Boss Lady

What no-one dares tell you when you start a business


Thinking of starting a business? Are you truly prepared for the challenges ahead of you? And for what no-one dares tell you when you start a business.

Chances are, even if you’ve asked around for advice, and now think you’re as prepared as you possibly can be to launch your business dream, you probably aren’t. That’s the cold, hard truth. But that’s not your fault. The problem is that while there are many things people will advise you when starting your business, [tweet_quote hashtags=”#smallbusiness” ]some of the most important information is kept secret from you[/tweet_quote], hindering your chances of success.

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible for you to succeed. It just means your path will be harder than if advisors who have been there before you opened up fully and revealed some of the most important lessons.

I know this from personal experience. When I was starting out I definitely wasn’t as prepared as I needed to be — but then again, nobody is. And that’s something you need to remember every time you feel overwhelmed.

Also, my expectations of my business venture were very high (and still are), which I consider a good thing. But having high expectations means you have to be prepared for disappointment when things don’t meet them, or things get tougher than you expect. And I learnt early on that nobody ever fully tells you how hard it REALLY can get. But forewarned is forearmed. So if you take on board a few of the key lessons, and remind yourself of them when the going gets rough, your business has a better chance to get going.

You’re Potentially the Competition

It often seems hard to get business advice from people who are already in business. This could be due to a variety of reasons, but the most common I’ve found is that few want to share their tips because they view you as competition. And just like you, they’re busy trying to work on their own success — or sometimes just on their survival.

What to do

[tweet_quote hashtags=”#smallbusiness” ]Seek advice from business people you respect[/tweet_quote], but whose businesses are outside the field you are targeting. If you’re going into a retail women’s fashion business, for example, try and seek out an advisor who has been successful in retailing technology — the product may not be relevant to your field, but some of their experience (and mistakes) certainly will be.

You’re on Your Own When You Start a Business

In business, you’re on your own. You can’t trust everyone, and that’s something nobody wants to tell you. If you previously told everyone your plans, now is the time to zip it.

You don’t see Apple or Google broadcasting the details of their plans to the world before they’re ready to roll them out. And nor should you, otherwise you could be giving your competition the opportunity to throw some hurdles in your path.

What to do

Decide on the very few people you CAN trust — and that might be as few as one — and with everybody else who asks, just give them an abbreviated but positive response that everything is going to plan (without telling them the plan, and even if everything ISN’T).

It Will Cost You

Another thing that people don’t tend to share with you is just how expensive starting your own business really is. Of course you already understand that you won’t make money instantly, but there is more to it than just waiting for the revenue to properly roll in. Not only do you have to pay for your website, advertising, employees but you also have your own usual bills to pay, and it all adds up.

What to do

[tweet_quote hashtags=”#womeninbusiness” ]Overestimate, rather than underestimate, the costs for setting up[/tweet_quote]. Ensure you have enough money for living expenses for at least six months —a year is better — and make sure that there is always money in your account. This way you will not only always have a backup, but will be able to take the occasional business risk, and call the occasional bluff if somebody is trying to pressure you.

Value Yourself

It’s tempting to price yourself low to get a start in the field. And certainly, pricing yourself too high is not going to generate business. But don’t run the risk of undermining your worth— if you don’t seem to value your service or product, your potential customers won’t either.

What to do

Be sure of yourself and know your worth. Don’t price yourself out of the market before you even start. Charge what you are worth. No more, no less.

It Takes 10 Years

As the saying goes, it takes 10 years to become an overnight success. It’s absolutely true. Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t ‘made it’ in the first year or even five years. Others make look like they are succeeding (although this isn’t always the case) but their success is irrelevant.

What to do

Know that you have to ‘play the long game’. And [tweet_quote hashtags=”#womeninbusiness” ]don’t measure your success by using the success of others as a yardstick[/tweet_quote]. You should only be concerned with your journey. Keep your goals and aims firmly in mind.

While it may be difficult, you will know you did everything you could to become successful, even if there were some key pieces of information that others didn’t let you in on.


About Amanda Rose

Founder of The Business Woman Media. Amanda Rose is also the only 'strategic connector', a brand strategist, keynote speaker and host of Amanda Rose TV. Connect with Amanda Rose on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or visit

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