Starting a Small Business

Today, I was thinking back to the time that my wife started her small business.  It led me to a series of practical questions that I believe every solo entrepreneur needs to ask themselves, before taking the plunge.  Here they are, along with explanation of why to ask them.  Please keep in mind, there are many more question you need to consider, like market conditions, and who is your competition, among many many many others.  These are just the questions that came to mind as I was thinking.  

Do I Really Want To Work That Hard?

If you talk to small business owners, I bet ninety percent of them would tell you that they had no idea how much work it was going to be.  I remember the hours we spent before the doors were ever opened, and the hours my wife spent, at the business for the next few years before we moved South.  I also remember her coming home, stewing over how to deal with employee matters.  I remember doing payroll, while on vacation.  When you have a business, it is a twenty four hour per day responsibility.  Your hours may be more flexible, but in most cases you will work much more than before you started your business.  Is it worth it.  I would say yes, and I think my wife would as well.  It just isn’t easy.

Do I Need To Pay Myself Right Away?

I honestly think this question is one of the most important questions.  Although my wife, and I both worked hard getting things started, we had my income to live on while her business got on it’s feet.  We didn’t need to pay ourselves, and we didn’t have to incur much debt to get started.  We didn’t have many of the pressures that other business owners face, and it was still difficult getting started.  To have both the stress of the business, and not being able, or barely able to pay your bills at home is an incredible challenge for most people.  This is a direct lead in to the next two questions.

Do I Handle Stress Well?

Are you the kind of person who handles stress well?  Do you freak out when the stress levels get high?  If you don’t handle stress well, being a small business owner might not be the right step for you.  If you are average or below in your stress handling abilities, then you should pay very close attention to the next question?

Did You Multiply The Budget Needed to Get Started by 1.5 ?

Regardless if you are borrowing money or putting in your own, it is important that you have enough money to get started.  Very rarely have I ever estimated the cost of doing something and come in under budget, without adding some kind of cushion.  Have you every heard of Murphy’s Law?  “If something can go wrong it will!”  I think most business owners who end up on the bad side of Murphy’s law, are usually those who don’t have extra money for emergencies, and are operating on the margins.  

I really think these are good questions, but I think whether you fail or succeed, starting a business is a great experience.  In most cases, the worst case scenario is that you go out of business, and are completely broke for a few  years, but the experience you gain will be invaluable.  I think failure is a pre requisite to success in most cases. 

Move To The Cloud

In the past, if a small business needed an email address for all their employees, the only real viable options were to setup an on site email server, or purchase expensive services from a provider. Today it is as simple as buying or attaching to an existing domain name, and using Google, or Microsoft to host your email services.  For as little as five dollars per user, per month you can not only get custom e-mail addresses with your web domain, but all of the following services come with your subscription.

  • An Online Office Suite (Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Surveys (Forms)
  • Collaboration Built In
  • Calendars and Shared Calendars
  • Admin Portal
  • Internal Web Sites

Below you can find out more about Google’s G Suite Offering!

What is G Suite?

G Suite is a cloud-based productivity suite that helps teams communicate, collaborate and get things done from anywhere and on any device. It’s simple to set up, use and manage, so your business can focus on what really matters.

Millions of organizations around the world count on G Suite for professional email, file storage, video meetings, online calendars, document editing and more.

Watch a video or find out more here.

Here are some highlights:

Business email for your domain

Looking professional matters, and that means communicating as Gmail’s simple, powerful features help you build your brand while getting more done.

Access from any location or device

Check email, share files, edit documents, hold video meetings and more whether you’re at work, at home or in transit. You can pick up where you left off from a computer, tablet or phone.

Enterprise-level management tools

Robust admin settings give you total command over users, devices, security and more. Your data always belongs to you, and it goes with you if you switch solutions.

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