Starting a business is often the biggest — and sometimes the scariest — decision an individual can make. Should you take the leap of faith, leave behind a steady paycheck and make your own path?
Yes, there are risks. But there are some huge benefits to business ownership, which is why so many people are doing it. Not every business owner is the same, but it’s likely that they all had similar reasons for starting a business.
Following Your Passion
Most entrepreneurs start their own business because they want to do what they love. Maybe you have a favorite hobby that you can turn into a successful business. Maybe you love helping other people and want to build a business around that. Maybe you love what you’re already doing, but know you could do it better than your current employer. Maybe you just love business ownership and you don’t care what kind of business it is.
Business owners find their passion and go for it. Passion is what drives them during the dark days—and helps them to see the light ahead.
Be Your Own Boss
When you own a business, you are the boss. You make the decisions about which clients you want to serve, which projects you want to tackle, whom you want to hire (or fire), what vendors you want to use and everything in between. You set goals for your business based on your passion, your values and the lifestyle you wish to lead.
It is both true and false that business ownership allows you more flexibility in your schedule. Yes, when you own the business,
you must always be available for a client, employee or crisis.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be in the office. Many business owners find that they can be at soccer practice in the afternoon and still make it to a client dinner or finish writing that big proposal in the evening. If you’re not a morning person, you may choose to start and end your day later. If you have young children, you may be able to take your kids to school, make dinner for them and then finish your work after they go to bed.
The ability to work where you want is another benefit. Do you want to be able to work from home? Do you want an office that’s close to home? Do you want an office location in a business-friendly municipality that offers better tax incentives? You can decide where you want to work based on your personal and business goals.
At the end of the day, business owners know that they are in it to make money. Does this mean that you’re going to become a multimillionaire because you own a business? Not necessarily, and that may not even be your goal. Maybe you simply want to generate a good income for yourself and your familiy to have the lifestyle you couldn’t get at a corporate job. It may be your goal to generate enough wealth to provide your employees with the income they need to support their families. Or you might desire to build so much wealth that you can exit your business and start a new adventure—whether that’s a plush retirement or a new business venture.
Give Back to the Community
This is certainly the altruistic or “feel good” side of business ownership. Not only are you an economic driver who creates jobs and pays taxes, but you are also a neighbor, volunteer and consumer.
Remember, you are the boss, and you get to decide how you spend your time and money. Business owners can choose to do business locally and support their community’s economy. They can choose to donate their time (and their employees’ time) to help local charities. Business owners also can choose to give away some of their wealth to build up the community around them.
There are a lot of reasons why someone would choose to start their own small business. If you’re a prospective entrepreneur, the most important thing is to understand why small business ownership is right for you.