A lot of people like the idea of starting their own business, and while we encourage anybody who wants to start out on their own entrepreneurial journey we also want to give them some advice. Running your own business might be the hardest thing you will ever do, and we learned a lot in the years that Remote Lounge was open!
Seriously. We didn’t just learn how to mainline caffeine into our veins. We learned valuable methods for running and operating a business. In New York, no less. Remote Lounge might be no more, but we want to pass on some of the lessons that we learned.
It’s More Expensive Than You Think, Use Coupons!
Running a business is very expensive and with various fees, licenses, and insurance there may be a lot of costs that you have not even considered. So, wherever possible try to save some money! One aspect of your business that you might not realize there are coupons for is your website. Obviously it’s very important to have a (mobile-friendly) website these days, and we found some godaddy promo codes. Don’t worry if you use a different host, that website has them all covered. You can try to find some for your necessary business supplies, food if you offer that, and pretty much anything to be honest. You probably won’t be able to find one for your lease though, sorry.
It’s Harder Than You Think, Kind Of
The hard part is sitting down and coming up with a good business plan before you register a domain name or buy any equipment. This step is so challenging that most people skip it entirely, they have a vague notion of what to do (maybe they worked at a similar business before) and they think they’ll start now and figure it out later. Trust me, once you are up and running you will be so busy you will not have time to ‘figure it out’. And if you don’t have a plan, things can get off track very quickly! If you only do one thing from this article let it be this: write out a business plan before you do anything else.
Do Market Research and Plan Funding
This kind of goes hand in hand with the business plan, but a lot of people come up with a big plan according to what they think is best and never talk to a potential customer. A part of any business plan should include what you have discovered from market research. That can be done by questionnaires, informal interviews, posting on social media, polling, etc. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, and you don’t need to hire a firm to do it for you.
The other thing you need to consider is where you are going to come up with the money to purchase equipment, pay for any licenses, buy insurance, put a deposit down on a lease, etc. If you’re going to fund that all yourself out of pocket then that’s great, and honestly the best way to do it if you can. It’s not always possible though, if you do take out a loan make sure you really understand what the repayment terms are. Also consider that you may not have a cash flow right away, businesses take time to get established. If you go for months or even a year without an income, will you be okay? It’s a really good idea to have at least a few months of living expenses saved up before you set out on this venture.
Your Going to Work Hard, Very Hard
You can forget about 8 hour days and scheduled lunch breaks. You are going to bust your ass for the next couple of years at least, running my own business is the hardest that I have ever worked for the least amount of money. But, it’s also the most rewarding work I’ve ever done. There is just something different about putting in the blood, sweat, and tears when it is your own business. You might not get to take a vacation for 3 years, but it will be worth it.
You Are Going to Need Help
Even if you think you can do it all on your own, make sure you have support if you need it. You can ask any family member or trusted friend to help you through difficult times. Everybody gets a cold now and then, things will come up. You are also going to be working 80 hour weeks, maybe you could get it down to a paltry 60 by hiring somebody to help out with some of the operations. It might be hard to put your trust in another person, this is your baby after all, but aside from just helping out with business tasks they can be bring fresh ideas and an outside perspective to the business. Really try not to micro-manage (again this can be hard when it’s your business), but it’s annoying for your employee and does not get good results.
So those are our top considerations when you are starting out as a small business owner. The article was a bit tongue in cheek, but for real it’s great and if it’s something that you feel called to do you should try it!