Years ago, when I got into opening my first business (my salon), I had this romantic vision of what it would be like. Nothing but long vacations, 3 hour work days, lunch meetings with rose & big bucks in our bank accounts.
Boy was I wrong.
Not to say that all of those aren't a possibility and don't happen, but they certainly don't happen over night. Here are some of the things I wish I would have known before I opened my first business.
1) You will work more than you ever have in your life to get your baby off the ground. I am talking 7 days a week, 14-18 hour days, dreaming about your space when you sleep. You will eat, sleep, and breath and do everything in your power to make sure your business is a success. THIS IS NORMAL. This is all part of of your journey. It will all be worth it in the end. As time goes on, and you start to set up systems to run your business effectively, your extra time and energy you spent getting things going in the beginning will be reduced.
2) It will cost you more than you planned. There will ALWAYS be unexpected expenses. Especially if you are doing a build. Whether it be permits, or web design, lawyer fees, expenses you imagined didn't even exist will pop up. Make a part of your opening budget include the "unexpected expenses". This will allow you a small cushion for when these things come up, so you don't have to panic and wonder where the money is going to come from. Also a quick FYI for you: a write off doesn't mean you get a big tax return and end up with a wad of cash. It means you have SPENT money on your business and don't have to pay tax on it... Which is still good, But just be ready for that. Don't learn that lesson the hard way like I did
3) You will shed some clients.... So, I know your thinking, Shaleen... NOT A CHANCE... I have built up a loyal clientele and they have stuck with me for years, no way they are leaving me. Hear me out. You will retain a good amount of your clients, you will keep your foundation, but, you will lose some too. You are in the process of BIG growth right now, and that doesn't mean everyone is ready to make those big moves with you. Your new space may be too busy, too quiet, too trendy, not trendy enough, or just not quite the right fit. You know that whole " it's not you its me" breakup? Its gonna happen. Good news is, ITS OK. This will allow room for the clients and guests you are growing into.
4) Its going to be scary as F*%$. A wise woman once told me "If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough". Growth is scary, it's uncomfortable, it hurts, and it leaves you with some growing pains from time to time. This is 100% Normal. I want you to know that you have the opportunity to for success. It will all be worth it in the end.