Here’s an old statistic for you: 95% of businesses will not even last 5 years. Even if that’s an exaggeration, there’s no doubt that it’s certainly tough to start and run a business, and that the failure rate is particularly high for startups and small businesses.
And the reasons that immediately spring to my mind is: too much competition, no profits, lack of experience or knowledge, not effectively catering to a market need, etc. However, Logan Chierotti believes it to be something else (not business debt or a bad economy either). He says that some people just don’t know what to expect when they start a company.
We’ve covered the reality of owning & running a business, which includes everything from an unsteady income and loneliness to wearing many hats and strained relationships (personal and business ones). But here’s what Logan dubs as “3 Truths No One Tells You About Running a Business”:
1. Problem Solving Is Your New Job
“You’re going to encounter challenges and obstacles from the day you open your doors. You won’t even be able to visualize these challenges before they land in your lap. You have to get out there and attack your problems from every possible angle if you want to be successful.
If you aren’t ready to jump these hurdles, your business is going to fail, even if you have an awesome new product, a plan to market it, and plenty of money to invest in your new business.”
Not only are you going to come across difficulties you never thought of, they’ll also most likely happen all at once. Any issues that you faced in your previous job will occur here too, and what’s worse is that now you’re responsible for dealing with them. Running a business is a full-time job in itself; you may get very little time to work on the actual product or service! This is where that ‘overwhelmed’ feeling starts to kick in.
Logan has reached a point in his business where he welcomes new problems. They might seem inconvenient and burdensome, but if nothing else, business hurdles are at least a learning opportunity. They might equip you with new skills and teach you to be prepared. Business owners who don’t give up easily will soon be able to take challenges in their stride.
2. You Get Paid Last
“Your employees, vendors, contractors, landlords, and utility providers must all get their checks before you do. If there is anything left over when all of these checks are written, then, and only then, do you get to pay yourself.
You’re out of business on the day that you can’t pay all of these people. If you miss even one paycheck, there will be an uproar in your office. You will kill morale, lose employee trust, and open yourself up to legal problems.”
I’ve mentioned this before: there may be long periods of unsteady (or no) income. This is a hard and inescapable truth. In addition to this, there are a number of other money matters you have to deal with, such as startup capital, loans, and bookkeeping. This is why it’s essential to get up to speed with your business’s finances.
3. There Are No Vacations Or Sick Days
“You’ll end up staying late and working through the weekends. You have to. You’re now at the head of a machine that runs 24/7/365. People are depending on you. Until your organization grows, you’ll be faced with enough work for literally seven people, or more.
So if you tell me you want to start a business because you’re just working too hard now, please don’t take it personally if I laugh. It is simply the laugh of someone who knows the truth.”
The great thing about being a business owner is that you get to decide your hours. The bad news is that you’ll need to be the first person to arrive in the morning and the last person to leave at the end of the day. It’s on you, not anybody else. Plus, your family life, social life, love life – every aspect of your life – will be affected by your time-consuming company.
These 3 truths may not be the most encouraging, but they’re the reality. If you want to be part of the 5% of businesses that last, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into!