The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Exciting of Leaving or Job to Start Your Own Business
Episode 188 – The Local Small Business Coach Podcast
Here is what we discuss in today's episode:
What to Expect When You Leave Your Job to Start Your Own Business:
There is a fear and excitement that takes over when we think about leaving our day job to go out and build our new business.
You aren't sure if you want to puke, run or dive head first into this new adventure!
The best thing you can do is, make the leap with your eyes wide open. When you have the information to make an informed decision, you can make that leap to full time local small business owner a little less scary and even more exciting!
Let's discuss over 20 things you will want to make sure you are aware of and possibly investigate a little further. The good, the bad, the ugly and the exciting! From the scary (no steady paychecks) to the amazing (you are your own boss) they all add up the wildest ride you will ever go on!
NO STEADY PAYCHECKS
This one is probably the scariest thing you will ever face being a local small business owner and stepping away from the comfort of your day job. There is something comforting about knowing you will have that paycheck deposited every Friday. You can build your budget around this amount and typically don't have to sweat too hard. However, without the security of a job, panic will set in the first Friday that passes and no money is in your account. So make sure you have an emergency fund in place if possible, only make the leap when your new business has replaced the majority of the money you need monthly.
NO COMPANY INSURANCE PLAN
Along with having no steady paycheck, the thing you will miss the most is your company insurance plan. Especially in today's high insurance premiums. Getting insurance on your own can be way more costly. Ideally, you might have a significant other who has a plan you can be on while you build your business. Remember, you also have no workers comp if you get hurt on the job, so your insurance becomes even more important to you.
YOU WILL NEED TO LEARN TO BUDGET
Without a steady paycheck, you will need to learn to budget better. You will need to understand what your monthly needs are for both your business and your personal life. You will need to know how to keep both to a minimum so you can maximize your profits and hit both goals. Yes, your business will need a budget, this will never change. In order to maximize your profits, you must always know where your money is going. Personally, you will need your budget to keep you from expanding beyond your means as you build your business.
YOUR TAXES BECOME YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
I'm not going to lie. This one will sting. Sure, you've been paying taxes all along but now you get to write that check. In the past, your employer pulled out that money and made the payments for you. Out of sight out of mind. However, as a small business owner, you will be responsible to write those checks to Uncle Sam. Some word of advice, pay your taxes quarterly! If you wait, you will regret that big payment you will owe. Put aside 25% into an account so you have it. Way too many business owners get into trouble by not paying and then having to come up with you thousands of dollars. Plus, don't forget that you also will owe the other half of your FICA tax. That's right, your current employer has been paying half of your social security tax and now you will need to make up that other half. Find a local CPA that can help you with these. Especially if you have employees as you will need to collect their taxes too.
YOU WILL NEED A RAINY DAY FUND
Since we already discussed you not having a steady paycheck and needing to know how to budget your money, it also means you will need that rainy day fund in place before you make the leap to full time. By knowing your needs monthly for your personal expenses and your business expenses, you should have an idea of what your needs are for the first 3 – 6 months. Ideally, you will want to have that money saved up as you build the business. This way you don't make poor decisions and you can sleep at night knowing you have the money in the bank.
YOU WILL MAKE LESS MONEY PER HOUR THAN WHAT YOU DO NOW
I'm not going to lie, this one will hurt. Especially in the beginning. You see, you will be working a lot of hours and not making as much money as you want. If you divide that take-home pay by the number of hours you are investing in your business, you will find that you are making a lot less per hour than you have in a long, long time. Just know that this is temporary and use it as motivation to drive even more sales and profits!
YOU ARE YOUR OWN BOSS
Let's face it, this is the one you have been dreaming of! You can't wait until you have no one to answer to you but yourself. You get to be in charge of the amount of money you earn, the days you work, the time off you take, how you do the job, who you work with, how many hours you work and the job you do. Ahh, the dream is coming true!
YOUR NEW BOSS CAN BE A REAL JERK
Bet you didn't see that one coming. Yep, your new boss will be a slave driver, your new boss will make you work all kinds of crazy hours, your new boss will probably rarely give you a day off, never mind a vacation. That's right. No matter what you think it will be like, you will be wrong! You will be working some long hours in the first few years and you will be hustling for every dime you make. There is no one to turn your work over too and you will find yourself taking all jobs and all hours. Don't worry, eventually, you and your new boss will come to some understandings and you might get a day off or two in a few years.
BYE BYE to YOUR EMPLOYEE PERKS
Well, by now you have realized that you can kiss those employee perks goodbye. No more sick days, no more vacations, no more breaks, no more 401k or bonuses. There will also be no more breakroom bonding with your fellow employees. That's right, all those things we take for granted that our current job provides goes away. Don't worry, you can blame that new jerk of a boss. 🙂
NO ONE TO BLAME BUT YOURSELF
When you are working for yourself, the buck stops with you. When things go wrong, there are no other employees to blame it on. You are the one that messed up. You are the one that will need to fix it. You are personally responsible for the what happens, the good, the bad and the ugly. This can be hard for some folks that normally don't make the mistakes at work. Sounds silly, but you will be surprised as to how many mistakes you will make in the early days. Go easy on yourself. You are learning. The key is to learn from your mistakes. Feel free to make new ones!
