I recently read a statistic that made me really sad. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 60 percent of small businesses cease operating within the first three years of starting.


There’s a few reasons, but one common reason is that people run out of money. (source)

Over the years I have had many, many aspiring business owners coming to me for branding help, with a small amount of starting capital and plans to quit their jobs and rent office space because they believe that is the only way that their business will be a success.

I strongly advise against doing this unless it really is integral to your business’s success AND you have the capital to sustain the business for 3-5 years.

My husband and I are both self-employed and I believe the key to our success comes down to three factors:

  • We have multiple sources of income, we’re not relying solely on the income from our main business
  • We keep our business costs as low as possible and we intentionally keep our businesses small
  • We follow the Profit First formula

I have my freelance design business and we also have a printing business. In my own business, I work on projects that range from a week to several months, plus I have work that I do on an ongoing basis (some weekly, some monthly and some annually). This means that I have regular income, so if a project has to be postponed or cancelled at the last minute, or I have a quiet month, I don’t have to panic.

When I started my graphic design business 9 years ago, I had a part time job. It was tricky trying to juggle both, and it meant a lot of late nights (it was pretty common for me to be at my day job from 9-5pm and then come home and do freelance work until midnight).

I understand that it can be really hard to juggle a job and a business. And you might say that you NEED to work in your business full time, you NEED retail space and you DON’T have time for a side-hustle, and that’s totally OK. But please go back and read that statistic again:

“more than 60 percent of small businesses cease operating within the first three years of starting”

That’s a really scary statistic right? Maybe they had a bad idea. Maybe they just had no idea what they were doing. But I’ll bet that some of those businesses were amazing, and they could’ve made it if they’d had a bit of extra cash coming in to keep them going just that little bit longer.

Flik Graphic Design