Over the past couple of decades, I have started several businesses; some have worked, and some have not. Even those ventures falling short of expectations provided an excellent learning experience. In other words, I didn’t see much revenue, but I learned what not to do in the future.
Business ownership is not for everyone, to be sure. Starting a business means that you are fully accountable for all work, including marketing, IT, operations, finance, accounting, and janitorial services. You are first, second, and third on the depth chart.
For some, owning a business is in their blood. My grandmother had a talent for finding new work opportunities, and my mother has owned several successful businesses. For others, launching a business is spurred by a strong area of expertise, such as development of apps for mobile technologies. Finally, some are considering entrepreneurship because of the difficulty in finding full-time work during the recent downturn in the economy.
Here are three signs indicating that business ownership might be right for you:
#1: You want to control the level of income.
There are many who believe that self-employment is too risky. However, the counterargument is that working for others carries even more risk. Employers must only give someone two-weeks notice regarding termination, and losing one’s job is not always related to poor performance. Thus, even if you are doing well, you can be shown the door.
When you operate a business, whether as a global project management consultant or seller of luxury watches, you are largely in control of your income. By finding the right niche, and providing unparalleled customer service, you can create excellent wealth.
#2: You are not allowed to use your creative mind.
Bureaucracy is part of corporate America, and it’s getting worse. New regulations, such as SOX and HIPAA, are requiring even more controls, which lead to more layers of management, and createbottlenecks throughout the system. The more controls that in are place, the more red tape we encounter, which invariably stifles creativity.
Entrepreneurs are creative people. We have a unique way of visualizing how our product or service can improve the lives of our customers. When we cannot use our creative minds in the workplace, we start looking for business opportunities in which we are the decision-makers.
#3: You understand the magic word known by all business owners: Freedom!
Any true entrepreneur knows the importance of creating one’s schedule, and doing the work that is driven by passion and desire. This is freedom! When you are doing what you love, it’s no longer work. You enjoy getting to work early in the morning, staying late into the night, and even spending weekend time to complete your activities.
Rest assured that business owners spend the hours necessary to get the work done. The difference, though, is that they do the planning. They determine what work will get done, and when it’s scheduled. Having this control is important to entrepreneurs.
The right timing to start a business is different for every person. You can begin the process part-time. Get to know the business and industry. Build the skills you need, and put away the necessary capital to support the start-up process. Even if you are not ready to make the decision today, it’s critical that you begin researching the possibilities.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, avoid heeding advice from those with little knowledge about business ownership. If you have the passion, and the timing is right, go for it. If the product or service is right, and you provide excellent customer service, the chances of success skyrocket.