There will be people who will try to pervert it or even try to destroy it, so don’t think for one minute, that owning a business is easy – it isn’t!
The concept of running a business often eludes the average working person, but the concern here isn’t so much about other people as it is about those who are close to you – your friends and your family. You will need their full support, which means they will need to thoroughly understand that you are no longer employed, but instead, you derive your income from that business, and they need to understand that your business does not run itself.
You cannot do this alone
The American ballet dancer Misty Copeland said it best – “Be strong, be fearless, be beautiful. And believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you.”
People who have jobs go to work and are paid a wage. In return, whether it’s once a week, twice a month or even once a month – money magically appears in their bank accounts. The beautiful thing about this money is – it is all theirs. All deductions such as taxes, pensions, and employment insurance have already been taken away and accounted for.
Business is different
Firstly, you take all the money you have saved, and to the naive, you appear to spend it all. Of course, what you are actually doing is ‘investing’ it in manufacturing equipment or buying inventory, depending upon your type of business. You will also spend some of it on business supplies, phones, internet, insurance, rent, whatever. Your gainfully employed friends and family do not pay their employers for the privilege of working for them, so they’ll immediately question your spending.
Secondly, you’ll spend a lot of time networking – talking to suppliers, marketing people, prospective customers. Your family will think you are chit-chatting your time away while they are hard at it, working 9 to 5, for which they are actually getting paid.
Thirdly, once your business is established, you will then hopefully be making sales. These sales could be consistent throughout the year, ot they could be seasonal, in which case you will spend a lot of time working to just ‘keep the doors open’, on the trust that during your prime season, your efforts will be rewarded.
Some businesses, especially retail, actually lose money for 11 months of the year and then make it all back, and then some, in the few weeks leading up to Christmas. In the case of Garden Centres for example, their peak period is usually during the month of May.
And Fourthly, you can’t pay bills with what people owe you, and so you hope you will eventually get paid.
Stress and Optimism
It is often difficult for family and friends to understand the amount of stress you will experience while keeping your optimism at full strength to face each day. Still, the last thing you need is a load of defeatist talk from those you love and rely on to support you and your endeavour.
However, consider this –
If your family and friends tell you that your ideas are too ambitious, too risky, or even doomed to failure, you should listen to them because they are right!
They are right because YOU failed to convince them otherwise, and if you can’t sell them on your business venture, you will find it next to impossible to sell your product or service to anyone else.
Unless these hard realities are understood by friends and family, you will be fighting a war on two fronts – at home and in your business, and if history has taught us anything, a war on two fronts is a recipe for failure. Therefore, you must have the complete understanding, confidence, and support from those who in turn look to you for their support – your friends and family.