Now there’s a question that has been answered in a million different ways. Here’s my take:
Most small businesses fail because owners overextend their personal payroll. They pay themselves too much when the first few checks start coming in. Now some may argue that “No, if you don’t have a good product or have poor management skills, that will doom a company.” While this is true, I believe staying conservative in your payroll can buy you time to learn anything, be it improving/changing your product, and learning better management skills.
Robert (my partner) and I don’t pay ourselves as much as we could. We’ll start once we are sure the company has hit the growth stage and we can cover all our expenses over an extended period.