And why wouldn’t you? Owning your own business brings so many rewards. The money, the freedom, the pride, the ability to build something based on your morals and beliefs: there’s everything to play for when you own your own business.
It isn’t all rainbows and unicorns though of course. Business ownership doesn’t come without its risks and those risks are plentiful. Pay attention to them now though, and you’re much more likely to see your business, and your health not only survives but thrive. Here are five tips for surviving business ownership as a business beginner:
1. Let go of your ego
Passion and drive motivate a company, but ego can destroy it. Ego occurs when you might get sound advice about your business but you’re too stubborn to take it, think you know best (when you really don’t) or you’re too proud to take the help. Ego might drive you to make business decisions based on pride or an over-inflated sense of confidence in an area you’re actually small fry.
You can’t afford to have an ego at any stage in business, but especially not in your first year as a beginner. Stay humble, suck up all advice that is given to you and at least consider all information you are presented with. Listening to your gut and measured opinions and facts are very different from immediate responses based on ego.
2. Take care of yourself
At the very least, when you run your own business you may find your mental health challenged. Mental health has been at the forefront of business talks in 2018 because studies have revealed that millennials in the UK have the worst mental wellbeing in the world apart from those in Japan, and as millennials will make up three-quarters of employees by 2025 this area really needs some work. Add the stress and pressure of running a business to that, and you’re left with real potential for all kinds of mental health issues if you’re not careful. To stay as balanced as possible try to:
- Find a healthy outlet for stress such as exercise
- Take care of your physical health with plenty of sleep and a healthy diet
- Seek help if things are getting too much (see your GP or see NHS Mental Health for more info on what to do next)
Your business is nothing without you, so your health has to come first if you want to succeed.
3. Have a plan
You should be the most organised, planned person there ever was when it comes to your business. Use organisation apps (ideally one central app so all the information you need is in one place) and invest your time into a really solid five year business plan that you update regularly. It’s important to take time to reevaluate your company goals on an ongoing basis.
Industry can change quickly so having sufficient provisions in place will help you adapt to sudden modifications in your journey. By reassessing your long-term plans on a regular basis, you can also look at the areas in your plan that are working and others that might need improvement. Getting external input from other professionals can also help you to see the bigger picture and refine your goals to drive your business forward.
4. Get finance savvy
Have you ever noticed on Shark Tank or Dragons Den that you roll your eyes when the business owner has failed at a finance question yet again? It is so annoying because a business owner should know everything about their finances. And yet… could you say you know all about your business finance now and for at least a year into the future? Probably not.
As a business, beginner finance is a constant lesson and it always feels like there is more to learn doesn’t it? But the best thing you can do is get finance savvy. All the biggest billionaires in the world know where every single penny goes and they are famed for it. If you don’t know where your money is coming from or going, you can’t take action to stop your business becoming one of the 82% of businesses that fail because of an issue with cash flow.
Get an accountant, learn about handy options for adding cashflow like invoice discounting (the process of selling your outstanding invoices to a specialist invoice finance company) or angel investors, and start watching some YouTube videos! This is an area of your business you need to be very well acquainted with if you want your venture to survive.
5. Don’t just sit on the egg
You may be overprotective of your business because you worked so hard to get it off the ground and running. That is totally understandable and normal, but you have to network and put your business out there in order for it to succeed. You need customer feedback (good and bad) in order to grow and be better.
Feedback from potential clients, investors and even friends and family might be exactly what you need to refine your business idea and get some amazing growth in this first year. Keeping everything to yourself and worrying about how it will be received will do nothing to help you succeed. You have to be brave and allow the feedback to flow in.
Our work is the presentation of our capabilities – Edward Gibbon
These five tips will hopefully inspire you on your business journey if only to reassure you that there is always a new way to grow and learn, and really, all business ever comes down to is learning. Even the richest people in the world continue to learn because there is always a different way to succeed. Keep learning, and you’re guaranteed enough information to progress, and hopefully enough wisdom to not only survive in business but thrive.