What no one tells you when you become an Entrepreneur...
Hi everyone, today I will tell you What no one tells you about entrepreneurship…
You see, People see entrepreneurs as being their own bosses, free of their time, on the path to success after struggling for the first three years (because that’s what all the books say, it takes three years to build a business right?).
Entrepreneurs start their business because they have a know-how or a fabulous idea, and for the most they are very talented at it. They believe they will be delivering their knowledge or product to anyone who is interested in them in exchange for money.
Not very hard to understand right?
The idea is great, they are encouraged by their entourage, they saved up, and the motivation is sky-high.
Some have made business plans and P&Ls, some start small and some start big. All entrepreneurs and businesses are different.
As long as you have the cash to go on and deliver a great service, you are on the path to success, it’s not hard right?
Everybody tells you how long it takes, how hard it’s going to be and that you should have a bit of savings on the side to get you through the first year (your famous, or infamous, cash-flow)
But you see, what nobody tells you before you start is, you are not going to become an entrepreneur but a business owner and that’s a huge difference!
So this is the thought of the day: Entrepreneur is just a status, a way of saying you are doing your own thing rather then becoming an employee. What you really will be doing is owning a business and that, my dear, has nothing to do with the extensive knowledge you have of your product or your area of expertise.
What you must understand is, when starting your business, only a small percentage of your time will be dedicated to doing what you know how to do…
Things that are not things will become things! And even if you dislike them, you do have to gain a bit of knowledge, let alone become an expert in them if you wish your business to thrive.
Here are 6 examples every business owner should think about:
1. Marketing: How can people buy your services if they do not know you exist? Easy, I’ll go on Social Media and everyone will know. Fair enough, do you know how social media marketing works? And have you budgeted it in your business plan? Because the Fb and IG algorithms won’t pick your add up until you spend a certain amount of money and please, stop counting on everyone sharing your posts or asking social media specialists for exchanges, they are sick and tired of people suggesting trades, after all, they also have bills to pay…
So, when you start your business, please don’t forget you will either spend a lot of time watching tutorials on how to keep up with marketing either spend money to have someone helping you out. Also, do not underestimate the amount of time your marketing will take you, could it be on social medias or even making that word of mouth spread…
2. Another subject: Accountings: Even if you don’t have to become an accountant to launch your business, you still have to understand how it all works. How much does your product or service costs to launch, what is the good selling price to cover your fixed costs, what will be your taxes at the end of the year, how can you reduce them? For example, one of the biggest mistakes the entrepreneurs I work with make is, they calculate the cost of production add their marge-in and then wonder why they are constantly struggling financially… That’s because they forgot to value their production time in their fixed costs. They believe the marge-in is going to be their payback when it will merely cover all of the unforeseen costs a business goes through when it starts.
So before you start, budget a little money to have a professional give you good advice and budget a lot of your time understanding how things work. It’s your business, no one will care for it or understand it like you do, it is your responsibility to figure out how to get less money out and more money in. Also, beware of taxes: Nothing is more discouraging when your yearly profits are eaten up in one bite after Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham came knocking at your door!
3. Legal: Whatever the business you are in, there are laws! Could it be customer protection, marketing actions, production requirements, legal accreditations or licenses. You will be spending a lot of time to make researches on these in order to make sure you comply with everything. And no, you can’t simply oversee these rules as, once you reach the success you deserve and notoriety is finally there, someone is bond to put their finger on something…
4. Benchmark and follow-up of the trends in your sector: Do not blind yourself, if your idea is great, someone will copy it or is already on the market with it. I usually tell my clients competition is a good sign: it means the idea is good and there is a market for it. But you must do two things at all times: 1. Make sure you are always the best out there and 2. Make sure you are always one step ahead regarding innovation!
5. Client relationship: If you are in business, you need clients, that’s it. There is no business without clients, and if you believe you can hide in your office while clients buy your product or services, pay you and never have a word about it, you are totally wrong. Unless you are a mobile phone provider in South Africa, every 21rst century business interacts with their clients! Client relationships is an art that should never be overlooked, if you do so, your clients will leave at the first occasion they have to elope with competition. If you wish for your clients to be loyal, then so should you.
6. Networking: One of my first advice to the clients I work with when they launch their business or wish to take it to the next step is, talk about it, all the time but to the right people… Your friends and family already know as much as they want to hear about it, believe me. And as much as they are a great emotional support, their advice is limited. The only way to go forward is to open up, network, confront your ideas, and gain in business knowledge. And networking is your solution! You should meet with piers, go to events, shake hands and meet people, you never know what incredible opportunities you might run into. Believe me, it’s not by hiding behind your computer and sending emails that you will make great deals. Wouldn’t you rather work with people you met and share values with? Well it’s the same for your clients or future partners. So start working on your network now, because by the time you need it, it’s too late to build.
These are only simple examples of things many entrepreneurs do not consider when they start their business or when their business hits a stagnating level.
Don’t get me wrong, being an entrepreneur is fabulous, as long as you understand that you are becoming a business owner and that it comes with a full package you will have to commit to 😉
Have an awesome day everyone and see you soon!