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Pros and Cons of Starting Your Own Business

Starting your own business is an exciting adventure. It has all the possibilities you dreamed of; you can be your own boss, set your own schedule, and your income potential is limitless! Yes, this is all true… but with all the pros there are certainly cons to starting your own business. This article is not meant to prevent anyone from starting their own business; see my article “Building a Home Based Business – Anyone can Do it!”, it is meant to give you some things to think about before you start on your journey.

First, I am an entrepreneur, it’s in my blood. Other than coaching hockey and soccer, it’s what I enjoy most; building businesses or helping others start and build their businesses. I’ve come to understand what the pros are for starting a business because I love doing it. For me, the pros way out weigh the cons. But, for others, the cons may outweigh the pros, and being totally honest, what business owner doesn’t think at some time or another that working for someone else may be a better plan?

Here are some of the pros and cons that you need to think about before you start your own business:

1. Being your own boss

  • Pro: Being your own boss means that you have the freedom to direct the company in the direction you want it to go. You can experiment with your ideas. You do not have to check with someone above you to get something done quickly. This can be very rewarding and refreshing especially if you have spent time in a bureaucratic business environment.
  • Con: Being your own boss can be a con. The buck stops here becomes a reality, not just a saying. When problems cannot be solved by your employees, they get escalated to you. Escalated problems are typically the hardest and very time consuming, such as dealing with the most difficult clients. Secondly, being the top leader can be lonely. It is important to have a mentor and a peer group. They can provide you some social comfort as well as a reliable forum to check your ideas. Often your employees will not give you the full scoop because you are their boss. You need to solicit and hear honest feedback on a regular basis.

2. Flexibility with your time

  • Pro: For obvious reasons having flexibility can be really great. You can pick your kids up from school when they are sick, you can sleep in on occasion, or go golfing with a pal when the weather is perfect. No one will fire you for skipping work at all hours during the day or for working during odd hours. The freedom to control your own time is great.
  • Con: Freedom means you need to be more disciplined with your schedule and very self motivated. No one else but you will keep you on task. Working towards your goals needs to be a priority every day. While this may not seem like a con, it can be if you need formal structure to keep you going.

3. You can set up the business the way you want

  • Pro: Your dreams can be pursued just like you want. You can set up unique employee structures and create new and different ways of conducting business. You are not stuck implementing someone else’s ideas. Essentially you have freedom to do it the way you think is best
  • Con: Being responsible for setting up the business also means that you are responsible for determining how operations, finance, marketing, sales, and human resources will ALL be run. If any part of your business is not working, you need to figure out how to fix it. This can be exhausting and very time consuming. An entrepreneur’s job, especially in the beginning, can translate into very long hours for very little money, and as your business grows, you may be revising/refining the business processes on an ongoing basis

4. Financials are your sole responsibility

  • Pro: You get to decide how and when you spend money. Which new product lines or markets you invest in is ultimately your decision. You also get to decide who benefits from the corporate profits. Will you share it with important staff members, invest it all in the business or keep it all for yourself? If your business is enormously successful you can retire early or pay for your children’s college and leave them a great inheritance.
  • Con: All financial resources you need to procure. Whether it’s investing your own nest egg, taking out an SBA loan, borrowing money, or engaging an investor (which means you lose part ownership). The risk that this requires is yours to bear. To procure funding you will very likely be required to sign a personal guarantee. If the company does not succeed, you will need to pay them back or file bankruptcy (which is painful but not as bad as it sounds). This is the risk you take. It’s also why many entrepreneurs find investors. But, of course you lose part of your business with each new outside investment. Also, managing cash flow is your responsibility. You need to figure out how to pay your bills, including payroll. If the money is not there, you must personally figure out how to get those funds. Will you increase your loans, borrow more money, work extra hard to sign a new client, or spend over time collecting on bills? Whatever you do, YOU will need to figure it out.

Obviously there are many more pros and cons and every entrepreneur will have unique experiences. Regardless, if you have the perseverance and desire to build a business, you can succeed. The beginning phases can be the most difficult, but over time, your resources can grow and your circumstances usually become much easier and more rewarding.

How To Find A Business Directory

If you are looking for the business directory to help your internet business then it is important that you get it right. Choosing the wrong business directory could cost you money.

