Revealing the harsh reality of starting a profitable business
Wow! There are so many how-to articles you have written. Curious, are you specialized in all of it?
To readers and writers who know me and my work, I don’t like to hold back my punches. I am ruthless but caring when it comes to running a business because the truth about running a side hustle is that it is almost as tough as running a business. That’s why I don’t believe in guru sharing their side hustle as “easy” money. If it was that easy, everyone would be doing it.
You won’t find any ways of getting rich quickly, you will realize for your business to succeed, many hours a day for years are needed to dedicate to learning something important. A master sushi chef takes years of experience before he is allowed to make sushi. The time he spent in the sushi restaurant as an apprentice is learning to wash rice which he may have to spend up to 5 years honing the craft.
So what makes you think your few hours or months of learning can be equal to his level of dedication?
In this fast-changing world, we are always looking for the next shining object, constantly chasing after them. That’s why there are now so many “Gurus” out there giving you their advice. They don’t even need to show you “real” results. Thanks to the Internet, we can fake our way up to fame.
Iam ending all that, I want people to realize the truth of real hardwork and talent comes slowly but grows rapidly as you give it time. Showing you truly what it takes to run a successful business based on my own company.
Why Most Companies take Years to Build
Most small businesses take at least 2 to 3 years to be profitable and become truly successful once they’ve hit the 7 to the 10-year mark. So it is kind of funny to hear aspiring business owners quit so easily in their business in less than a year or two.
FAKE GURUS will Never Tell you this
The problem with aspiring business owner failing their business isn’t due to their lack of talent or passion. It’s that they all lack the skills that it takes to be a business owner. The skill of a niche content website isn’t just about writing content. For this example, I will be sharing my niche writing business HustleVentureSG. The publication is all about personal finance and side hustle.
I was as confused as many business owners who started their businesses. At that time, all I wanted to do was to write content on personal finance and side hustle because I had a lot to talk about. While the idea of helping others excites me to write, I realize that no one is ever going to read what I write if I don’t make this business do well.
With the money that I got from my full-time job, I build myself a WordPress blog page to start writing. Back in the early days, I would constantly check upon my readership from the day’s work of writing what I love. Unsurprisingly, no one bothered to read.
The problem I had was learning to market myself. I’m an Introvert, which means I hate to start a conversation with others. Your business WILL NEVER WORK if you don’t ever market your product. You need to find a way to pump out your branding. A quality product isn’t going to grow as fast as a cheap product but has good marketing to draw in customers.
There are many forms of marketing and you need to pick the one that suits your business the best. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy like paying $7 million for 30 seconds on a Superbowl commercial. If you plan to market your business, the most easiest and influential marketing you can do right now is word of mouth.
For HustleVentureSG to grow its traffic through marketing, I had to come up with services and showcase my branding to several social media platforms. This next problem is what you will face if you plan to grow your traffic by marketing.
Understanding Burn rate and Time spent
Every time your business is running, it has a cost involved. For myself, It was the cost of running my business on WordPress which costs about $400 per year. That was my burn rate at that time, which is slightly more than $1 a day. Every day that I am not making more than a dollar, I was losing money.
I started pushing on my content on social media pages such as Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. That was what screwed me up in my early days. I was spending too much time on unprofitable outcomes. Time is an expensive commodity that needs to be used with extra caution.
Over the coming days and months, I found ways to build sustainable traffic in my business that doesn’t require lots of time to manage. I even found writers that are willing to write & share their content on HustleVentureSG.
For your business to succeed, you will need to find the best way to keep your business afloat by having a positive cash flow FAST. To me, that was running my side hustle with writing services and social media marketing.
You need money for your business to grow. There is NO FREE MEAL in this world(let me know if you find one😅)! You can’t start a business with a dollar. Finding money to feed your business is the only way to grow it!
For HustleVentureSG to grow, here is what I have spent to grow the business even further:
- Refine the landing page for viewers to have easy and faster access
- Increase traffic to have a higher chance of more earnings from ads and affiliate revenue
- Use my time to groom other writers that have been helping HustleVentureSG
- Use a freelancing site to get recurring clients
When the business is growing faster, aim to find ways to use the cash flow to produce higher returns. That way, your cash flow can increase and grow rapidly.
That said, you need to understand business finance. The perk of starting a business is understanding how your country’s tax code works. Unlike being an employee, the cost of running a business can be easily written off IF the business owner understands how it works and used it to their advantage.
For example, Amazon spent all the companies’ supposedly taxable revenue on Amazon Prime to reduce the tax needed to pay the country. By understanding the tax code, businesses can keep more profits to themselves and be used for other purposes.
Why my Business Succeeds
I now live pretty comfortably as a digital nomad running HustleVentureSG full-time. Although there were many ups and down in running a business. I believe every tough day that requires a heavy decision is what makes a business successful.
Tough decisions are a constant for any business. Whether it is thinking about hiring an employee or firing them. Therefore, every business owner needs to keep in mind the following that was mentioned:
- Marketing yourself
- Understanding burn rate and time management
While it is true there can be many other lessons business owners need to understand. I believe these 4 rules are what keep a business running and making a profit at the end of every year.
At the end of the day, running a business is all about making money. If your business is unable to make any sizable income at the end of a year or two. Do reflect on the cause and what actions to take to turn it into a profit.
And if you are looking to try a side hustle or have started one yourself. Do share it with us and check out HustleVentureSG on Medium!