If you’re on social media of any sort, then entrepreneurship is all the buzz these days. Everywhere you look, there’s an ad being sponsored that guarantees all the successful tools to being a boss for a nominal fee of [insert fee here]. There are smiling faces plastered with hashtags of #BossBabe #entrepreneur surfacing everywhere. There are boutiques, makeup lines (hey I’m guilty), hair and wigs, weight loss supplements, Paparazzi jewelry businesses popping up all over the place. You see it so much you might begin to wonder if you need to hop on the entrepreneurship train.
But the real question is: Is entrepreneurship for you?
Entrepreneur is defined as: (noun) a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.
Entrepreneurship is thus defined as: (noun) the activity of setting up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.
Based on these definitions alone, there is a key word that resonates more than any other word; RISK.
While the idea of owning one’s business seems exciting and fun; it definitely costs and is not without major risk.
While all it takes is an idea and a plan to execute; you still have to invest financially. Sure you can take out business loans and find investors; but no one is going to invest in you before you invest in yourself.
You have to be honest with yourself and decide if the cost is something that you can take on. Are you prepared to lose as much as you’re prepared to win? Because the reality is loss is a very real thing in business. With no guarantees of what your success rate is going to be, it’s imperative that you count the cost.
If You Own a Business Be Licensed
Speaking of counting the cost; make sure you include the fee to be licensed. A lot of people jump right into creating/wholesaling a product, starting a site and spreading the word. But this is literally like putting the cart before the horse.
If you’re serious about running a business; you will include the $100 (or whatever it is in your state) it cost to get yourself licensed in your state. This protects you legally and establishes that you’re serious about what it is you do. If you’re not willing to take that extra step to legitimize your business; why should anyone take your venture seriously?
…licenses and permits are mandatory, and before you can legally begin to operate your business, you need to have all its licenses and permits in place. Additionally, if your business has employees or sells taxable goods or services, you need to register with the taxing authorities. Requirements vary by industry and depend on how and where you conduct business.
David continues with explaining the pitfalls of not being licensed:
Not being compliant with all licenses, permits, and tax registrations could leave you unprotected legally, may lead to expensive penalties, and can jeopardize your business.
For anything. Even a business with the most well thought out plan faces an uncertainty. Only time will tell the trajectory your business will take. This requires a lot of patience. You have to ask yourself if you’re ready to have slow days as much as you may desire the busy ones.
Owning a business will expose a lot of your vulnerabilities and insecurities as you wait to see who supports your endeavors. Sometimes you find out that your family and friends aren’t rushing to patron your business. You might begin to feel an entitled indignation begin to well up inside of you in response to their seemingly lackluster response. But that leads me to my next point.
Your Family & Friends Are Not Your Target Market
While ideally we may want our friends and family to rush to our support; it’s a strong possibility that whatever you’re selling they don’t want to buy!
And that’s ok. When you were building your business plan and designating your audience; something tells me that your aunts, uncles, cousins, mom and dad weren’t at the top of the list. The reality is, you need to know who your consumer is intended to be.
In some instances, your family very well may fit into the demographic. However, your goal shouldn’t be to run a sustainable business off the altruistic intent of your family and friends.
I decided to write about this topic because along my journey to entrepreneurship; I’ve been met by questions from business owner hopefuls. I never want to discourage anyone, especially since I’m so fresh into my adventure. However, I want everyone to have some basic fundamental pieces of information to reason on before they plunge into owning a business.
Social media can have you fooled in an instant. I just want ya’ll to “stay woke”.
Until next time!