Whilst professional training can provide highly valuable information for those starting a business, there are some key elements of running a business that can only be learnt through experience. There are 5 little secrets that you will probably discover for yourself once you’ve been running your own business for a while – but here’s a heads-up.
- Politics is a key part of your job
From office politics to corporate shenanigans, there is always an element of debate and conflict that goes hand in hand with doing business. There will always be someone who has an axe to grind whether it’s a client or a staff member. As well as this, there are so many stakeholders, managers, customers and other people involved in the success of your business, there will inevitably be some disagreements or conflicts of interest involved.
- Your business aims will probably not be that watertight
As much as you revel in leading your own company, once the initial excitement of starting a business dies down and you and your staff are handling the day-to-day issues, you might just find your business foundations are not that well-constructed after all. Often the revenue projections are over stated, the costs are unrealistic and the market base is smaller than expected. If you have taken out a loan to get started then you might find it is not enough to cover the period it was intended for – this could have serious financial consequences. If you have self-funded your startup you might find you need to consider taking out a loan. The truth is that business owners are often much more influenced by passion than by fact so you may need a re-think to turn your dreams into workable reality.
- Some of your staff will be unmotivated
Assuming that all your employees are as excited and enthused about your business as you are is a dangerous assumption to make. That’s not to say they can’t be managed effectively, but just bear in mind that the success of your business may not be a top priority for them. If some staff are key to your success then consider the financial implications if they were to leave – although it is always hard when finances are tight consider paying the key staff really well. Money may not be all that motivates people but it certainly helps.
- Not all your business contacts will want you to succeed
There may be business contacts, old colleagues, even clients who doubt the foundations of your business, or its potential for success. Whatever their concerns are, you must manage your business effectively but if they are raising genuine issues don’t ignore them.
- Some people will decide they don’t like you
Whether you like it or not, people will always face resentment from others – especially those who can’t possibly know the business well enough. But starting a business is not a popularity contest, and if you find you face resistance, resentment and other negative interactions in the process, then that’s all just part of the job.