When it comes to starting your own business, the first psychological hurdle is the statistics. According to the Small Business Administration, one-half of new businesses survive at least five years and one-third survive at least ten years.
With that in mind, let’s look at the positive side of starting your own business. Here are ten reasons to consider striking out on your own -- in no particular order.
1. You’ve Got A Better Answer
The Silicon Valley is littered with companies that created new technologies and products that no one had ever seen before. While it doesn’t take a revolutionary invention to start your business, it helps if you can easily differentiate your product or service from the competition. Make it better, do it better, and offer it at a reasonable price.
2. You Offer Something That Is In Demand
Great skills and great products are always in demand. Specialized knowledge and experience can be sold to people who don’t have either. Unique, quality products will stand out in a market filled with other choices. You have to provide customers with bottom line value that will stimulate and capture their demand, and keep them coming back for more. You can use your small size and nimbleness to react to changing consumer preferences and anticipate future demand shifts.
Being your own boss has a very attractive ring to it, especially if you’ve worked for bosses who never measured up to your expectations. While there’s no shortage of risks in running your own company, it’s your baby and you make the decisions that control your destiny. You’ll trade the comfort and security of your old job for the ability to call your own shots and secure financial independence.
4. Follow Your Passion
You probably know people who really enjoy their work and they’re the envy of everyone. Many of them followed their passion and were fortunate enough to land a job that was a perfect fit, or they started their own business. A huge chunk of your life is spent on the job, so as Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
5. Personal Challenge
Every day will be filled with new challenges and experiences. It will require you to learn on the fly, be creative in your approach to solving problems, and learn to work effectively with all kinds of people. You’ll overcome those challenges and learn many things the hard way. In the process, you’ll gain tremendous confidence in yourself that will carry over into your personal life. You’ll be forced to be dynamic and innovative in your thinking and decision-making.
6. Personal Reward
What attracts many new business owners is that they’ll reap the reward for their hard work, not their bosses. In theory, there’s no upper limit to how much money you can make with your own business. You make the decisions and live with the consequences. Many people thrive when they know their future rests on their shoulders alone, and it takes that kind of mindset and perseverance to be successful.
7. Pride and Satisfaction
There’s a tremendous sense of satisfaction and accomplishment derived from creating something out of nothing. Those feelings are a huge motivating force driving those who decide to apply their skills, ideas and leadership abilities to a completely new enterprise.
Building a successful business and watching it grow is an extremely rewarding experience that you can’t get any other way. It’s always a thrill to see loyal customers return time and again to support your brand when they have many other choices.
8. Set the Agenda
While there will be long hours and canceled days off, you’re in control of how, when and where you work. Many small businesses start out in the home or garage and never leave. It’s your choice to grow or maintain the business based on your lifestyle and family needs.
Running your own company offers you choices that aren’t available to the average employee. You’ll have the flexibility to set priorities and make decisions that will determine the nature, volume and schedule of the work you’ll be doing.
9. People Connection
When you work for a company, you usually interact with the same group of people every day. Owning a business is a completely different experience. The universe of people you’ll deal with will include suppliers and customers that may number in the hundreds or thousands. You’ll learn how to deal effectively with all types of people and you’ll prosper through the personal connections you routinely make. You can surround yourself with any number of positive, talented people you really want to work with.
10. Community Support
Small businesses have contributed immensely to the growth, culture and stability of the local communities they serve. Customers patronize these businesses and the businesses take great pride in giving back to the communities that support them. This mutual support extends far beyond the millions of jobs that have been created by these businesses. Thousands of youth sports teams, charities and other organizations have benefited immensely from their sponsorship and association with small businesses nationwide.
These are just some of the many reasons for starting your own business. While it definitely has its positive side, it’s not for everyone. It takes an entrepreneurial spirit, hard work, grit, determination and a willingness to take risks.
Put together a brutally honest, objective, pro-and-con list and talk it over with people you trust. Most of all, trust your own instincts.