For those of you contemplating or already in the process of forming a startup, you know your reasons are multiple. But have you taken the time to honestly assess why you want to start your own business? My article is meant as a tool to help you identify and assess your unique motivators and purposes. Your answers will form the basis for your corporate mission.
A guest writer for Entrepreneur Magazine, Jason DeMeyers, recently listed 50 reasons for starting your own business. Of course, anyone can start a business for any reason. But what are some of the most common “valid” reasons? And what are some misconceptions regarding them?
Here are my top ten “picks” from the Entrepreneur list with my corresponding comments:
Be Your Own Boss. No one can tell you what to do or how to do your job. If entrepreneurs are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that being our own boss is part of our DNA. This is who we are. We are wired to set our own goals, determine our own paths and rise or fall by our own decisions. But before you start your own business you should keep in mind that the best entrepreneurs know how to serve their customers. The client is king and our boss! If our business isn’t filling a need and putting the customer first – we won’t be successful.
Flexibility: Work your own hours.
Yes, it’s true that a startup business owner can expect to work your own hours. But be prepared that “your hours” will often be late into the night, over the weekends, and non-stop throughout the day. Expect to work many more hours than your salaried or hourly job. A true entrepreneur is prepared to put in whatever time is needed to get the business off the ground, (or to take the business to the next level…and the next). Just make sure that your family is aware ahead of time that it could be years before your schedule will allow more time with them.
Pursue your passion: Do what makes you happy. This is actually one of my definitions of success: To be able to pursue your passion and get paid for doing it! Of course, the second half of this equation is the most difficult to assure. Sometimes our passions can distort our vision of the feasibility of making a good profit. If you are not knowledgeable in business and finance you will want to get professional help to create a business plan that is grounded in reality. If it isn’t realistic to start your own business at this time, consider pursuing your passion in your free time while you raise the required capital, learn the needed business skills and get legal advice.
Work from anywhere. Work from home, an office or a beach if you so choose. This indeed is a tremendous advantage of a startup business. Some opt to remain a one-man-show so that they can continue to eliminate the overhead, commute and hassle of obtaining office/business space. However, once you have employees the options for location narrow.
Have more job stability. Never worry about being laid off or fired. So true. No one can fire you. But stability? The bank can call the loan. The vendor can suddenly raise its prices. Sales might not materialize. A competitor can put you out of business. Most would say that being in business for yourself is far riskier than the possibility of being fired. If you’re looking primarily for security, perhaps a startup is not the best option.
Make more money. If you want a pay raise, you can give yourself one. Owners of a startup companies have been known to forgo any salary until the business is making enough profit. Their first concern is meeting the payroll and paying the bills; whether or not the owner is paid. The business owner dedicates her time and treasure in the calculated risk that it will pay off in time. She may lose everything. Many do. But with careful planning, hard work and good fortune, she could be well compensated. Nothing ventured…. nothing gained.
Reach your dreams/ Find pride and fulfillment. Many people can reach their dreams and find fulfillment working for someone else. But for those whose dream is having their own business, there is much fulfillment in the challenge.
The Bottom Line is the Bottom Line
Whatever your combination of reasons; altruism, satisfaction, and/or financial reward, none can be realized without making a profit. This is the bottom line. And this is the underpinning of any business. While it might not sound lofty to the starry-eyed, the purpose of a business is first to make a profit. Being profitable serves every other possible reason you have for starting and succeeding in your business. The bottom line is the bottom line.
For more information on how to legally protect your business please pick up a copy of my bestselling book: ‘Go Legal Yourself’ on Amazon or visit my website at GoLegalYourself.com.