Deciding What You Want From a Business

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

  1. Being able to make your own decisions
  2. Having a business to leave to your children
  3. Creating employment for the family
  4. Being able to capitalize on specialist skills
  5. Earning your own money when you want
  6. Having flexible working hours
  7. Wanting to take a calculated risk Reducing stress and worry
  8. Having the satisfaction of creating something truly your own
  9. Being your own boss
  10. 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.

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.

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.

Exploring Different Types of Business

At one level all businesses are the same – they sell something to people who want to buy from them, while trying to make an honest buck along the way. At another level many very different types of business and ways of doing business exist, even within what superficially can appear to be very similar fields.

Selling to other businesses

Business-to-business (B2B) enterprises, such as those selling market research, database management, corporate clothing, management consultancy, telemarketing or graphic design, involve one businessperson selling to another. The attractions are that you’re dealing with other people who have a definite need and usually buy in relative large quantities and at regular intervals. For example, an individual may buy envelopes in packs of a dozen a few times a year, but a business buys scores, perhaps even thousands, and puts in an order every month. Corporate customers are harder to win, but are often worth more when you have them. And unlike private individuals, businesses like to forge relationships that endure over time.

Last Word

Some downsides exist too. Business customers expect credit, perhaps taking between 60 and 90 days to pay up. If they go bust they may owe a lot of money and take some of their suppliers down with them. You may have to attend exhibitions to make your presence known, a costly and time-consuming process, or advertise in trade directories.

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