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Is there a downside to job market recovery? If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, there may be.
A recent Kauffman study showed that entrepreneurship suffers when the job market is in recovery mode. In 2013, 476,000 new businesses were created each month, down 7 percent from 2012 when 514,000 new businesses were created monthly; highlighting that people who might have started their own business became employees instead.
As an advisor to small business owners, here are some of the biggest personal and business issues I see entrepreneurs face when getting started, and some thoughts on how burgeoning business owners can move past these challenges:
Earlier this year, Sage sponsored a survey asking start-ups about their top personal issues. Results showed that the biggest personal issues were around management. Striving for a healthy work/life balance was the number one management issue entrepreneurs were concerned about, followed by time management, and money management.
Advice: With the advancement of mobility, working from anywhere keeps people working all the time, but it also allows business owners the convenience of making that personal appointment without the worry that they might miss something important in the meantime. Owning one’s own business and also being able to have a family or social life isn’t as difficult as it once was. Business owners can now work from a café, or anywhere there is an internet connection, and still enjoy personal time. Technology and management software can also smooth out your processes around tracking finances, projects, and customers – much easier on your stress level and your schedule! Work your business into your personal life by using technology to make a difference in how a business is managed.
The Sage survey also showed that marketing and taxes are a huge concern for new business owners. Most entrepreneurs start with one employee – themselves – and being an expert in all different facets of running a business can be daunting. This fear may be what has lessened the numbers of those pursuing entrepreneurial dreams in 2013, but in reality, tools to help you run your business are much more readily available than in years past.
Advice: Build a network of individuals, both professional and social, of people that can offer advice on your business growth. And read. There are many books, articles and blogs that give advice on marketing and social media. Read them and take notes on tips that you like or that would benefit your business. Be on the lookout for successful campaigns that you can emulate. Do your research and create a strategy to help propel you throughout the year. A calendar of to-dos is always helpful when it comes to managing a marketing plan. And speaking of calendars, they are also helpful when it comes to marketing. Use them to prompt ideas by looking at upcoming holidays and big annual events, such as the Super Bowl and The Academy Awards, both of which can be used in your marketing plan, depending on your business. As for taxes, professional advice is key to approaching business tax issues. Reach out to an accountant to help guide your business and cash flow. If you aren’t “there” yet in terms of income and size to hire an accountant, look again at technology tools and software to help guide your business and manage cash flow and invoices.
Don’t let the fear of the unknown keep you from embarking on your own entrepreneurial journey. With the possibilities and technologies available to help kickstart a business, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t turn your entrepreneurial dream into reality and drive those new business numbers up in 2014. What are you waiting for? Get out there!
Gabrielle Boko is Executive Vice President of marketing for Sage North America. Born and raised in Alaska, Gabrielle (“Gabie”) Boko has innovation in her blood, and has built her career in marketing, sales, and channel development with leading technology innovators. Gabie brings that passion for growth companies to her role as executive vice president of marketing for Sage North America, a company focused on helping small and medium sized companies realize their ambitions and achieve success.
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