It’s a big leap to go from an employee to a business owner. As an employee, you have responsibilities, but you will receive directions on what to do, and the survival of the company isn’t entirely on your shoulders. That all changes as a business owner. You’re the one calling the shots, and you’re taking a much bigger risk for the potential of a much greater reward.
Running a business teaches you quite a bit about life. Here are the most important truths you discover as a business owner.
- Success Requires Hard Work, But Hard Work Doesn’t Guarantee Success
For a good portion of your life, you’ve probably heard that hard work will help you be successful. Although this is true in a way, many people get the wrong idea and end up believing that they just need to work hard, and success will follow.
When you become a business owner, you discover that everyone works hard. Successful business owners all worked very hard to reach the top, but the unsuccessful ones also worked hard and didn’t make it. You need to be smart about how you work. If you spend all day working hard on a task you could have outsourced for a small fee, that hard work was a waste of time.
- You Need to See the Big Picture
As a business owner, you’re driving your company forward, and you can’t get so focused on one area that you ignore others. One of the most common ways business owners do this is by thinking only of an idea’s potential revenues, without considering the long-term costs.
Take the recent trend of car owners renting their cars out to other people when those vehicles aren’t in use. At a glance, it looks like a simple way to generate money. But after considering higher maintenance costs, insurance issues, and the risk of damage or theft, this type of venture often produces little in overall profits.
- No One Is Going to Save for Your Retirement but You
You don’t want to make it to your golden years only to find out that you didn’t save nearly enough money. This is an all-too-common scenario, and it’s even more of a concern for business owners who don’t have a company retirement plan they can contribute into.
That’s why you need to take full responsibility for your retirement savings. There are several different options for business owners, including a self directed IRA and a self employed 401(k) plan. The option or options you choose will depend on your situation and the size of your business, but what’s important is that you save at least some money for retirement every month.
- Quality Has a Price, And It Isn’t Free
Launching a successful business requires a variety of different skills. Consider just what it would take to launch an ecommerce site. You need to select the products. You need web design skills to build the site, graphic design skills for the logo and any other images, and writing skills for the product and page texts. To get your business out there, you need to market it through social media, search engines and other avenues.
Unless you want to toil away for months learning everything you need to know, your best bet is hiring professionals to help. And when you do that, you can either hire people with professional rates, or go with people who charge very little. You may save money upfront going the latter route, but it will cost you in terms of quality. Remember that anything you spend is an investment in your business.
You’ll learn many valuable lessons as you go through the ups and downs of being a business owner. If you’ve just launched a business or you’re planning to soon, keep the above truths in mind for better results.
by: Dennis Hung