The ups and downs of running a start-up business

There's no doubt about it, deciding to start a small business involves a fair amount of risk. Going that route is definitely not for everyone. For those who determine it is the right route however, it is likely that they will feel great satisfaction, possibly even if the business is not financially successful. While there are innumerable things that those in the Chicago area who decide to pursue starting their own small business will face they will likely encounter at least one or two of the following.

The first is a lot of advice. What's more, that advice will probably conflict with advice previously provided by others. Having to figure out when to go with your gut feeling (or the gut feeling of your team) instead of the advice of an outside party is a part of the small business endeavor. There will be times your instinct is right and there will be times the advice from trusted outsiders will be the way to go. Just which route is the best will not likely be obvious initially and may only be revealed down the line after such decisions are made.

Somewhat related is the reality that rarely is enough information available to make a truly educated decisions. This too is part of running a start-up business. Just as it is inevitable that some of the decisions will pan out, in other situations they will not have the intended result. The most important thing to do is to keep moving forward recognizing that the next major decision to be made could turn out differently.

Resourcefulness goes a long way not only in gathering information but in running the business overall. It will inevitably make your business more appealing to investors who are usually needed to keep the business alive. Resourcefulness translates not only into finding ways to spend less money but in finding ways to creatively add value to the business. In many instances this involves calling in favors.

Perhaps most important, and possibly the most difficult to determine, is how to know when to take the time to celebrate a success and when it is time to keep foraging ahead. While it is important to stay engaged to make sure opportunities are not missed, it is also vital to recognize achievements. After all, it is the thrill of accomplishing those achievements that most people are seeking when they decide to start a small business.

As most readers of this blog are likely aware, there is no right answer to any of these dilemmas. And most small business owners would likely not want it any other way.

Source: Forbes, "5 Lessons We've Learned (So Far) As Entrepreneurs At CircleUp," Ryan Caldbeck, Jan. 16, 2013

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