THERE IS NO CORPORATE COMPANY TO BAIL YOU OUT
This is one that will creep up on you. There will come a point when something happens and you will wish there was a corporate company to help bail you out of the mess you got into. When you were an employee, if the business lost money, the corporate company could step in and help pay the bills. If someone got hurt, they could help deal with it. If there was a ticked off customer, they could always call corporate headquarters, but not anymore. The buck stops with you.
YOU WILL HAVE CUSTOMERS YELLING AT YOU
Speaking of upset customers, you will have some. Crap happens. You will need to learn that customers are normally not upset with you, but rather with the situation. How you handle the situation is what will make this part of the business easier. Remember, people just want to be heard and the situation resolved. If you nail these two down, you will reduce the yelling. Always keep great service and quality of work high and you will also reduce this pain.
BEING A LOCAL SMALL BUSINESS OWNER CAN BE LONELY – LONE RANGER
This one can really get tough the longer you are a business owner. Especially for the extroverts who love being around other people. You will find that sometimes it would be great to have someone to work with, someone to bounce ideas off of and someone to just shoot the shit with. I encourage you to find other small business owners and create a small mastermind group or talk business over some beers. No matter how bad it may seem sometimes, you are not alone. I guarantee you that others feel like you do. So having this support network can help you through those times.
YOU WILL WEAR MANY HATS
In the first few years of your business, you will be a party of one. Which means that you will wear many hats within your business. You will not only be the owner but also the marking team, the bookkeeper, the HR department, operations manager, merchandiser and lead worker bee. You will need to learn when to work on the business vs just in the business. You will naturally love the “doing” of the business and will struggle to make sure that you wear all the other hats when needed. It is crucial that you do. The good news is, once the business grows, you can hire folks to help support you in some of these other areas.
NO HUMAN RESOURCES TO HANDLE EMPLOYEE PROBLEMS
I pull this one out for those of you that are opening a brick and mortar business or plan to have teams. If you have never dealt with employees, this one might become either one of your favorite parts of your new business or you will absolutely hate it. People are human and they come with good traits and bad. Some come with drama. You will need to handle it. You also control who you hire, develop and fire. These can all be time-consuming and frustrating. But handling them correctly can lead to tremendous business success!
NO BOSS NO STRESS – RIGHT?
If only you were that lucky. While you might be trading in the stress of your current job and boss, you are picking up the stress of a local small business owner. With the weight of the entire business on your shoulders, you will find that the stress will increase. Especially in the early days. The stress of coming up with customers and business will be strong. You have bills to pay. But the stress will continue as you put in high standards you will want to hit. Don't worry, you can handle this stress as long as you have a plan and are ensuring you set aside time each week to work on the business.
YOU REALLY DONT SET YOUR OWN SCHEDULE
Earlier we discussed the feeling that you get to control your schedule as a small business owner. In some cases, this might be true but honestly, your customers and your need for sales and profits will cause you to hustle and work all kinds of hours to make ends meet.
YOUR FAMILY WILL THINK THEY HAVE ANY TIME ACCESS TO YOU
Speaking of your schedule, if you have a family, they will struggle with understanding that you have a job to go to. They will assume that since you are your own boss, you can leave anytime you want. That you can skip work, take days off, or go to spur of the moment events. The reality is, you will not always be able to do this. And if you do, it will suck you out of the habit of “going to work each day” and your sales will suffer. Trust me. The best thing you can do is set parameters and work hours that your family will need to respect.
YOU REALLY DON'T CONTROL EVERYTHING – BUREAUCRACY
One thing some people hate dealing with is bureaucracy. Especially coming from Corporate America. The problem is, you will still have some bureaucracy to deal with. Sure it might be a little different but it will be just as frustrating. You will be dependant on vendors or other businesses to serve your customers. Unfortunately, things will not always go as planned.
NO ONE TO PAT YOU ON THE BACK
If you are someone that thrives off people patting you on the back for the great job you did, well, you are in trouble. LOL. Remember earlier I said you needed to get used to working alone? Well, unfortunately, there will be no one to pat you on the back when things go well. So you will need to find ways to celebrate your successes to keep you motivated.
YOU NEED TO SELF MOTIVATED
And speaking of keeping yourself motivated, this will be something that you will need to be good at. There will be ups and downs in your business and somedays will be very difficult. Things will not seem like they are going well and you will need to motivate yourself to snap out of it. There will be days when you want to roll over and go back to sleep or maybe veg all day and play video games or maybe chill with your friends. Once in a blue moon is fine but honestly, you will need to find that motivation to go out each day and drive your business. You will wonder why bother when sales are bad. Don't get sucked in. You made this decision with your eyes wide open and knew you had what it takes!
As you can see, there are a lot of great and not so great things to look forward to when you make the leap to a local small business owner. But here's the thing, nothing can be more rewarding. I want you to be successful. You can do this! You just need to jump in with your eyes wide open!
Don't forget, there are tools and resources to help you. Start by listening to the 30 episode podcast – Start a Local Small Business Podcast on your favorite podcast app or here on the website – Listen to the Start a Local Small Business Podcast on the Website
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