Starting a business on Staten Island, or elsewhere, isn’t for the faint of heart, despite the rewards.
Whether you anticipate running a new venture from your home in Westerleigh or Tottenville, or plan on working from a commercial space in Bloomfield or New Dorp – regardless of the location, there will be challenges that you – and your family – will need to adjust to.
“The responsibility of starting a business, and the road ahead, effects not only the entrepreneur, but close friends and family, as well,” said Certified Business Mentor John Amodio, chairman of SCORE Staten Island. “It’s wise to anticipate common difficulties in advance of venturing into business ownership, so you can be better equipped to handle them.”
To help you more easily transition into the brave new world of entrepreneurship, Amodio advises keeping the following realities in mind as you prepare to start your business:
MONEY WILL BE TIGHT:
AT FIRST, INCOME MIGHT BE UNPREDICTABLE
Without a steady paycheck coming from an employer, you might find it challenging to keep up with expenses, both professionally and personally.
When you’re starting out, revenue from your business will take time to ramp up. It takes time to build a network of connections and clients.
LIFESTYLE WILL CHANGE:
YOU MAY NEED TO FOREGO SOME LUXURIES
Prepare to make some personal sacrifices when self-employed. A daily caramel latte and Friday dinners out at your favorite five-star restaurant probably won’t be in the budget for a while.
DISTRACTIONS WILL ABOUND:
WORKING FROM HOME REQUIRES DISCIPLINE
If you decide to run your business from an office in your home, you’ll face a whole new set of distractions that can threaten your productivity.
Tuning out the personal to-do list and spontaneous requests from friends to meet up for coffee during the workday demand concentration — and the strength to say “no.”
TIME WILL BE DEMANDED:
EXPECT TO WORK VERY HARD
Starting a small business requires a significant amount of time and effort. Many new entrepreneurs find themselves working harder – and for longer hours – than when they worked for an employer.
GUIDANCE WILL BE NEEDED:
REACH OUT FOR EXPERT ADVICE
Finding ways to maintain a comfortable balance between work and life might be challenging in the beginning, but it’s necessary for the well-being of you, your family, and your business. The more efficiently your business operates, the better the chances of successfully managing your time.
“One of the ways to enhance the likelihood of maintaining a comfortable balance between work and life is to have the support of experts who can guide you along your business path,” Amodio said. “Providing cost-free confidential mentoring is just one way SCORE Staten Island can help transform your dream of small business success into a reality that benefits you and those in your life who are most important to you.”
To increase your ability to succeed, SCORE Staten Island recommends you consider the creation of a business development board. Such groups are comprised of legal, accounting, banking, and industry experts who agree to provide pro bono guidance as you begin. SCORE mentors, with their breadth of experience, are often willing to serve in this way.
Also consider talking with other entrepreneurs on Staten Island who have walked the same path and can offer valuable insight and experience about the realities of entrepreneurship.
About SCORE Staten Island
SCORE Staten Island is dedicated to fostering a vibrant small-business community within its New York City borough by providing cost-free education and confidential mentoring to both aspiring and established entrepreneurs. Headquartered at 950 West Fingerboard Road, Grasmere, in the iconic Staten Island Advance Building, the organization is Chapter 476 of the nationwide SCORE, a nonprofit association and resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). For additional information, or to schedule an appointment, SCORE Staten Island may be visited at https://statenisland.score.org; telephoned at 718-727- 1221; emailed at info@SCORESI.org, and visited on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SCOREofStatenIsland.