How to decide if you want to own a small business

Running a small business may appear to be a dream job, but there’s a lot of work involved.

Owning a small business is a dream shared by many people. You get to be your own boss, have total control and freedom over your work life, and make a lot more than you would working for someone else. But oftentimes people don’t understand the many negatives involved with running your own business. The long hours, the stressful conditions, and in many cases the poor pay. That’s why a large number of starting businesses fail, because people don’t take the proper amount of time to decide if it’s right for them.

One major positive to owning a small business is that you can work how and when it’s convenient for you. If you’re a person who enjoys working late during the night, you can decide only to work then, and likewise, if you’re the type who wakes up at the crack of dawn ready for the day. Or if you like, you can balance your work schedule to be flexible. The same convenience is there when deciding how you want to work. If you’d like to focus your attention on management skills, you can hire employees to do the manual labor. You can hire a manager and simply oversee the operations. Or you can try to go it alone and be a jack-of-all-trades. When, where, and how you work is entirely your choice.

And since you’re the boss, you have the final choice in making decisions for your business. You decide if you want to sell a service or a product, what that service or product will be, how you want to promote it to the public, how much you want to charge, where you want to work from, etc.. This is often overlooked, but having total control is one of the best aspects of being the owner. It’s also one of the most stressful because it requires a lot of responsibility, but again it’s up to you how you want to handle that responsibility.

Probably the number one reason why people want to open their own business is money. While it’s true that being the owner of a successful business can be extremely profitable, and oftentimes make someone a millionaire, that’s not always the case. But if one is willing to work long hours to take the time to study and plan for the future of their business, then it’s very possible to make a good living. It’s difficult to figure out the average income for business owners because some are extremely successful while many fail, but in no other field of work is the potential income so high.

Don’t expect to become rich overnight however. Starting or buying a business requires a large amount of startup money, oftentimes in the hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. While it’s true you can begin on the smallest of scales, working part time out of your home even, growing into a large successful business is a long shot without the proper funds. And since most business don’t start showing a profit for the first year or two, you need to have enough income or savings to live off of for that time. And after that income may still be scarce for several more years.

Of course if you want to make any money at all your business has to be successful first, and that requires a tremendous amount of work. It’s not uncommon for a small business owner to work sixty or more hours a week, oftentimes doing stressful or monotonous work. The amount of decisions and details involved are staggering. Everything from hiring employees to deciding the proper ways to spend your budget, every aspect of the job is the owner’s responsibility at one point or another. And even though these responsibilities can be delegated to others, it’s almost always a much more expensive choice and one that’s not even available for starting businesses. The freedoms of running a business come with this hefty price.

If you’re interested in starting or buying your own small business, you should take into account all the ups and downs of the job. Weigh the good against the bad and decide which is right for you. You may value the amount of freedom you can gain owning your own business, or you may be more comfortable with the stability of a regular job. Running a small business can be a very rewarding and profitable experience. Just be sure you’re ready for the work.

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