The highs and lows of running a business may be known to you, but there are many aspects to consider about entrepreneurialism that may not be as apparent. It can often feel like you’re on a roller coaster that never ends, where you experience happiness and total satisfaction, as well as long days, tons of stress, and sleepless nights.
The payoff of running your own company and being your boss is certainly worth the hard work and tears, and as much as you can learn or teach yourself, there are a few aspects to business ownership that you can only learn from experience. Here are a few tips on some of the things you need to know about running a small business that nobody told you before.
Say goodbye to a work-life balance
Yes, every entrepreneur knows running a business isn’t like working a regular 9-to-5 job, because you are responsible for the company 24/7. However, it may not be as obvious that your new company will become your life, at least until it’s self-sufficient and has the manpower to operate independently, which could take years, or even decades. Any dreams of a work-life balance will disappear, as your evenings, weekends, and early mornings will be spent working on keeping your business running smoothly.
You can bargain with your energy suppliers
Monthly energy expenses can be the biggest business expense to consider after employee salaries, so it’s important to find efficiencies and keep costs low. Many people think that the rates energy suppliers quote you on are the rates you have to accept, and there’s nothing to argue over. However, that isn’t true, because you can bargain with your suppliers.
Using a comparison website for business energy suppliers is a great way to find out what the lowest option is across the market. You can compare and see which supplier is offering the lowest rates, and if it isn’t the supplier you are currently with, you can call them and ask if they can match the rate. Usually they will, or at least try and come close, but if that isn’t satisfactory, or if they won’t price match, it might be time to switch suppliers.
You can also keep checking every few months to make sure your rates are still in line with the rest of the market, so keep an eye on the energy rates and it might help you save a significant amount in the long run.
Having a mentor is invaluable
Knowing someone who has gone down the same entrepreneurial path as you is key, so you can learn from their successes and failures, gain wisdom from their experiences, and gain insights you wouldn’t have otherwise known about. They can help you make the right decisions to follow the path in the right direction, or help you avoid making costly but avoidable mistakes.
Finding a mentor might prove to be a little tricky, but the payoff is worth it. There are three important things to remember when looking for a mentor. The first is that you need to take is to map out your goals, because finding someone to help you realize them will be difficult if you aren’t sure what they are. Secondly, it’s important to realise that mentorship is time consuming, so don’t assume you can just ask a stranger for help and they will just give it to you. Lastly, mentorship is all about what you can give and put in as a mentee as well, so don’t expect your mentor to hand you a golden ticket for a free ride to success.
The best place to start looking for a mentor is in your own network. Asking a stranger for mentorship help is the wrong place to start, unless you’re offering compensation for their help. If you already know someone who has travelled down the same entrepreneurial path as you and has had success, reach out to them and offer to meet for coffee, and see where it goes from there. Another good place to look is online, since there are many online programs dedicated to matching up professionals or entrepreneurs with possible mentors.
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