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Start-up Advice

50 Reasons to Start Your Own Business

If you’re considering becoming an entrepreneur, don’t forget all the benefits that go along with it.

Jayson Demers

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Some people are destined to be entrepreneurs. From the time they get through school, or maybe even before that, they’re hungry to start a business and lead it to success, and they’ll stop at nothing to make that dream a reality.

Related: 7 Unexpected Signs You Might Be an Entrepreneur

For others, starting a business is a scary, intimidating notion. There are too many unknowns to take the plunge. But if you’re considering becoming an entrepreneur, don’t forget all the benefits that go along with it:

  1. Flexibility. Work your own hours.
  2. More spare time (eventually). Spend more time with your family and friends. But note: This is only applicable once your business is established and you have employees handling the majority of necessary responsibilities. Don’t expect to have more spare time until you reach this point. In fact, expect to have much less.
  3. Call the shots. Nobody else is going to set the rules. You are.
  4. Set your own deadlines. No more last-minute rushing unless you want to do it.
  5. Sell how you want to sell. Online? In person? Inbound? Outbound? It’s your call.
  6. Create your own environment. You can set the formality and culture of your organisation.
  7. Pursue your passion. You can do what makes you happy.
  8. Create something from scratch. Watch your organisation grow from start to finish.
  9. Meet new people. Network with other entrepreneurs and professionals.
  10. Build a team. You decide who to hire and bring into your company.
  11. Create jobs. Improve the economy with new job opportunities.
  12. Help people. Use products and services to improve people’s lives.
  13. Become an expert. Learn the ropes of your industry through first-hand experience.
  14. Invest in yourself. You take the risk, and you’ll gain the rewards.
  15. Make more money. If you want a pay raise, you can give yourself one.
  16. Financial independence. No one else is signing your paychecks.
  17. Tax benefits. Write off your biggest expenses Note: while you do get to write off lots of expenses as an entrepreneur, beware the “self employment tax.”
  18. New challenges every day. Find new ways to stimulate your mind.
  19. Get exposed to new cultures. Discover new perspectives and approaches.
  20. Discover new fields. Delve deeper into your industry.
  21. Create an asset. Give yourself something sellable to hedge your bets.
  22. Connect with your clients. Forge real, personal connections.
  23. Delegate boring tasks. Don’t do anything you don’t want to.
  24. You can stop working. Work you enjoy doing can’t be described as “work.”
  25.  The power to give. Have the power and flexibility to donate time or money to worthy causes.
  26. Get involved in the community. Participate actively in your neighbourhood and region.
  27. Improve your industry. Push your industry forward with new innovations and ideas.
  28. Get a mentor. Meet valuable, insightful mentors and learn from them.
  29. Become a mentor. Take your own knowledge and experience, and mentor someone else.
  30. Learn new skills. Branch out in new departments.
  31. Attend new classes and seminars. Constantly refine your skill-set and stay updated.
  32. Have a big office. If you want the biggest office in your workplace, it’s yours.
  33. Work from anywhere. Work from home, an office or a beach if you so choose.
  34. Have the option for multiple ventures. Start another business when you’re done with this one.
  35. Gain entrepreneurial experience. Being an entrepreneur makes you a better professional in almost any position.
  36. Get recognised. Start earning name recognition and build a reputation.
  37. Get things done faster. Set your own efficiency rates.
  38. Build a personal brand. Take the time to develop your personal brand, and tie it into your business’s.
  39. Get more creative. Create your own opportunities and your own solutions.
  40. Inspire others. Serve as an example for other people to follow their dreams.
  41. Reduce your commute. Find an office space closer to your home.
  42. Have more job stability. Never worry about being laid off or fired.
  43. Find pride and fulfillment. Finally start taking pride in the work you’re doing.
  44. Reach your dreams. If you’ve ever dreamed of being wildly successful, this is your chance.
  45. Learn to embrace failure. Even if you fail, you’ll walk away with new skills and more experience you never had before.
  46. Have a great story to tell. It will be a fun story for your grandchildren one day, win or lose.
  47. Leave something behind. Pass the business down to your children and grandchildren.
  48. Change the world. It may seem like a lofty goal for you right now, but your business really could change the world.
  49. Resources are plentiful. With the dominance of the Internet, it’s easier than ever to find resources you need, including startup capital, loans, grants and even mentors.
  50. There’s nothing stopping you. What’s really keeping you from being an entrepreneur? Of course there are risks, but there’s nothing forcing you not to take them.

Related: 5 Reasons Why I Quit My Own Business to Work for Someone Else

If you want to become an entrepreneur, there’s nothing really holding you back. Take the leap, and lead the company you’ve always wanted.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Jayson DeMers is the founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, a content marketing agency, as well as EmailAnalytics, an email productivity monitoring app for Gmail and G suite. Contact him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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Start-up Advice

Put On Your Wellies: It’s Time To Wade Into Risk

Entrepreneurs aren’t all leaping into the unknown like lemmings off a cliff, but they do need to consider it…

Chris Ogden

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You’ve had a great idea. You’ve looked into its development. You’ve recognised that it has potential beyond just what Auntie Mabel and Mike From The Grocer think. And you’ve clearly nailed a pain point that can make money. Now it is time to take the risk of running with it.

