you don’t love something, you’re not going to go the extra mile [and] work the extra weekend.”
Whether it’s a franchise or your own enterprise, to be successful you need to live it, breathe it and initially put the business before everything else. Maybe this sounds dramatic but I remember going to bed at 3am in the early days of my franchise HomeXperts. My husband rather sleepily asked me if I was coming to bed or getting up – either was a possibility. I had to work like that at times as there weren’t enough hours in the day. No matter how organised you are, there will be late or sleepless nights and early mornings.
It will get better but thinking working for yourself will free up time for other aspects of your life, in my experience, is a fallacy. For your business to work you must throw everything you have at it. The working day for the self-employed doesn't finish at 5.30pm or on Friday evening, ready for a start Monday morning – but it’s worth it.
The other myth is that you’ll earn more. You might but usually not in the short term. It’s really important to budget for a lower disposable income for a period of time, length of which will vary dependent on the area you choose to start in. Be realistic – the last thing you need is to run out of money before your business starts to return profits. You need to be prepared for financial sacrifices, to reinvest again. Financial success will follow.
So why do people start? Having less time and money doesn’t sound appealing. But the personal fulfilment is immense, knowing it’s your company you created from nothing is amazing.
Being able to run your own business, to build a team of like-minded people to work with you is the best feeling. Creating a living, breathing business legacy is in my mind well worth the initial sacrifices.