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Advice from a small business owner

Make your dream come true
Make your dream come true

If you’ve lost your job at one point during the past four years or so and still haven’t found one you really like, maybe you’re considering starting up your own small business. If so, I would like to impart a few suggestions based on my own experience.

Seventeen years ago, I retired from teaching in Chicago and found I couldn’t afford to live there on a teacher’s pension. So I scouted around for an affordable corner of the country to transplant myself and my humble belongings to. Voila. Louisville, Kentucky.

Upon making the decision to move there, I found a house I loved and decided to turn it into a bed and breakfast. Voila again. I was now an inn keeper. It’s been almost eighteen years and yes, I’m still here. But wait a minute. Am I here because I love it so much or because I’m locked in and can’t get out? You guessed it.

I’m locked in. And I did it to myself by knowing nothing about business, specifically the bed and breakfast business, when I opened . Like many of the guests who come to my inn, I thought it would be a fun thing to do.

So why am I locked in? It started when I bought the business. I didn’t have any of the following “do not start a business without“ things:

  • Adequate start up money
  • A business plan
  • An understanding of how to start and run a small business
  • A working understanding of the bed and breakfast industry
  • Past experience in or knowledge of like or related businesses

I’m a risk taker, a workaholic, and a very positive thinker These attributes have gotten me through the past seventeen years. But, because of little understanding of what I was doing at the onset I made poor choices and am now locked in during a bad economy, not likely to refinance, saddled with credit card debt, and unable to sell my business. I have a plan to get out from under but it will take time. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Know what you’re getting into.

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