So many of my posts and videos are meant to be inspirational and hopefully help you see that you really can leave a lousy corporate job for more freedom and more fun as an entrepreneur. And although I have more freedom than I ever did in corporate America, there were some unexpected surprises I found when I became a business owner.
No matter how financially savvy you may be, you can never REALLY plan your finances as an entrepreneur!
My two fitness studios were each profitable only three months after their launch. That’s a pretty darn good track record to have enough revenue to pay the expenses on a fledgling business only three months in. Now let me remind you that prior to opening my two fitness studios, I was a successful financial advisor and had worked in some of the most successful multimillion dollar corporations in San Diego. But despite that experience, I apparently lost my mind for a bit and forgot that just because a business is successful that there won’t be setbacks, unanticipated expenses, and challenges.
First, when I first opened my two studios, I taught between 15 and 20 classes a week between the two. This is a great way to get to know your clients, and it’s a great way to keep payroll down. It was a great strategy to first launch my businesses. But in the long run between working with the clients, doing the marketing, managing the finances, launching a consulting business – and ALL the other things, I was working SO much that I actually was working MORE than I did in my corporate job! This is a great strategy to start your business, but it is completely unsustainable. Remember, you probably did this for more freedom. You’re often sacrificing your personal life, and potentially your physical and mental health. It just isn’t sustainable in the long term.
Second, there are expenses that you just may not have planned for.
About four years into our business, our air conditioning went out in one of our rented spaces. It was very stressful and cost a TON of money. The unit had been part of the building for about 25 years (and we’d only been there for 4 years), but yet our lease said we were responsible for it. So, literally around $6,000 later, we had incurred a huge expense and between the expense, the lost revenue, the lost time, the added work, and more – it had cost us well over $10,000 – and a couple of months worth of profit. If you’re counting on the revenue from the business to live on, it’s important that there is some! In my case, my husband, Mike, and I are both entrepreneurs. And unfortunately I had a couple of months with no revenue – at the same time that he did. It became really stressful around our house for a little while! Fortunately my life in finance taught us to have a really great cash reserve, but when you have a personal lifestyle of over $15,000 per month and there is no income for 2-3 months, you can start to deplete even a large cash reserve very quickly!
Third, although the buck starts and ends with you, you are not the only person determining the outcome of your business!
After running two brick and mortar businesses for five years, I am constantly reminded that my staff often has just as much of an impact on my business as I do. Because you see, running two businesses in different cities, I can’t be everywhere all the time. I know a business owner that has FOUR different brick and mortar businesses – in three different states. She really can’t be everywhere all the time. Your team is CRITICAL to the success of your business. You must treat them well. You must train them well, and they must know what the goals and objectives of the business are. If they don’t know exactly what direction you are headed and how you anticipate getting there, they really have NO idea what they should be doing. They think they are helping you by rearranging furniture, ordering new supplies, researching new apparel lines, but if they don’t know that’s the direction you want to go, they are basically doing busy work and potentially wasting their (and your) time.
In order to have the absolute best, you have to TRAIN the best! Your business can provide you unmeasurable amounts of financial AND personal freedom – IF you set it up properly! If you’re feeling like your business is running you, versus you running your business, take our Free Lifestyle Design Assessment below.
If you’re looking for a small group of people to help you build your business strategy, hold you accountable to your goals and actions, and help you actually IMPLEMENT – click here for more information on the Elevate Mastermind and Accelerator!