Can You Do the Business?

Deciding What You Want From a Business

See whether you relate to any of the most common reasons people give for starting up in business:

  • Being able to make your own decisions
  • Having a business to leave to your children
  • Creating employment for the family
  • Being able to capitalize on specialist skills
  • Earning your own money when you want
  • Having flexible working hours
  • Wanting to take a calculated risk
  • Reducing stress and worry
  • Having the satisfaction of creating something truly your own
  • Being your own boss
  • Working without having to rely on other people

The two central themes connecting all these reasons seem to revolve around gaining personal satisfaction – making work as much fun as any other aspect of life – and creating wealth – essential if an enterprise is going to last any length of time.

Gaining personal satisfaction (or, entrepreneurs just want to have fun)

No one particularly enjoys being told what to do and where and when to do it. Working for someone else’s organization brings all those disadvantages. When you work for yourself, the only person to blame if your job is boring, repetitive or takes up time that you should perhaps spend with family and friends is yourself.

Another source of personal satisfaction comes from the ability to ‘do things my way’. Employees are constantly puzzled and often irritated by the decisions their bosses impose on them. All too often managers in big firms say that they’d never spend their own money in the way the powers that be encourage or instruct them to do.

Making money

Apart from winning the lottery, starting your own business is the only possible way to achieve full financial independence. But it isn’t risk free. In truth, most people who work for themselves don’t become mega rich. However, many do and many more become far wealthier than they would probably have become working for someone else.

You can also earn money working at your own pace when you want to and even help your family to make some money too.

Saving the planet

Not everyone has making money as their sole aim when setting up in business. According to the government’s figures, around 20,000 ‘social entrepreneurs’ run businesses aiming to achieve sustainable social change and trade with a social or environmental purpose. They contribute almost £25 billion to the national economy and assist local communities by creating jobs, providing ethical products and services using sustainable resources and reinvesting a share of the profits back into society.

Running your own business means taking more risks than you do if you’re working for someone else. If the business fails, you stand to lose far more than your job. If, like most owner managers, you opt for sole trader status – someone working usually on his own without forming a limited company.

Finally Comment

Ethical businesses have some unique advantages. For example, according to those running such firms they can relatively easily attract and retain intelligent people. Over 70 per cent of students say that a potential employer’s track record is an important factor in job choice. Customers also like ethical firms. According to a recent European Union survey on sustainable consumption, 86 per cent of those polled in the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Greece and Italy said that they felt very strongly about wanting things to be produced and marketed responsibly. They also blamed brands for not providing more environmentally and socially friendly products.

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