Myths and Truths About Entrepreneurship
For many (generally those still working for someone else), the life of an entrepreneur seems glamorous and highly desirable. Entrepreneurs will often hear comments like these:
- “You’re so lucky! You can work—and take off—whenever you want to!”
- “You don’t have to listen to a boss.”
- “Must be nice to just come and go as you please.”
Of course, while common, these perceptions are untrue. While entrepreneurship can certainly be rewarding, it also comes with certain risks and responsibilities that those new to the game may overlook. It’s hard work to run a business, whatever its size. Small business owners, in particular, often find themselves burdened with tasks that go far beyond the reason they started their businesses in the first place: sales, customer support, administration, accounting, human resources—these are just a few of the wide range of responsibilities that business owners initially take on.
Being in business for yourself requires a tremendous amount of hard work and can be very stressful at times. Small business owners, unlike those who work for someone else, are never really off the job. The job is with you 24/7, 365 days a year. Stressful? Yes. But also, obviously, rewarding or so many of us wouldn’t take the leap.
Is the entrepreneurial life for you? A popular Wall Street Journal piece, adapted from Colleen DeBaise’s book “The Wall Street Journal Complete Small Business Guidebook” (Three Rivers Press, 2009), offered these five questions to ask before starting your own business:
- Am I passionate about my product or service?
- What is my tolerance for risk?
- Am I good at making decisions?
- Am I willing to take on numerous responsibilities?
- Will I be able to avoid burnout?
They’re good questions, and as relevant today as they were six years ago. In fact, the general nature of entrepreneurship and the challenges it entails don’t really change much from year to year. We would add one key consideration to this list: “Will you be able to reliably, and regularly, generate sales?” At the end of the day, that’s what really matters. Doing what you love is great, but unless you can consistently sell what you do to others, you won’t be in business long.
Your goal, over time, is to grow and prosper. Even Fortune 500 businesses started small. As we all know, companies like Apple were started in a garage. As demand grew, so did these great entrepreneurial companies. Yours may be one of them. Over time, as your business grows, you’ll find that your time and attention are pulled in a myriad of directions. You’ll reach a point where you’ll need to consider whether it’s time to start bringing on staff people to help you handle those administrative tasks that must get done but that you have neither the time nor the talent to undertake.
Here at Access Direct, we have a soft spot for entrepreneurs—many of our clients are entrepreneurs of one type or another. They turn to us not only to take one key administrative burden off their hands—answering the telephone—but to provide solutions that can help them better serve their customers through a myriad of features that include voicemail, toll-free and local phone numbers (even as far as Hawaii!), fax-to-email service, call routing, after-hours emergency service, virtual auto attendant and much more. It’s just one less thing for busy entrepreneurs to have to worry about.
Give us a call; we’re committed to helping you grow.