Aspiring entrepreneurs often spend hours debating the pros and cons of starting their own business. They make lists detailing the reasons they should or shouldn’t leave their job, debate internally about the financial ramifications of starting their own business, and dream of the day that they answer only to themselves.
If you’re considering making this year the start of your entrepreneurship journey, take careful evaluation of your reasons. No matter what business you want to start, the right motive will make all the difference. Here are some of the best and worst reasons for wanting to start your own business.
Some of the Best Reasons to Start a Business
- Your business provides a unique solution to a problem.
Have you noticed an unmet need that you have a potential solution for? This is a perfect opportunity to start your own company. If your solution is better than what is currently available, or is the only available answer, the market may be waiting for what you have to offer.
- Your business will provide value to clients and customers.
Does your potential business offer something of value to customers? Have you attracted many people who will spend money purchasing the solution you’ve developed? If so, your company has a good chance of succeeding.
- You’re heading to a new venture, not running from disappointment.
With a real opportunity and solution to a problem, your company has potential. If you are simply trying to escape a situation you are unhappy in, the business will most likely not do as well as you anticipate.
- You have experience in the field in which you’re starting your business.
Many of the most successful entrepreneurs start their business in a field they are familiar with. With an understanding of the ins and outs of an industry and already-established contacts, you have a competitive edge.
- You are comfortable learning by doing.
As an entrepreneur, you may find yourself acting as the operations manager, the administrative assistant, the warehouse staff, sales department, and CEO. This may require you to learn on the job, and you may find that much of your learning is trial and error. If you love to face a new challenge every day, entrepreneurship may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Some of the Worst Reasons to Start a Business
While many entrepreneurs start businesses for all the right reasons, there are an alarming number of people who jump into their own business for the wrong reasons. More likely than not, these entrepreneurs are setting themselves up to fail before they even begin. If you find yourself on the verge of quitting your job for one of these reasons, think carefully about the ramifications before you give notice.
- You want to strike it rich.
It’s true—many entrepreneurs make more money than they did as an employee. But before they move into the luxurious lifestyle of the rich and famous, they are often faced with financial challenges that can break even the most resilient person. Without a backup plan, entrepreneurs are often unsure of how and when they’ll make any money, and they can spend years existing client to client, scraping together a living. Remember: you may indeed “hit it big,” but you’ll most likely have to invest a lot of time, sweat, and energy before you do.
- You want an easier workload.
It seems like working for yourself would be easier. You set your own hours, pick and choose your clients, and make every decision. There are definite perks to being an entrepreneur. An easier workload, however, isn’t one of them. It’s been said that entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours to avoid working 40. The difference is that the 80 hours can fly by if you’re pursuing your dream. If you’re looking for an easier day, starting your own business probably isn’t the way to go.
- Your friend/family member wants to start a business with you.
Maybe you and your best friend have talked about how great it would be to work together. Or your brother has a business idea that you want to invest in. Sounds good in theory, but the reality is that working with a friend or family member isn’t always the best idea. Unlike in sitcoms, real business partnerships can be complicated and tenuous. A friend/family member relationship could be damaged by a partnership gone bad, and finding the balance between friend and business associate can be difficult. Just because you are friends doesn’t mean it makes good business sense to work together.
- You hate your job.
You don’t get paid enough. They don’t appreciate how hard you work. The boss is overbearing. You don’t have the resources you need to be successful. There may be a litany of reasons for hating your job, but that doesn’t mean you should quit and start your own company. Anger often clouds your judgment, which can lead to poor or hasty decisions that you’ll regret later. Focus on improving your current job, and then assess if you are leaving because you want to find something better or because you simply want to get out of your current situation.
- You want to have fun.
Entrepreneurs have the ability to have more fun in their day. They can be flexible in their schedules, enjoy ‘casual Friday’ every day, and stock the snack bar with all their favorite munchies. While being an entrepreneur can be fun, there is an equal amount of drudgery and tedium behind the scenes, in the form of the day-to-day minutiae of running a business. If ‘fun’ is your goal, expect to be disappointed.