St. Cloud was recently recognized for being high on the list of best small U.S. cities to start a business. Before you decide to open a business, you might want to keep these things in mind.

I've owned a few businesses in the past. Some did well, some not so much. Owning your own company is a double-edge sword that has its benefits, but also can turn you grey very quickly. Even with that being the case, a recent study showed that starting our own business is the #1 "life goal" we wish we'd accomplished.

If you've ever owned a business then you know it's not all glitz and glamour. When pieces fall in the right places and great opportunities arise it can be so fun and exciting. Unfortunately that generally doesn't happen right away and the first couple years can be tough. Even if you try to start your own company in the St. Cloud area, since it IS so friendly to starting a business, there are some things you need to know that only people who've done this before would know.

You can rarely take time off

A lot of people assume it's easier, since you don't have a boss. But that's not usually the case, especially early on in the life of the company. Long days and burning the midnight oil are constant for the first couple years, including on the weekends and holidays.

No longer a steady paycheck

There's a ton of work to do before you even officially are "open for business", and that all goes unpaid. Your savings will take a hit while you try to grow your business, and you likely won't see a dime of income for yourself -- in the name of the business needs coming first.

You need to be a 'Jack of all trades'

Every piece of the business has to be setup from scratch, and the person doing most of it is YOU. It doesn't matter what type of business, you need to setup the legal stuff, marketing plan, computers and software, accounting...basically everything!

Family time gets set aside

You might try to make it a point to carve out time with your family, but the business is your living and 24 hours a day you are on call. You may be physically spending time with your family, but mentally you're always thinking about your business and the struggles/solutions that are going on. Conversations seem to always lean toward the company as well. It's very stressful to say the least, and you need to have a spouse that's on-board with you, just as excited for it as you are.

Every one of the things listed above are reality of starting a business, and by no means glamorous. If you put your heart and soul into your company it's likely to pay off for you, hopefully very well! Not all business owners are rich, with most of them constantly up and down on the financial aspect. So next time you run into a business owner around St. Cloud, consider how hard working they are and how important it is to work with them locally. I know they would sure appreciate it!

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