You invest a lot of time and energy into drawing up the most detailed business plan possible – this will surely impress the investors, right? Wrong. Business plans can often put interested investors off if not written properly. They need to be to the point, concise, systematic, structured and above all, realistic in expectations. Don’t write that you expect to make $5million in your first year if $200,000 is more of a realistic figure. You should also note that sticking to the business plan will cause you problems too. The plan is more of a guideline than a rigid step by step on how to start your business.
Firstly, as a new start up company, don’t expect to get paid a salary at all in the first year. Secondly, don’t expect your suppliers or clients to pay up on time. This is the unfortunate truth behind owning your own business – you will be in control of it, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get messed around by people.
Focusing on turning $100 into $150 is hard enough, but when you have to pay staff, utility costs, rent, tax and administrative fees, you will soon see your cash flow looks more like a waterfall. You need to keep on top of the bills, even if it means sacrificing one thing for another.
You will work harder, longer hours than ever before; you will get stressed, cry and regret the start-up; you will feel mentally and physically drained; but, it will be worth it. Don’t think that these struggles are only experienced in the early stages, oh no, you will feel tired and stressed most of the time running a successful company – but that’s what it takes to become such a success! You will own your own business, making a fortune in the process, so what’s a little hard work, extra hours and stress?
You may think that you will be out and about, socializing with important clients, attending business meetings in swanky restaurants, but the reality behind owning your own start up business is that you will be bogged down with admin. Dealing with insurance, bills, invoices, late payments, red tape, legal issues etc. is said to take up at least 50% of your time as a business owner.
Deviating from the structured safety of a full time job is daunting and a huge risk. You will get some raised eyebrows and sideways glances from those who doubt you, and you will get a pat on the back for ‘spreading your wings’ from those who support you, but rarely will you meet someone during the early stages who can give you valuable advice that will save you from making mistakes later on down the line.
So, if you are not lucky enough to meet an experienced entrepreneur when your first start out as one yourself, have a read of these helpful tips that all budding business mavericks need to know…