Every business face problems and struggles sooner or later. As a fresh entrepreneur, I don’t have much experience. Of course, I got my educational background but starting off a business in real life is different than reading about it in books. Especially because I’m doing it with my girlfriend that doesn’t have any experience either. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have a partner or “mentor” to help me with it. But that would also take away the excitement out of it. It’s fun to explore unknown and learning on the way.
Of course, some of the struggles came out sooner than I expected. Let’s jump right to it but first, catch up with the introduction to my business if you haven’t yet.
1. Exchange rate misunderstanding?
I think this one is so far the biggest problem I had. As I’m importing from another country there must be currency exchange. I chose all the products I want to import and did my calculations. After that, I sent the order to my partner and he wrote me following,
I don’t know how you calculated the exchange rate, but I’ve been using another rate for a while now with my other partners.
He also sent me his calculation and I was supposed to pay 10% more because he decided to use 2 years old rate. I was shocked! I was pretty sure that you need to calculate the rate at the time of a transaction and not peg old rate. I was confused, and I did some research. I was right. That left me with two things on my mind – either my partner is trying to rip me off or they simply don’t know how it works.
I already created the company, I opened business account and my girlfriend has been working on the webpage for over a month at the time. I was just hoping they’re not trying to rip me off as it would mean all this was done for nothing.
I sent them an email that day, saying that their calculations are incorrect, and this is not the way to do business. I also told them that I don’t have a good feeling about it. That was in the evening and I could barely sleep that night because it was constantly on my mind.
Next day I got an email from my partner, apologizing and explaining that they didn’t know the correct way of calculating it. I was relieved, but I’m still not sure if it was a mistake or trying to take advantage of me as they know I don’t have much experience.
Anyways, this was resolved, and we keep going!
2. Creating a business bank account
Oh. My. God. I wouldn’t have guessed that would be a problem. It took around one month! I had to apply, and wait… Then I called them several times because I wanted to speed things up. Didn’t help anything. After 2 weeks I received a call from the bank that they need to see my business plan and budget. I was so surprised they asked me for that but fine… I sent them the documents they wanted and then they let me wait another two weeks until I finally got my business account.
When you think about it it’s ridiculous. They know they got a monopoly and they know that everybody needs a business account if they want to run a business. So, they just let you wait…
I don’t want this article to be a rant about banks, but I really hate dealing with them. That’s why I hope that banking on blockchain will become a thing. We need to get rid of those institutions that practically ‘legally’ steal or should I say reinvest your funds to make profits…
Anyways, enough of this rant. You get the point. Now I got my account opened and I hope to interact with them as little as possible.
3. Tax authorities
I have a really hard time deciding who’s more incompetent – people in banks or tax authorities. I had some accounting at my university, but I still had some questions. I was mostly interested in a VAT and how it works. I will not go through details, but I called them around 10 times and they were unable to answer my questions.
It was a circle of “I’m not sure” or “I will connect you to another department” answers. Luckily, in the end, they set up a meeting for me. All in all, it took me almost two weeks to figure it out and I’m not even 100% sure I got it right.
I haven’t even started yet and there are already problems. It’s not “end of the world” kind of problems but it’s frustrating. It’s fine though. I knew it will not be easy. It’s exciting and I’m looking forward to the next challenges. Well, hopefully, it will bring more joy than struggles after some time.
What are your experiences with banks, tax authorities and generally entrepreneurship? Let me know in the comment section.