Be an owner, not an employee

It’s no secret that most businesses fail within the first two years of opening. Many will attribute the failure to economic conditions or business location. However, I believe it boils down to a lack of preparation.

“If I owned this company, I would do things so differently.”

“People really like my cupcakes. Maybe I’ll start selling them.”

“This town really needs a cat acupuncturist. I should become one.”

We’ve had the thought cross our minds at some point about quitting our current jobs and starting our own business. You may even go as far as scouting a location and talking to the bank. If you’re considering opening a business, let me offer a few helpful hints.

  1. Change your mentality. You will no longer be an employee. You will be the owner. That means days off and vacations and personal time are put on the back burner for the next few years. Problems with the building or payroll or covering missed shifts are now your problems. If the thought of that scares you, quit reading now.
  2. Do your homework. A lot of homework. This means market research, financial research, product research, and legal research, to name a few. Start by talking to your local chamber or small business organization. They often have the tools and resources to help you get started.
  3. Spend the money. New businesses tend to skimp on employees and marketing — two of the most important pieces to a successful business. Without good service, your business will fail. Without advertising, your business will fail. A short-term cut in profits can net a long-term gain in business.
  4. Recognize that you’re all in. Your day doesn’t end when you leave the building. Your day ends when you close the business.

For the right person, owning a business can be the most satisfying thing you do. For the ill-prepared person, it can be one of the worst. If you’re considering taking the plunge, let’s talk. We can help.

Account director Nadia Zerka comes from a large family of small business owners and understands how taxing — and rewarding — owning a business may be.

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