Some people know from an early age they were meant to own their own business. Others find themselves starting a business due to life changes (parenthood, retirement, losing a job, etc.). Others may be employed, but are wondering whether the role of business owner/entrepreneur is right for them.
There are a number of benefits to starting a business, but there are also risks that should be evaluated.
The pros of starting a business
There can be many benefits to starting your own business, including:
- Rewards. Not everyone defines reward the same way. For some it might be seeing a new venture grow and succeed. For others it may be conquering the unknown and striking out on their own. However you define reward, starting a new company might hold that promise for you.
- Being your own boss. When you start a business and are self-employed, you are your own boss and ultimately control your own destiny.
- Income. Whether you view starting a business as an economic necessity or a way to make some additional income, you might find it generates a new source of income.
- Flexible hours. Owning your own business is hard work and often requires long, odd hours. In some cases, having your own business may allow you to have more flexible hours. Many stay-at-home parents, for example, choose to become entrepreneurs.
- Purchasing an existing business. While it may not be viewed as “starting” a business, purchasing an existing business has proven beneficial for many business owners—but it undoubtedly requires both financial and time investments. For businesses that are already profitable, these new business owners jump past the true startup phase into running a mature business.
The cons of starting a business
Starting your own business can have many benefits, but keep in mind that not all new businesses succeed. As you consider whether to start a business, you should:
- Assess your strengths and weaknesses. Is self-employment right for you?
- Determine startup costs. Can you meet these on your own or would need to secure a loan or other type of outside financing?
- Research the marketplace. Have you evaluated the competition and considered how your particular business will succeed?
- Outline your business goals. What do you want to accomplish and what will you consider a success?