Whilst start up schemes are great for getting the nuts and bolts of your business in place, on a personal level nothing will prepare you for the social and economic effects going it alone will have on your life. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with telling it like it is, and two years in it’s time I added my perspective as a ‘single, white, female’. So welcome to my cynics guide to running your own business.
Not all business start ups need a lot of space. But the chances are if you are an emerging business owner you will be living your life on a shoestring to some extent. And that is likely to include sharing your home with other bill payers to keep things cheap.
If you’re the kind of start up that just needs an office desk this isn’t going to be difficult. But if you are a business that manufactures or needs stock, this will become an issue at some point. You might need a whole other room in which to work, something you won’t find in your average houseshare without having to pay full rent on it. And with the ‘pack em in’ nature of money hungry landlords, rooms are tight on space at the best of times.
Whilst income is low and unpredictable you need to keep your outgoings down and with the unpredictability of income comes the chaos of regular bill payments. If you commit yourself to more than you know you can earn this will spell trouble especially if you have no financial back up to see you through lean times. So you try to keep things as streamlined as possible. But you know what, that business will grow in size and maybe faster than your ability to upsize your living space.
Generally noone asks how you are going to fit all this stuff into one room and unless you’re some kind of weird clutter lover, this kind of compact living will stress you out and impact your business and personal life. As a reformed hoarder of sorts I know what a circle of descent this is.
If you are living with a partner you’ll get a lot more leyway, but if you’re in that no man’s land between start up and turning a profit you need to find a way to live in that transitional state until you reach the milestone. Except that milestone can take up to five years to appear.
Most cities will have the option of self storage, rentable office space and perhaps reasonably sized studio flats. But if like me you live in a place that doesn’t have these options or likes to up the price on them because of the limited size of the town, hijacking someone’s garage or unused shed might be your only salvation from the clutter.
Try to ensure that your working space at least, is good for your psyche. If you dread another work day in the same tiny room and have no contact with the outside world, it will affect your ability to do your job effectively.
Next time: Money