One of the first things to consider when it comes to assessing business ownership as a possible path and vehicle for you, is to take a step back and examine your ‘why’.
Why is self-employment and business ownership an appealing option for you? Why not seek a another corporate role? Why not seek a bigger role in a smaller company? What is it about self-employment that appeals to you personally?
We want to be as clear and upfront about this as possible; self-employment is challenging work. We’re not saying that corporate employment isn’t challenging, it certainly is, but self-employment is a different type of challenge. In fact, when you’re running your own business it is the trivial matters that become the most important and challenging things.
For example, not having vacation pay. While this may seem like an unrelated point to bring up, it’s quite important. If you’ve been working for a corporate employer your entire career, then you will be used to having vacation allocation and pay. You know that your income will be there at the end of the month and though you may send the occasional email while you’re away, it’s a relatively stress-free period (or at least, it should be).
As a business owner, it’s quite the opposite. First, in your early days, not only are you taking time out from the business to go on vacation, you’re more than likely taking a hit in income – because in the early days you’re the primary income generator. Not only do you spend money on the vacation itself, you’re also losing money from not being at work, which can make the whole trip extremely expensive.
Furthermore, if any crises occurs while you’re away, then it’s likely that you’re the one that’s going to have to deal with it. If you don’t have your laptop with you, then that usually means heading to the nearest internet café to get things under control.
The above highlights just one example of the turmoil that self-employed professionals and business owners all over the world experience. Yet, despite this, self-employment and business ownership continues to be a major attraction to many people.
The key is to understand why you’re choosing this path – because we only see obstacles when we lose sight of our goals and our reasons why we’re pursuing them.
A true business owner would not think twice about heading to the nearest resource to avert a crisis in his business while on holiday. In fact, they would probably manage to develop an opportunity out of it somewhere.
If you have an unobstructed vision on what a business can help achieve for you and your family, it minimises the impact of the parts of the business that you may not enjoy as much, and the times when things go wrong and the only one who can deal with it is you – the inevitable slings and arrows of business ownership.
The biggest mistake we’ve seen in small business ownership and franchising, comes not from someone getting into the wrong business or franchise – it comes from the fact that going into business was just not for them in the first place.
How To Know If Business Ownership Is Right For You:
- You’re prepared to evaluate risk and opportunities and take the necessary steps to take a risk if required.
- You are a self-starter and enjoy the challenge of bringing ideas into reality.
- You are able to stick with what you started or surround yourself with people who can better finish what you start.
- You are good at making decisions and can feel confident about them.
- You are prepared to commit 100% to your business and not give up, no matter how hard things get.
- You are willing to take on multiple responsibilities and are good at balancing them.
- You enjoy working with people and understand that business is about people.
- You are internally driven and are willing to complete tasks without oversight or acknowledgement.
- You like to figure stuff out on your own, rather than be shown how to do it.
- You can identify opportunities to do things in a better or more productive way and relish the chance to implement those changes.
- You love to learn and welcome opportunities to expand your knowledge base and experience.
- Fundamentally, you are a ‘glass half full’ type of person, an optimist with their feet to the ground.
How To Know If Business Ownership Is Not Right For You:
- You can’t make decisions, or you doubt your decisions once they’re made.
- You either don’t like, or won’t take, responsibility – everything is always someone else’s fault.
- You’re only in it for the money. Pursuing business purely for the money is not the wisest of decisions… while the financial rewards of business ownership can certainly be enticing, it must be more than that. The old saying that the harder you chase money, the quicker it runs away is just as true in business ownership as any other situation.
- Your moods are inconsistent, with you often swinging between overly optimistic and depressed.
- You’re not very good at completing things and start several projects all at once.
- You have a minimal support system, or worse, you deny the support that others can give.
- You try to do everything yourself and do not effectively delegate.
- You are not willing to step out of your comfort zone and do what is necessary to succeed.
- You are not very good at setting your own limits.
- You are not true to your word and have little integrity.
- You do not like to learn and often believe that your way is the right (and only) way.
These lists are not exhaustive, but they should give you a good sense as to whether business ownership is a good vehicle for you. Ultimately, it comes down to being honest with yourself and even asking for the opinion of others – you may be surprised by what you hear back.