Step right up, we're here to tell you all the secrets of owning a business -- and some are not very fun!
I was having an email correspondence with someone today who shared with me both her and her husband's dreams of being business owners. While I was so happy that she thought to share this with me, I couldn't help myself from offering (unsolicited) advice. My advice was this - it takes an incredible amount of time and money to start and operate (and hopefully grow) a successful business.
I think that while some people know this inherently, they may not know what this "owning your own business" reality is. The reality is that if you want to start a brick and mortar business (like the one my friend wants) you need not only the money to rent/buy the space, build it out, market it and pay for employees to help you run it, but you also need to be able to support yourself for the year, maybe two, maybe five that it will take to have that business turn a profit.
Don't forget that during this time that you are working toward turning this profit, you are devoted to this new baby every hour of every day. What is the price of your time? I'm not talking about the time that you would have been at work anyway - the 9 to 5 time, but the time that you would have been reading your kids a bedtime story, or enjoying a vacation, or cooking dinner because all of a sudden, you don't have that time anymore.
Which brings up another point: you now need to factor in the cost of hiring people to help you do the duties you no longer have the time to do. So besides just being able to afford your mortgage and bills, you need to have the cash for a housekeeper (assuming you did your own cleaning before you started your business) and a nanny, because who is going to watch the kids when they get out of school and all summer?
Listen, I don't mean to be the Negative Nancy of business ownership, or the "dream killer," as my friend pointed out, because there are a lot of perks of owning your own business.
However, I do feel the need to tell the WHOLE story, and that whole story has benefits and drawbacks. The benefits unfortunately, come long after the drawbacks which is why so many don't make it.
For the sake of rounding out this story let's talk about some of the perks. For instance, once you've found the perfect employees who can do the jobs without a lot of supervision, you can have some time off. Being in control of your income is also something that can be exciting. Experiencing risk and reward is another major benefit of owning your own company. I haven't even mentioned write offs! I mean, what business owner doesn't enjoy some write offs?