Starting your own business is not for the faint-hearted.
It requires you to go beyond your comfort zone and sometimes that means trying new things or making risky decisions.
At Ethis, we’ve seen our fair share of businesses and startups—through their highs and their lows—and so we know how stressful it can get to run your own ship!
But running your own business has its own perks, too. If you are ready to take the leap of faith and be the CEO of your own company or the captain of your own ship, then read on!
Here we list down the five solid reasons why you should consider starting your own:
1) Your business serves a need
Your business will fair better if its products or services do serve a need or purpose in the market.
Your business doesn’t necessarily have to disrupt other businesses within your field, but having a disruptive business will give you an edge. It’s completely normal to have multiple peers or competitors within your industry, but it is on you to decide what makes your business stand out from the rest.
Consider asking yourself these questions as a litmus test:
- What are you selling?
- Who does it serve?
- Is the serviceable market big enough?
- How much of this serviceable market can you convert into potential customers?
- Can your product or service evolve over time?
You should ask yourself these questions, and talk to some prospective customers about the feasibility and potential of your business to gauge their interest level.
Your answers will keep you grounded in reality and give you a better understanding of any factors that will affect the success of your business.
2) You have all the resources you need
Businesses require resources to run, and it may take up a chunk of your funds.
Not all businesses will require the same resources to run – some businesses, for example, will require more start up funding compared to others.
For example, a laundromat business and a restaurant will require very different resources. One requires multiple human resources while the other may run without one, but may require more funds for maintenance.
Do your own extensive research and ask related questions to understand your business needs.
- What are the associated costs of running your business?
- How much money are you investing in your business and how much is the burn rate?
- Do you have enough money to account for unforeseen problems; a well-thought-out contingency plan, competitors etc.?
For many entrepreneurs, close friends and family are typically the best support system they have. Many eventually partner up with them or persuade them to invest money in your new business.
Having a strong network of supporters is a crucial source of backup, especially when times are tough. This network could also become your first few customers.
3) You are fine with working long hours without pay
Your new business will take time to generate revenue and eventually profit.
Did the headline scare you away?
But yes, that’s the reality of being a business owner. Many owners fund their own businesses out of pocket and don’t start paying themselves a decent salary until after a few months or even years.
Though the idea of working independently via your own business sounds exciting and fun, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. The first year will probably be the most difficult time for your new business—and, in general, life.
But an even more daunting fact is, unlike when you were employed and had a consistent flow of income and a secured job, the same can’t be said of a business owner.
You may not make revenue for years, let alone, breakeven and make a profit. But the most challenging aspect, perhaps, is the reality that you only have yourself to rely on to sustain your day-to-day living and to pay for the operating expenditure of your business.
It takes a lot of grit and determination to become an entrepreneur as you will feel stress from all the long hours of working.
4) You like working for yourself
A lot of founders and business owners pride themselves on having an extensive network of connections. This may be true for seasoned entrepreneurs, or those who have taken the effort to build such a network for themselves. But for many entrepreneurs, networking may not be as easy, and identifying connections to work with may take months or even years.
Being an entrepreneur is a lonely journey in that sense, but also in the sense that not many will understand the struggles that you face each and every day. And this can be from something as simple as spending long periods of time working alone during the early stages of their business.
On the flip side, there are people who thrive working alone—or at least, enjoy it more than others. If you enjoy the thrill of working on your own and don’t mind being the only one making difficult calls for your business—then a career as an entrepreneur may be a match in heaven for you.
This is stark contrary to working for an employer, where your output and reward is more directly correlated. The more effort you put into your work, the more you could possibly earn—though not always. As an entrepreneur, you will have to shoulder all the risk alone, but will also reap most, if not all, of the rewards.
What are some of the possible downsides? One is you may earn significantly less or even nothing at all some months. It’s not surprising that about 90% of startups fail. 10% of startups fail within the first year.
It takes somebody who can adapt to the inherent and constant sense of uncertainty and change to succeed as an entrepreneur.
5) When switching to self-employment is better for you
Sometimes, due to unforeseen circumstances or just life events, self-employment may be better for you.
For example, you may be of a certain age which comes with certain restrictions such as fewer opportunities in the market, or due to family circumstances, health issues, personal choice and ambition and so on.
If you choose to be self-employed, here are a few factors that you should consider:
- You may not retain the same level of income or even less similar to what you had when you were an employee.
- During the early stages of your business, you may not earn any money at all.
- There will always be operational costs associated with running a business.
- You may have to resort to a more affordable lifestyle to stretch your money if you need to cut back on expenses for example. Sometimes, you may have to sacrifice large portions of your own savings.
All things considered
So, did you say yes to all the points above? If so, starting your own venture may be for you. The most important thing is to have realistic expectations to save you from any future pain or stress.