Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

The Sad Truth About Running a Business

There are a lot of ups and downs in running a business, especially one bootstrapped like ours. It’s not easy learning how to scrape and fend for ourselves as incredibly young entrepreneurs. But our determination has gotten us through the tougher stages in our life. There are a few things we’ve learned along the way though, that we want to share with other up-and-coming and prospective entrepreneurs.

Here are 4 sad truths about running a business.

1. Money doesn’t come easy.

Finding customers is not easy, ever. Even if all of your friends say they’d use your service or buy your product, the truth is, they’re lying since they probably don’t have money to spend just to support you, and relying on your friends is a fool’s game since they’re not going to help you get to your first $1,000.

2. Marketing doesn’t come easy either.

Customer acquisition isn’t as easy as pumping money into marketing and seeing sales. You have to consider your costs, your revenue, and profitability, plus if there’s a payback period included, and how you can budget expenses to manage cashflow. This isn’t beginners stuff either.

3. Finding good team members who will be dedicated and can scale is tough.

We got lucky in finding each other to create the core team and build a sustainable brand. But finding more people to jump on board with the vision hasn’t been easy and it will continue to be difficult. My advice is to hire carefully, and never jump the gun.

4. You may never get funded.

We’ve thought about getting funding several times, and have been poached by investors too, but even with all that relationship building, you may never get the funds you want because it wouldn’t make sense from an investor’s standpoint unless it was a fact that their money would turn into a sizable return. Betting on an idea and a somewhat competent team isn’t the safest bet for investors.

Danny Wong is the co-founder of Blank Label Group, running all marketing campaigns for brands BL, TT and RC. He’s also a blogger at HuffPo, TNW and RWW.