Owning a small business is not just another job. It’s a totally different lifestyle. You have to ask yourself whether you’re ready for a complete commitment to the success of your business. Just as importantly, if you are in a relationship, you should ask your partner whether he or she is completely committed to supporting you in your efforts.
As a small business owner, you’re going to have less time for your personal life and you’ll probably be using much of what you own as collateral to raise money for the business. If you are willing to make those sacrifices, then let’s move on to some of the advantages and disadvantages of owning your own business.
- You have the chance to make a lot more money than you can make working for someone else.
- You’ll be your own boss and make the decisions that are crucial to your business’s success or failure.
- You may be the boss of other people.
- You’ll have job security — no one can fire you.
- You’ll have the chance to put your ideas into practice.
- You may participate in every aspect of running a business.
- You’ll learn more about every aspect of a business and gain experience in a variety of disciplines.
- You’ll have the chance to work directly with your customers.
- You’ll be able to benefit the local economy, such as by hiring other people to work for you.
- You’ll have the personal satisfaction of creating and running a successful business.
- You’ll be able to work in a field or area that you really enjoy.
- You’ll have the chance to build real retirement value (for example, by selling the business when you retire).
- You’ll have the chance to put down roots in a community and to provide a sense of belonging and stability for your family.
- You may have to take a large financial risk.
- You will probably have to work long hours and may have fewer opportunities to take vacations.
- You may end up spending a lot of your time attending to the details of running a business and less time on those things you really enjoy.
- You may find that your income is not steady and that there are times when you don’t have much income coming in at all.
- You may have to undertake tasks you find unpleasant, such as firing someone or refusing to hire a friend or relative, or collecting receivables.
- You may have to learn many new disciplines, such as filing and bookkeeping, inventory control, production planning, advertising and promotion, market research, and general management.
Specific pros and cons of the home-based business:
- Your startup costs will be lower.
- Your operating costs will be lower than they would be if you were renting space and paying utilities.
- Your commute will be shorter!
- If your location is unimportant to your business, you can theoretically live anywhere and still operate your business.
- You may be more flexible in your schedule if your business can be conducted at your convenience or outside “normal” weekday business hours.
- On the other hand, you’re much more vulnerable to interruptions from family members, neighbors, and door-to-door salespeople.
- You may have trouble attracting qualified employees.
- You may be less accessible to suppliers.
- You may worry about your image and about how it “looks” to work from home. However, with the growing popularity of home businesses, such concerns are becoming far less common.
- You may run out of space at home as your business grows.
Whatever you choose to do, owning and operating a business is exhilarating, thrilling, challenging, highly rewarding, and yes, very difficult. I wish you the absolute best of luck in your launch and operation of a successful business, and will be looking for stories to be written about your incredible company!