What It's Like Being a Small Business Owner

What It's Like Being a Small Business Owner

Chantale Foster

Being an entrepreneur can be stressful, especially if you’re just starting out. But whether you’re just getting your feet under you or you’re already a seasoned vet, running your own business can be difficult.

It can be even more challenging if you’re a small business owner. Being an entrepreneur means taking a lot of personal risks and working as hard as you can to succeed. But that’s not to say that being a small business owner is an easy task. In fact, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Being a small business owner can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people.  For some entrepreneurs, it’s about being your own boss. The freedom to set your own hours, wake up when you want, eat when you want, and go to sleep when you want can be an incredible sense of freedom.  With that freedom, however, comes pressure. The level of responsibility you shoulder as an entrepreneur can be intense. You’re the one who has to make sure that your business is successful, which can make it difficult to delegate tasks and find time for family and friends.

So, if you’re planning to make a go of running your own business, here are some insights that may help you.


Set goals and prioritize your time

Start small. Don’t rush out and buy an expensive boat before you’ve even learned how to swim. At the beginning stages of your business, make your goal to learn as much as you can. Most entrepreneurs start their business because they have a great idea or product. But without the necessary skills, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. Make it a priority to learn as much as you can about business. Invest in yourself, find mentors, and take courses online. Ask friends who own businesses for help and advice as often as you can. Doing this will help you to establish solid relationships with other business owners, which can be invaluable when you’re starting your own business.

That said, don’t forget to make time for what’s important to you.

If running your own business is the ultimate dream for you, you can’t forget that it’s your family who will make sacrifices to support you. It’s important to keep your priorities in mind, and that means making time for your spouse and children. We often think of entrepreneurship as a lifelong commitment, but you also need to make sure that you can support your family while you’re doing it.


Keep a strong network

As an entrepreneur, you’re probably more likely to meet other entrepreneurs than you are to meet other people in the general public.  Fortunately, this is a good thing. The more you connect with other entrepreneurs in the same field as you, the more likely you are to succeed.

Networking is an important part of any business, and it’s even more important for entrepreneurs. As you go to events, take part in business groups, and meet other entrepreneurs, remember to look for ways to connect with others. Once you’ve made a connection, don’t be afraid to ask whether someone would be willing to help you out in some way, whether it’s with advice, a business deal, or even just a referral.  You will be surprised at how your business can grow just based on connections.  Always keep business cards with you so that you are able to exchange contact information with your peers.  You never know when you may need their services or when they may need yours.


Be an expert in your field

There’s a lot of talk about how important it is for business owners to be experts in their field. It’s a concept that applies in many ways to entrepreneurs, but it’s especially important for those who are starting their own businesses. No one is going to hire you, no matter how good an employee you are, if you don’t offer a service that people are willing to pay for. So, if you’re going to be an expert in your field, you’re going to have to work very hard to earn the credentials that will prove it.  Look for different training opportunities in your business area.  Believe it or not, there is a lot of good info on YouTube.  If you are making a product, practice your craft. Doing this can be a great way to expand your knowledge and allows you to perfect your product.  Be willing to accept criticism on your product.  Knowing people’s thoughts and opinions on your products helps you to build a better product.  Don’t be afraid to ask people for their opinions on what you are doing, it will only help you grow.


Don’t be afraid to speak up

One of the most important things that you can do as an entrepreneur is to speak up. It’s important to let people know what you can do for them.  That old cliché saying “A Closed Mouth Doesn’t Get Fed” is very true in the entrepreneur world.  Someone may be looking for your exact skill, but if you are not promoting yourself and what you can do that person may not know to hire you.  Once you open your mouth and start letting people know that you’re the expert in your field, it’s going to be difficult to stop. Let people know what you do and why you can be an asset.  All it takes is for one opportunity to take your business to the next level.  Don’t keep your mouth closed and miss that opportunity and don’t get discouraged if you get a “no”.


Bottom line

Running your own business can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. In fact, there are a lot of misconceptions about entrepreneurship, and one of them is that it only happens to people with huge amounts of talent and resources. In reality, there’s a lot of room for anyone to make it big. The key is to work hard and do what it takes to succeed.