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What it Really Takes to Run a Small Business

Do you have a dream of running your own business? Are you wishing you could be your own boss and quit your regular 9 - 5 job? Do you wish you had more freedom, more flexibility, or more decision-making power?

Whatever your reason may be, if you are debating on whether or not to pursue business ownership, we are sincerely happy you are here to read this post! Why? Because we wish this post was out there before WE started our own business!

We were once in your shoes and wish there was more information out there on what it really takes to run your own business. Not because we didn’t expect it to be hard, emotionally taxing, or scary, but because what no one tells you is just how much of your heart and soul will go into it.

We have vowed to share our knowledge and experience with our clients, friends, and even family because we believe that knowledge is power. So if you are looking for all of the tips and advice on how to prepare to run your own business, take a moment to read through this list so that you can be fully aware and prepared for what it takes. We promise it will help you to step more confidently into the most exciting journey of your life!

The 5 Things it Personally Takes to Run A Small Business

1. Time - Lots of it

This may seem like a no-brainer, but we want to paint a picture for you that is applicable to 99.9% of business owners. You likely once worked a 9 AM - 5 PM job and maybe that was too much, too exhausting, or too heavy of a workload. Even if it was sufficient for you, know that when you take on running a business, your hours change from 9 AM - 5 PM to 24/7, all day almost every day. Of course breaks, sleep, and days off can occur, but your NEW hours are almost always going to be constantly, continually, and well over full-time. Why is this?

Well, as you can imagine, it takes a lot of work to operate the front end and back end of a business, but more than that, it takes your mental energy and awareness, which basically never sleeps. While you may not always be working in your office or at your business headquarters, your mind will always be working and thinking about what still needs to be done, what you can do more or less of, and how best to progress your business.

Is this a bad thing? Absolutely not! But it should be a realistic expectation to have before signing on for the job. It takes a lot of time to correctly create and build a business and it is not as common to have a business that you build quickly and step away from, working LESS than before. Can it be done eventually? Sure! But definitely when starting out and until many other channels are put in place, expect your business to take nearly all of your time.

2. Connections

Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s not about what you know, but who you know?” This absolutely applies to business! The connections you have to build up your business will be instrumental in your businesses success. However, you obviously want to vet each connection to make sure that it is truly what is best for your business.

We value connections with all sorts of individuals and companies, from other small businesses doing what we do (considered competitors) to the small coffee shop down the block. Regardless of the connection, make it your mission to establish connections with all types of individuals and companies to help you along in your journey. Keep in mind that supporting them is also the right thing for you to do to keep a positive business relationship!

Furthermore, connections with other businesses also includes hiring or purchasing from them when your business needs it (ie. softwares you might need to run operations, individuals to help you manage different elements, to even suppliers or vendors). Who you use as a business is also a partner in your business goals and should be evaluated regularly.

Lastly, there is a separate meaning for “connections” and that is that you have to make connections with your customers, clients, etc. EVERY DAY. Whether that is showing up on social media, responding to emails, customer service, or simply getting out in front of your target demographic to learn more about them, it’s all about connecting.

3. Stamina

We already mentioned that it takes a lot of time, but now we’re here to tell you that running a business will take a lot of energy. While we wish it was effortless, even if your role is behind a desk, it unfortunately will require your FULL attention and effort, sometimes physical, emotional, and mental all at once.

While every business platform is different, we can generally conclude that all business owners have to have a high stamina for their daily tasks and to-do lists because it’s rigorous and demanding to be the one in charge (or even just the main visionary). If you are in a place to hire help and support, this does help relieve some of the weight, but it will not take all of it away.

This is definitely an element of business ownership that you shouldn’t be afraid of, but more prepared. Prepared to juggle a lot, prepared to be deeply involved, and prepared to work long and hard to reach your goals. Again, it will be worth it!

4. Patience

Bless the people of the world with unlimited patience. This is often a rare quality, but one we know exists! The truth is that running a business is time consuming, tiring, and endless, BUT it hopefully pays off in the end. That being said, when is the end? When is the job over or the finish line reached?

Most often, there isn’t a set finish line when the journey begins, which therefore means that you have to be patient. Patient in trying to reach your goals, patient in growing your business to a significant size, or patient in making a return on your investment and then some. Patience is not always easy to have when you work long hours, when you invest so much, or when you experience a set-back. This is why this characteristic is mentioned on this list.

We want you to know that running a business takes patience and if you keep this in mind, it will ideally prevent you from feeling frustrated as often by a process that is long and intense.

5. Support

It may go without saying, but the ultimate thing you need when running a business is support. This could be support from your spouse, support from your friends, and / or support from your employees. Support is needed often and regularly to prevent you from feeling alone, burnt out, or hopeless. And we hope you know that you always have US supporting you and rooting for you to succeed!

Support might look like a friend or family member asking how things are going (a chance for you to share the highs and lows of business!). It also may look like your employees doing a great job and helping your business to thrive. It definitely could look like your spouse holding you in times of defeat or tiredness. However it looks, we hope you build a system of support around you to lift you up and cheer you on. You are doing an amazing thing and being brave; you deserve the acknowledgment and emotional assistance from those around you.

Have we scared you away from running a business? We certainly hope not! These are realizations we have made over the many years in business we have endured and we simply hope to educate you and help you. By keeping these things in mind, we believe it will help you build the best business possible.

While there are many other things you need to know when running a business, know that Peanut Butter Creative hopes to support your dreams in any way we can, from helping with branding and marketing advice to being your on-call designers and strategy team. Book a call if you are looking for this kind of support today!


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