Starting a new business requires vision, fortitude and passion. It is a life-altering event that will ultimately transform you in a multitude of ways. Most entrepreneurs treat their business with the same passion typically reserved for family members or a marriage. A business opportunity can only evolve into a successful enterprise with a significant investment of time, resources and creativity. A new business will present unexpected challenges, and it will ultimately change your life in variety of ways.
There are never enough hours in the day for an entrepreneur who is pursuing a new business opportunity. The eight-hour workday is a thing of the past once the “open” sign is hung on the door. Many owners work 12-16 hour days as they cope with a myriad of unforeseen issues. While working additional hours can help lower costs, it is critical that the owner makes healthy lifestyle choices and develops practical time management skills.
Attending to Details
Many entrepreneurs are exceptionally good at creating and implementing strategic plans. However, they are often lacking when it comes to executing the details. Failure to follow through with detail propositions can cause a bottleneck in the revenue stream and result in hidden profit leaks. For example, an aggressive sales effort without an accurate billing and collection system can cause cash flow problems. It may not be the most enjoyable part of business ownership, but all successful entrepreneurs become detail oriented out of necessity.
When a business needs attention, it is easy to forget or neglect family obligations and relationships. Some business owners ultimately opt to include their spouse or other family members in the business. While this arrangement can create a unique bond based around a mutual interest, it can also be a double-edged sword. The problems associated with business ownership, especially during lean times, can place an additional strain on a marriage. No matter how the owner structures the company, the business will have a significant impact on nearly every close personal relationship.
If you’re interested in a business or franchise opportunity, you must learn to read and interpret a balance sheet and profit and loss statement. Since the majority of business owners worked at a trade prior to starting their own company, they are often intimidated by the financial end of the business. However, any productive discussion with your banker or accountant will revolve primarily around your financials. It is essential that a business owner understands depreciation and amortization, cost of goods, fixed and variable costs and other common accounting terms.
Leadership and Delegating
Most successful businesses continue to grow and prosper over time. When the workload becomes excessive, the owner usually hires employees to keep the company responsive and help improve productivity.
Problems arise when the entrepreneur finds it difficult to surrender responsibilities and will not allow employees to take ownership of their jobs. Leadership is primarily a function of vision and inspiration. Successful business owners develop a style that enhances the employee’s best qualities and places them in a position to succeed. Leadership skills can be extremely valuable in every aspect of life including raising children and developing successful personal relationships.
Dealing with Success
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of business ownership is how unprepared most entrepreneurs are for the financial success that results from their hard work. The first substantial year-end dividend check is exhilarating. When the business provides enough to significantly improve the owner’s lifestyle, perceptions, attitudes and expectations change permanently. It is important to handle success with grace and humility while remaining grounded in your core beliefs.
A Life Changing Experience
Pursuing a business or franchise opportunity can ultimately prove to be one of life’s most rewarding experiences. Virtually everyone who has owned a business will readily admit that they learned a great deal about themselves throughout the process. Starting a business is an adventure that will change your life forever.
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