Starting Your Own Business: Inspiration and Perspiration
Simone Ravicz, Ph.D., MBA
The reasons for deciding to become a small business owner are varied. Much thought should be given to take this challenging route. It typically requires hours of hard work and varied risks but the pay-off can be sweet…
It is surprising that many people who decide to start their own businesses are not completely clear on their intent. This is a major move and must be subject to a great deal of thought and exploration.
The truth is there are a number of reasons people decide to start their own businesses. The number one reason people choose to open up their doors is for the money.
They expect they can do better when they go it on their own. While every once in a while a small business takes off quickly, the truth is that patience is key. Over the long run, individuals are likely to make more money than they will working for others but this does not mean they will necessarily become rich. The long run is an accurate descriptor because approximately 80% of small businesses expire within 18 months.
Another frequent reason for starting a small business is for the flexibility it appears to offer in terms of time. The reality is that if you choose to pursue this route, you are most likely to be working many more hours than you would be working for a typical company. Many individuals planned to have more time to spend on themselves and their family; such is often not the case as long as they’re directly involved in running the business.
An “if-y” reason for starting one’s own business is for better job security. It is true that the disparity between job security in working for oneself and that of working for a company has narrowed. As most people now realize, the job security which often accompanied working for a large or well-established company has greatly lessened. People do have the sense, however, that they are more in control over keeping their jobs when they are working for themselves.
This may well be accurate, especially if the individual has the knowledge and resources to reduce the risk of going the small business route.
Another reason, to which I can personally relate, is that some people prefer working for themselves. While many people are fine with having others direct and instruct them as to what to do and how to do it, others far prefer being in the driver’s seat.
One danger associated with this arises when the company is growing at a quick clip and the owner finds himself or herself overwhelmed being the director of marketing, the CFO, the administrative assistant, and so on. At this point, the owner needs to be able to loosen up on the reins and delegate some of the functions to employees or independent contractors.
A final factor supporting embarking on the small business owner path is the desire to build something for oneself and even to leave a legacy. Small business owners have the opportunity to pursue something for which they have a passion and which they find meaningful. They do not identify with having a job so much as with having a purposeful calling. While it can prove difficult, a business owner can feel his or her business is something into which he or she can pour heart and soul. The business can then become a gift of caring and value to those who follow.