Business is hard. Part 1.

I am behind on my #P52 by a couple weeks so I am going to be catching up over the next few days.

Self help books and thousands of books on the Internet would have you believe that starting and running a business is easy, that it doesn’t take much, and that you will be better off for it. Web based businesses are touted as the ultimate business venture, you can make large sums of money building Web sites and web services for people, because you’ve a book on PHP and MySQL…what else is there to the web?

That is bullshit.

Starting a business is easy, building value is hard, in the State of Utah you simply go to http://business.utah.gov choose your business name, type, and enter the required information. Once you have completed those steps you pay your fees and get your FEIN from a link on their page and you’re set. You have a running business. Now what the hell are you going to do?

Now you, if you believe the hype, start working on your gold mine, Web sites, right…

Chances are you are still working a day job so that you can pay your bills which limits your time working on your own projects so you need to work extra hard if you want your own business to succeed. If you get a couple entry projects chances are you will realize you didn’t know exactly how some integral piece of the project works. If you are extremely unlucky you are also a student, have a family, or both.

Now the problem of time management rears its ugly head: how are you going to spend every moment of your day? There are not enough hours in the day to do what you need to do. Here’s how you might spend a day:

  • 8 – 10 hours at the job that pays the bills
  • 4 hours for school
  • 1 – 2 hours for homework

That is a total of 13 to 16 hours, now add sleep 11 – 8 hours, you haven’t eaten no time has been factored in for commutes or waiting…and you haven’t spent any time with any one other than the people you were in direct contact with at one of the above places. Of course, you will have days off or days without school so there are brief times when you can catch up on things that you are not getting enough of, like sleep or homework time.

How long can you viably sustain this pace? How many days of straight work before you are just too tired to do anything? What about support? If you *have* customers there is going to be a time when they need help or have questions and, if, you get a client from hell you will spend *a lot* of time dealing with his/her issues.

The time table above also doesn’t add any time for your new business or recreation. What do you cut out to make room for everything? What part of your life suffers? Who do you cut-out?

I still don’t know.