What people don’t tell you about small business


Article by Jane Tweedy, Business Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre

People often enter small business with rose coloured glasses on. They don’t realise how much goes into running a small business and can be overwhelmed. Let’s look at some things that may surprise new small business owners.

You work 80 hours to avoid working 40 for someone else. Too many think they can start their small business as a ‘side hustle’ to their day job. For many that time when to cut the day job that is often funding their small business venture, can be a tricky decision. What you lose in hours, you do often gain in flexibility. You can stop to see little Johnny’s swimming carnival, and to many, this is priceless.

You ARE the business

When you first start out, typically you do everything. You are the IT department, accounts, marketing, product development… the list goes on. This can be extremely overwhelming for new business owners who have no idea how to prioritise and with the sheer volume of work to be done. Remember this phase is a phase. Sure you’ll have new problems, but it is something that you will get past. The reason this occurs, is because we often want to start our businesses with minimal budgets which force us to do everything.

We can’t do everything

Which leads to the next problem, we can’t do everything. We’re not superhuman, although we sometimes like to think we are! We need to make sure that we reach out and ask for help. Business Connect Advisors like me are a great starting point for this, because you get four hours business advice at no cost, so there are no excuses!

People ex corporate particularly, have built up in their minds a stigma. They can think they’re a failure if they don’t know about what appears to be something so basic in their business. You need to remember you were a tiny niche provider in a big pool with plenty of other support. You are now your niche you’re excellent at, plus everything else in your business. This can be incredibly challenging for people to get through.


Money makes the world go round, and unfortunately when we start there isn’t a lot of it to go round. Therefore it is crucial to spend your money wisely and not just sign up for everything that looks awesome for your business.

Some things we can do easily ourselves like set up a Google My Business listing, other things are more complicated, and are where we need to spend our money.

Recently, I realised how difficult it is now for small business owners to get finance, even for properties. Some banks don’t take into account income from trusts. Make sure you’ve paid yourself as an employee, because the trust money can be completely ignored in your serviceability calculations as far as a bank is concerned.

The other issue is they usually require 2-3 years of track record in your business, so don’t expect to refinance properties in the first three years of having your business. Make sure you set yourself up financially before you commence.

Choosing a location for your business

When starting out for most, working from home is the right option. Rent is a large overhead cost and they also often want to see financials to make sure you can pay.

Running a small business can be very lonely, particularly if you are doing it from home. This is where it is important to join networking groups and consider using a co-working hub as a way of meeting others ‘at the office’. 97.5% of all businesses in Australia are small, so there are plenty of others to share with.

Business Connect

Western Sydney Business Centre, offers 4 hours business advice at NO COST with a NSW Government funded Business Connect Advisor. We can talk about any concerns with your business, and the overwhelm you may be facing. Please book here now!