Why Use One

It is important to find the right customers and getting them to your business in the cheapest way possible. Using a business directory gets the job done, you will get the customers that you are looking for and in a manner that will benefit you in the long term. It is important to advertise when you are on the internet because this will draw in customers from all around the world, and a business directory is revenue that you must consider.

  • It can bring customers to you.
  • It can increase the sales that you can get.
  • It is a great form of advertising.
  • You can build a great foundation of clients from a business directory.

How To Find The Right One

What is vital in looking for any business directory is that you find the right one for your business. You need one that will target the right customer, the customer that is looking to buy, and to buy the products that you sell. There is little use if the directory is not going to meet your needs, it will need to work for you and this is important in any advertising campaign.

  • Make sure that you like the site.
  • Get the feel of the site, and if you like it proceed.
  • Ask other businesses in your field which one they use.
  • Make sure that the price is right.

Check That It Is Working

You will know if a business directory is working if your customers have increased since working with the business directory. If you find that you are not having the increase in customers you might need to tweak some details to entice the customers or to look at the other options that are open to you.

  • Notice if you have had an increase in volume of customers.
  • Check where the customers are coming from.
  • Check that the customers are purchasing when they visit, there is little point paying for an increase if the customer isn’t buying.
  • Work out the increase in sales volume, compared to the price of the business directory, to make sure that it is paying for itself.
  • Make sure that your target audience is focused enough.

Taking It Forward

If you have found that your campaign has worked and you are seeing an increase in revenue then you know that you have placed your details in the correct directory. It might be time to think about the next stage in your advertising and finding what is the next step to increase the traffic and the sales.

  • Working out the next step.
  • Look at expanding your advertising campaign.
  • Look at expanding your potential sales.

Looking for a Business Idea to Start or Take Your Company to the Next Level?

Looking for a business idea to start or take your company to the next level?

Finding the business idea that will make money is a perennial problem.

Peter Dickinson has worked with over 300 companies and knows that finding a business idea that works can be very challenging.

Simon Sinek in a TED video has identified that people buy Why you do something and not What you do. (Go to YouTube and type in Simon Sinek WHY TED). You may want to watch this video before reading the rest of this article.

This means you have to be really passionate about what you do. You need to be the expert in it. You need to be the thought leader in it. And it doesn’t matter what you do. You need to exude confidence and have a deep understanding of the challenges your customer faces in your area of expertise.

So the first step to getting that next business idea is to think about what you are really passionate about? What things in the world frustrate you and you know you could do it better? What if you could do it would make your working day more worthwhile? What are you an expert in?

Once you have found your passion and an opportunity in the market place, the next stage to developing your business idea is to think about what people will value and what they will pay for.

People will only pay for something if it solves a problem, fulfils a desire or enhances their lives or organisation in some way.

Think about your business idea. Is there anybody else (maybe not in your locality) who has already setup a company doing something similar? It is a lot easier to start a company if there is a known market for what you want to do. It means that there are people willing to pay for the proposed goods and services.

Do some research on them. What are they doing right? What could they do better? Are they delivering what customers actually want? Could you do it better?

Are there franchise opportunities for sale in your area that would set you up with a ready-made business along the lines of your business idea? Can you setup a small version of your business idea to try it out at low cost, maybe part-time or over the Internet?

The key to getting your company off the ground is to identify what prospective customers will truly value. You need to talk to as many prospective customers as possible in order to get that understanding. You need to be where your customers go. This may be networking events, industry conferences, award ceremonies, industry meetings etc. Without giving your idea away find out as much as possible about their needs.

You will need to look at the cost of entry in to the market as that can be a barrier. For instance, it may mean buying large equipment. However, think laterally, you may be able to hire such equipment. Put off getting offices if you can. Work from home and meet clients in Hotel areas which are now equipped for holding business meetings.

Quite often existing companies in a market can become complacent or are tied down with bureaucracy and so offer poor customer service. A new entrant with a new approach, looking at things in a different way can often see the difference between what is currently being supplied and what the customer really wants and values. On a large scale, Richard Branson has applied this proven formula on a number of occasions. Technology is having this disruptive effect on a number of existing industries. You only have to look at the way the high street is changing to see the effects of that the Internet and mobile computing is having.

You may think it is difficult to find the next big business idea but as the world is changing and technology continues invade our lives then I see opportunities arise all the time. You just need to view the world differently in order to see them.