Business basics, WAHM, mumpreneur, mum in businessFor a lot of people trying to achieve a work/life balance, owning their own business is an exciting prospect - working your own hours, being able to call the shots.  But it is also a terribly daunting experience and one best not viewed through rose coloured glasses.  In most cases, the first few years of business are hard going – long hours, frustration, incredible exhaustion and a healthy dose of financial stress.

If you are thinking of starting a business it is essential to get sound advice upfront before you jump in.  It may not be the fairytale you have imagined and for most, numbers are not a side of business we want to spend time on, but attending to these business basics upfront and you have a much better chance of succeeding.

So what are business basics?

Business Basics aren’t just about a cashflow budget and setting up the correct structure.  Business Basics also includes the fundamental question like Am I Cut Out To Run A Business?

The first couple of years require enormous input for very little financial reward.  It is essential then to understand this upfront and be prepared not only financially but also emotionally and physically.  Too often people will invest time and money running a business for 18 or so months only to quit because it didn’t live up to their dream expectations; it’s all too hard and too exhausting and it’s easier just to receive a pay cheque every month from an employer.

Having your own business can be satisfying and financially rewarding but you need to be realistic upfront and have a strategy in place to cope with tough times.

Here are some things you definitely should consider before you start

  • Is this a viable business?
  • How will I structure my business?  Am I a sole trader/partnership/company?
  • How will I fund my business?  If you have a large cash outlay upfront how will you pay for this?  And if you are borrowing the funds, how will you service the loan?
  • How am I going to ‘run’ my business?  Will I employ staff or can I save the money and run my business alone?
  • How will I manage running my business along with my domestic/personal life?  Who will look after children?  How much will this cost?  Can I afford it?
  • How will I manage a series of cash outflows over a period of months?  Is my cashflow budget realistic?
  • How will I collect all of my financial information?  Can my accountant give me some sort of software?
  • Who have I got to support me?

Starting your own business is a courageous decision, so don’t be afraid to face the hard questions upfront.

Sarah Willoughby is an Accountant and Tax Agent with Willoughby's Finance Accounting and Taxation - she also mentors for Motivating Mum and you can get a 30 min phone session with her to ask all your questions for only $32.