Running your own business today can be a daunting prospect, especially for those of us who have spent most of our working lives within large corporations where we have the support and luxury of departments for this, that and the other!
This is a, slightly, light-hearted look at all of the roles that we need to assume when we run our own, small business, especially in the early days when we may not have the budget to secure help in some of these areas.
So, here are a few pointers as to what to expect when it comes to filling your working day, and I hope it gives you a bit of an insight and perhaps a “heads up”!
Pros of Running Your Own Business:
1. You have the freedom to implement your own ideas and strategies without needing approval from higher management.
2. There is the potential for high financial rewards if your business becomes successful.
3. You get to choose who you work with, allowing you to create a team that aligns with your vision.
4. Owning a business provides flexibility in terms of working hours and location.
5. It offers personal satisfaction and fulfillment as you watch your ideas come into fruition.
Cons of Running Your Own Business:
1. Starting a business can involve significant financial risk, with no guarantee of success.
2. The responsibility for all decision-making can put immense pressure on the owner.
3. It often involves long working hours, especially during the start-up phase which can impact work-life balance.
4. Businesses may require continuous innovation and adaptation due to market competition and changes.
5. There are numerous challenges like dealing with taxes, legal issues, employee management, which can be overwhelming for some owners.
When we take the plunge and go “out on our own” in business our primary focus is, quite obviously, the thing that we DO or MAKE! Maybe we make something or offer a particular service, this is our “speciality”, this is our reason for going on to business, this is what we are all about.
Our main business focus is to be the “Technician”; the one who bakes amazing pies or is a whizz at building websites or is an amazing masseuse, beautician or physiotherapist.
Whatever it is, that is at the core of our business.
Oh, if only that was all we needed to do!
So, we have established that we are at the top of our game in whatever our business does, and I am assuming here that you don’t have the resources to employ and army of helpers!
Business advice regarding SALES! The second most important role that we have to adopt is that of Sales Person. How else are we actually going to make any money and survive in business if we don’t SELL our wares?
For a lot of us, this is the most uncomfortable job we have to do in our new business, but it is vitally important and something that we must overcome and just get on with!
But fear not, there are many services and people out there to help us, and local business networking groups are awesome for supporting and promoting small business people like us.
Equally as important as selling, we need to effectively “market” our products or services, and it’s a big, big market place out there!
We are in a new digital age of the internet and digital marketing, which now runs alongside more traditional marketing and advertising solutions.
Again, when running your own business, try not to panic too much at this stage as there are a lot of, often free, resources, that can help you through the modern marketing minefield and help you ascertain the most cost effective and productive return on your marketing efforts.
We do, actually, consider SEO as a necessary part of your marketing budget these days as you can gain so much traction in lead generation when you are at the top of the search engines. In the long run this can be one of the most cost-effective ways of getting leads and growing business. Don’t leave it out as your future business success could depend on it.
Ah yes, the dreaded Customer or Client! What would we do without them? How easy it would be if we didn’t have to have them!! But, of course, we do need hem, they are our life-blood and we have to treat them very well indeed, don’t we?!
So now we have to go on the charm offensive and become a diplomatic customer service agent and deal with the, sometimes, awkward situations that can arise in business.
We have to be polite and accommodating whilst, at the same time, making sure that we do not get taken advantage of by a slippery customer, it is a real skill but again, one we do need to try and master.
But, never forget, customers in the main are alright, they prop up our business and often they can be fantastic advocators and promotors of our business, even the seemingly dodgy ones can be turned in to our best Super Sales people!
Finally, we have made our widgets, we have marketed them, we have gone out there and sold the little beauties and we have dealt with a few tricky customers along the way.
That’s it surely? Time to put our feet up and reflect on our success…. Um, not quite. Your time is your own when running your own business and you can put your feet up when you want to… but you also have to make sure the hours resting are also made up with hours working. At the start, at least.
Now we have to make sure our finances are in order, and not just for our benefit but for the tax and Vat man too.
Technology has really come to our aid here in the form of on-line bookkeeping programmes and apps, making it pretty easy to stay on top of your day-to-day finances and accounts.
Now the only thing left is to send everything off to your accountant to put all the figures together and then …. Start all over again!
Good luck…. keep juggling!!