By Raj Dosanjh
For some, becoming an entrepreneur is the holy grail. You’ve started a business and you’re now able to make big decisions and be your own boss (or so you think).
There are an abundance of things that will annoy you as a newbie entrepreneur. Many of which you weren’t aware of when starting your journey. Some will stay as just an annoyance. Whereas some things may start you doubting if your business will ever be successful.
Below are the sources of annoyance that drive newbie entrepreneurs crazy, and what to do about them.
1. Late Payments
Many businesses, especially those that are bootstrapped, start off with a low budget. Every penny will matter.
There will be bills to pay and suppliers demanding payment. To cover these, you need to ensure that your customers pay on time to keep a steady cashflow.
However some of your customers may be big players. Paying an invoice one or two weeks late to them, won’t be a big issue. However for a new business, that payment could be the difference between a healthy bank balance or hefty overdraft fees.
Ensure you’re clear with customers on payment schedules and where possible, automate or request payments upfront.
2. You’re Not Really Your Own Boss
Working in a 9-5 job, the boundaries are clear. You know who your boss is and who you are the boss of. For many, the thought of becoming your own boss and not being told what to do is a major lure of starting your own business.
A lot of the time, it isn’t that simple.
Customers now become your lifeline. If they leave, your business is at risk. Unlike the 9-5, your income is not protected.
You’ll need to respond to customer complaints, deadlines and demands. You’ll quite quickly be reminded that you’re still accountable to someone and not as free as you may have thought.
Keep your mindset on the end goal of creating a successful business. If it goes your way, you’ll soon have a team of people that take more of the flack from unhappy customers.
3. Getting Your Hands Dirty
When starting up a business, it’s unlikely you’ll have a large team behind you from the get go. You find yourself in charge of marketing, finance, admin and sales.
With these types of functions, there’s a lot of boring and mundane work that needs to be done.
Say you’re planning on emailing potential clients to entice them to sign up to your business. How are you going to get the emails in the first place? You may not initially have the budget to pay for an email list or hire a freelancer. As a result you are likely to need to search through a large volume of sites to collate individual emails. This will take hours and will for sure numb the brain.
As your business becomes more successful you’ll be able to hire people to do this type of work for you. But until then you might need to cover the lower level work yourself.
4. Unhappy Customers Killing Your Passion
Every business will have unhappy customers. People complain, cancel subscriptions or return goods.
For a big business, a small number of unhappy customers is part and parcel of their routine.
For a new start up, a customer being unhappy is like a meteor crashing down. A refund or cancellation could be a large % of your revenue in the early stages.
Even worse, a pattern of unhappy customers could cast doubts on if your business is viable over the long term. Your belief could be knocked and therefore your momentum. If you truly believe in your business it’s important to take it on the chin and keep going to succeed.
5. Not Being the Center of the Universe
When starting a business, it becomes your life and soul. Everything centers around it. When something urgent needs to be done, you do it as quickly as possible. Unfortunately not everyone will feel the same.
You’ll be dependent on a lot of third parties when running your business, including suppliers and customers.
Not everyone will be as interested in working as quickly as possible when you need them. They’ll have their own commitments and tasks that need to be done, which may take priority over your requests. A small delay can feel like a lifetime when your business is waiting.
It’s cheesy, but patience is a virtue. As with many aspects of life, appreciate that others have properties too. Getting worked up about delays and deadlines being missed will drive you into overdrive and impact your productivity.
6. Feedback That’s a Punch to the Gut
It’s often overlooked, but feedback plays a critical role in improving a business. It could be the business model or website, but there’s always room for improvement.
You may have invested a lot of time and money for your business setup. When you hear that something isn’t working or can be done better, you start seeing more money and time needing to be invested. At this point it’s difficult to avoid feeling disappointed.
On RentRound.com, I spent a whole load of time designing the process of how leads will be captured. On the day before going live, a close friend showed me a site in another industry that follows a similar model, but captures leads in a much better way.
Annoying as it was, I had to pause the go-live, update designs, wait for development work to complete and then go-live five weeks later.
If a change is needed for the greater good of the business, it’s prudent to put personal feelings to the side and do what’s best.
There you have it, six things that are sure to annoy you as a newbie entrepreneur. It’s important to remember why you started your business in the first place. Annoyances can be overcome, but giving up can’t be.