Nuts and Bolts: Becoming a Business

by Trish

True, many of us are entrepreneurs. And we run businesses, yes. But there’s a difference between entrepreneurship and business. And it’s a lot of boring stuff.

Profit and loss reports. Marketing plans. Managing vendors, employees, and customers. Handling payroll, handling HR (even just you as the sole employee), taxes, corporate entities, CPAs, lawyers, the list goes on and on.

Entrepreneurs have many of these skills, otherwise, they wouldn’t be entrepreneurs; however,  the difference between an entrepreneur and a business is that with a business you’ve settled on something. You’re going to focus on this certain aspect of your entrepreneurial work in order to make it something bigger–a business.

1. Get good advisors. I rely a lot on my CPA and my lawyer. They keep me legal with taxes and corporate stuff, and are excellent for bouncing ideas off of. I also have an advisory team that cares about my well-being, my work-life balance, and my goals. Nice to have someone to chat with about these things.

2. Go slow and ease the transitions. I remember the year I switched my sole prop status to a corporation. The paperwork (in triplicate), the licenses to fill out, and new bank accounts, the D&B rating drama. I’ve run a business (moving it from entrepreneur status in the late 1990s) since 1995. I incorporated ten years later. Notice I didn’t just run out during the first month and set all this up. I eased into it. Of course, some of you super successful entrepreneurs will need some of this sooner than I did. YMMV. But don’t rush. Set up your business smart.

3. Get help. I outsource more than I used to. In 2008, I worked myself almost to death. Way too much for one person to handle. This year, I outsourced a few things (not the work itself, no, no, no) including some web design, some accounting, even some marketing work. I do not recommend you outsource your paid work as your clients are hiring you not someone else. A lot of my clients ask me about that and I’m always happy to report that no, I do all my own writing and editing. I may not know how to tweak my blog, but that’s okay.

Turning from an entrepreneur into a business owner requires some elbow grease and will provoke a certain amount of stress, for sure. Remember, others have been this way before you and we made it. You can do it too.

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