Hi everyone….so last time I talked about how I started my business and as you saw it was a little different from the norm, but in this posts I want to talk about some of the Difficulties you can or might encounter once you do have your own business, and this is strictly from my experience. The main thing that was difficult with having your own business is:
- More Effort is Required. Yes, it belongs to you so you better have the passion and enthusiasm and energy to do whatever is required to build your business so that it can sustain itself at some point. I love what I do so that was easy, in the beginning but as you get established and you get older putting out that amount of energy and zest to keep your business is no longer a case of the energy but one of necessity as this is what sustains your life and the life f your family.
- Your Time Belongs to the Business. Yes, at first you have to spend most of your time building the business, so you schedule things tightly because you want to deal with as many clients as possible. You spend hours doing all that is needed for the business, organising the website, hiring staff, organising your office, scheduling appointments and meetings and much more.
- Ensuring Financial Stability can be Stressful. Yes, you are constantly having to deal with ensuring the income comes in on time or early so that all your expenses can be paid, the main ones being, salaries, material costs, overdrafts etc. This can be a bit stressful when based on how the economy is going, clients hold back on paying or they delay payments, or they take a while to approve proposals etc, and this affects the company’s cash flow with which all bills are paid.
- Success is not Around the Corner. Though I might post the positive news about my business on social media, the negative parts of running a business are sometimes hidden. From dealing with slow cash flow to product mishaps, I’ve spent many unglamorous nights lying in bed wondering how I was going to make my company work or handle the issue at that point.
- Irritating Government Regulations. When you have your own business you have so many Government regulations to deal with, such as VAT, other taxes, Audits, and any other you aren’t familiar with you have to find out about them so that you don’t have to pay penalties. You have to be very tax compliant or as mentioned pay the penalties.
- Continuous Strategising for Growth. As a Small business owner if you haven’t planned for this increase in customers and product/service production, the business is liable to fall by the wayside. As demand for your business increases, without the proper systems in place, you’re more likely to come up short and fall short of those demands. Planning for the future is a must and if you do nothing you can make some major mistakes.
- Hiring Staff is A Chore. I had to go through quite a process to find the right person to hire as my assistant and I’m very intuitive and I saw a few individuals before I hired the 2 who stayed with me, except one, to this day. One or two who were hired left for better salaries but in the end I found an amazing assistant but it is a process and you meet some really weird people.
- Loving your Clients. Yes, it isn’t always possible to love your clients, not even to like them, but personally I love them. My clients don’t stay my clients, they become my friends, partners and my family. I work to be there for them to the best of my abilities and I do have clients who are now my very good friends and I hope they stay that way for years.
- Handling the Many No’s. Yes, you get a lot of “no’s” , or better yet you have to deal with disappointments when you vie for a contract and you lose. You may have to handle the no’s that you get when clients try to put you off, or say no to a job they initially agreed to. This a part of business life, the constant fighting for work, trying to beat out the competition, trying to convince clients that what you are selling is something they want and constantly staying in touch with they many potential clients so that you can gain new business.
Generally, business is not always stable, there are good times and really difficult times but you eventually learn how to get better with each passing month, year. In the fifteen years I’ve run my business, there have been all types of situations that will occur that you have to deal with. When I first started off, on my own, I felt discouraged during times of instability and would often feel stressed, but I’ve since learned that business will always have it’s peaks and valleys. We now try to embrace slower months and use them as an opportunity to recharge and focus on generating new ideas. We work hard to get out of the valleys and the peaks will be even sweeter. We also strongly believe in God, so our faith falls on him to help us deal with the difficult times.
Business owners are people too and sometimes we get our feelings hurt, not just from the no’s but also when clients avoid our appointments or tell us they will do business with us another time. I care about my clients and I will bend over backwards to ensure that they have a good experience, but ever so often, we do encounter a level of rudeness that can sour you but you have to brush it off and tackle that customer at another time. It’s all about timing. We sometimes take an entire year before we get a deal with a client and sometimes its instantaneous, but interacting with a business, big or small, you’re usually dealing with one person and each client is a living person, they also go through bad days and maybe we caught them at that time, so ignore it and move on, approach them another day.