Being your own boss seems like something that everyone would want for themselves, right? When it comes down to it, owning a small (or large) business is no easy task. From who to hire, what to charge, and from getting a business license, to monitoring your spending, it’s all on your shoulders. Too often, business owners hear things like, “Wow! It must be so nice to make your own hours.” Or, “You’re so lucky you can take vacations whenever you want.” Comments like that make most business owners want to laugh (or cry— depending on the day). But why? We’ve uncovered common myths about being your own boss to really make sense of the hard work people put in to running their own small business:
You Have Lots of Time Off
According to an article by CBSNews, about 40% of small business owners work more than 10 hours each day. When people tell you they’re envious of you because of all your free time and “making your own schedule”, they just don’t realize how much work it really takes to keep a business afloat. Sure, you should allow yourself some time off and let yourself relax (and we hope you do!) However, it’s not always easy for small business owners to just go home and not think about work for the rest of the night. When you’re running the show, you’re likely thinking about it pretty frequently. It’s not uncommon for small business owners to put everything on their shoulders instead of delegating work to others.
While it’s probably untrue that you have lots of time off and you get to take vacations whenever you want, you can make things a bit easier on yourself. If you’re working 10+ hours a day, you’re setting yourself up to be burnt out! Avoid this by finding methods of increasing productivity and saving yourself some time. These methods include: delegating work to your employees, training your employees on tasks that can be done by someone besides yourself, automating your business’ social media and customer communication, and hiring people you can trust to get the job done right.
You Take Home Big Paychecks
A very common misconception is that business owners are raking in the dough! In reality, most small business owners don’t have a set paycheck, and their income varies month to month. Likely your paycheck reflects the common ups and downs that businesses see. When you’re responsible for paying all the bills and taxes for your business, paying your employees, paying for repairs and things that come up, it can be hard to know what to pay yourself. Many small business owners don’t take a paycheck when they’re just starting out. From the outside, people don’t always see this, and it’s easy to assume that if you own a business, you are making big money!
There are things you can do, as a business owner, to make your paychecks bigger and more reliable. These include things like: reviewing your spending frequently, cutting unnecessary costs, tracking your marketing budget and revenue, and getting help with your accounting if needed. Inc.com created a list of common mistakes that business owners make when it comes to spending their money, so you know what to avoid!
You are “Lucky”
People don’t see all the hard work and long hours that go in to starting and running a business. Some people might even call you lucky for being in a position to run your own business. Keep in mind that many people don’t know what goes on behind the scenes in a business, so it can be hard for them to recognize just how hard (and how often) you work.
You can find comfort in knowing that we get it! As a small business oder, you’re working hard! Don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking that you need to do it all yourself. Be willing to let your employees help you out, and don’t shy away from some time to yourself. Even business owners need to relax sometimes!
For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!