Figure 1. source
According to the statistics published by the Australian government, the small business share of total employment across industries was 44% in June 2017. This is a smaller percentage when compared to the one recorded in June 2009 (46%). The fall results from the growth of medium-sized and big enterprises. But in my experience, I realized it’s because people from Australia don’t like the idea to work for a small business.
I learned that, and much more. My university studies barely tackled the common problems of small businesses. I was left to believe that if I started a company I was passionate about, it would inevitably succeed. But my small business only contributed towards the share of failed startups.
It was a learning experience, to say the least. However, I wish I had learned some of these things when I was a student.
- You Won’t Be a Successful Business Owner without Great Writing Skills
Students know that EduBirdie does assignments for students, so they hire a professional writer to complete the work for them. They can benefit from pro services a lot, but only when they collaborate with the writer. Unfortunately, most students just order the paper, read it once and submit it. Then, they order the next one and the pattern goes on.
Writing is an important skill for a small business owner to have. They will have to write business plans and reports. But no one mentioned the blog posts and daily emails to business partners! I had to take an online writing course to gain basic skills, simply because I ignored university assignments.
- There’s a High Chance of Failure
Did you know that around 20% of small businesses don’t survive their first year? From there on, the number of failed small startups continues to grow. Around half of them won’t reach their fifth year of existence. Only a third of small businesses will survive through a decade.
When you’re encouraged to work on your small business ideas throughout university, no one tells you about the low chances of success. Had I known that; I would’ve prepared better.
- The Market Doesn’t Need Everything
What’s the first lesson you learn at business course? “There’s a customer for every type of product or service.” If you have a clever idea, it will definitely attract an audience.
The problem is that small business owners fall in love with their ideas so much that they don’t see the lack of market need for it.
I would recommend everyone to conduct serious research before launching a small business. Maybe you’re not starting the biggest company in the world, but you still want your idea to succeed. Newbies aren’t skilled enough for a thorough market analysis, so I believe investing in professional market research is a smart thing to do.
- No Business Guide Can Replace Real Experience
Books teach you theory. A small business writing guide will give you practical tips on how to practice. But at the end of the day, it’s all about the practice and experience. Starting a small business with zero experience is not a good idea.
I thought I knew everything about how businesses worked, since that’s what I studied at university. I had no idea of the real environment. I wish I gained more experience as a worker before investing in my own startup.
- Your Private Life Might Fail
When you start a small business, it becomes a top priority. Business tasks started early in the morning, and they were often the only thing I could do throughout the day. If you’re not ready to make such a commitment, you risk business failure. But if you do, your private life will inevitably fail. You won’t have time for friends and family.
The solution is to hire more people and delegate tasks, but that’s not always possible at the start. You have to endure!
Students Can Learn Much More
My personal experience with a startup made me realize that students can’t learn everything from books and courses. They need to work in the industry that gets their interest. In addition, I firmly believe that online learning is necessary nowadays. You’ll find relevant courses online. They will teach you the theory, but only the one you need to know. They will also inspire practical work, which will give you an advantage when you start the business.
Small businesses are a big challenge. That’s the most important lesson of all!
BIO: As a freelance writer and blogger, Emma Rundle travels through Australia and explores its nature. Her experience with startups became the major point of her blog posts. Emma strives to inspire people to learn more by the day.