Every big idea comes with risk. You can’t step out into the world of entrepreneurial thinking and business development without it. Your idea may fail. It will also be time consuming, demanding, hungry for money, and hard work. It is unrealistic to expect that your project will leap out into the world and be an unmitigated success.

It is also unrealistic to assume that it isn’t worth taking this risk.

There are steps that you can follow to ensure that your risk is managed so you aren’t blindly leaping off that cliff…

Step 01: Do your research

No, canvassing your neighbours, friends and family is not doing research. You need to know that your idea will appeal to a broad market and that it will have significant legs. This may sound like daft advice, but you would be surprised how many people think an idea will take off just because Susan in Accounting said so.

Step 02: Understand the costs

Projects are hungry for money and investment. Realistically work out your budgets and how much it will cost to take your project off the ground and then stick to it.

A calculated risk is a far better bet than one that shoots from the hip and hopes for the best. You can also use this as an opportunity to draw a clear line under where you will stop investing and end the project. If it keeps eating money and isn’t getting anywhere with results you need to be able to walk away.

Step 03: Know when to walk away

As mentioned before, this can be defined by a line you’ve drawn in the proverbial sand (and budget) but no matter where you draw this line, you have to stick to it. Often, when time, money and energy have been poured into a project it can be incredibly hard to walk away.

You think ‘but I have put so much into this, just one more’ and then it gets to a point where the ‘just one more’ has taken you so far down the line that walking away feels impossible. Leave. Learn the lessons. Apply them to your next project.

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Start-up Advice

Mind The Gap

The entrepreneur’s guide to finding the gaps and building the right solutions.

Chris Ogden

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Innovation may very well be the key to business success but finding the gap into which your innovative thinking can fit is often a lot harder than people realise. Some may be struck by inspiration in the shower, others by that moment of blinding insight in a meeting, however, for most people finding that big idea isn’t that simple. They want to be an entrepreneur and start their own high-growth business, but they need some ideas on how to find that big idea.

Here are five…

1. Network

It sounds trite but networking is actually an excellent way of picking up on patterns and trends in conversation and business problems. The trick is to note them down and pay attention. Soon, you will find patterns emerging and ideas forming.

2. Look for pain

Just as networking can reveal trends in the market, so can spending time reading. The latter will also help you find common business pain points. These are the touchpoints that frustrate people, annoy business owners, affect productivity, or impact employee engagement.

Be the Panado that fixes these pains.

3. Luck

luck

This is probably the most annoying of the ideas, but it is unfortunately (or fortunately) very true. Luck does play a role in helping you capture that big idea. However, luck isn’t just standing around and random people offering you opportunities. Luck is found at networking events, it is found in research and it is found in conversations with other entrepreneurs.

4. Luck needs courage

You may have found the big idea through your network, a pain point or pure blind luck, but if you don’t have the courage to take it and run with it, you will lose it to someone else.

Being bold in business is highly underrated because most people assume that everyone is bold and prepared to take big leaps into the unknown. However, not all brilliant entrepreneurs were ready to throw their family funds to the wind and leap into an idea – they were courageous enough to figure out a way of harnessing their ideas realistically.

5. Pay attention

This is probably one of the most vital ways of finding a gap in the market. Often, people are so busy that they don’t really pay attention to that niggling issue that always bothers them on a commute, or in a mall, or at a meeting. This niggling issue could very well be the next big business opportunity. Pay attention to it and find out if that issue can be solved with your innovative thinking.

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Start-up Advice

5 Things To Know About Your “Toddler” Business

As you navigate this new toddler phase of your business, here are five things to bear in mind.

Catherine Black

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Ah, toddlers. Those irresistible bundles of joy bring a huge amount of energy, curiosity and fun to any family – but there’s also frustration and worry that comes with their unpredictability, as they grow and start to become more independent. If you own a business and it’s successfully past its “infancy” of the first year or so, it’s likely it will also go through a toddler stage of its lifecycle.

Pete Hammond, founder of luxury safari company SafariScapes, agrees with this. “Our business is now three and a half years old, and we’ve found that we’re not yet big enough to justify employing a large team of people to handle the day-to-day admin tasks, yet we still need to grow the business as well,” he says. “As a result, our main challenge is finding the time to step back and see the bigger picture. Kind of like when you are raising a busy toddler and you spend most of your time running after them!”

As you navigate this new toddler phase of your business, here are five things to bear in mind:

1. This too shall pass

Everything in life is temporary – and that goes for both the good and the bad. It’s as helpful to remember this when you’re facing the might of a toddler temper tantrum, as it is when you’re facing throws of uncertainty in your business. If your new(ish) venture is going through a rough patch in its first few years, it can be easy to think about giving up – but don’t. As long as you have an overall big idea that you believe can add value to your customers, keep pushing through the rough parts until you come out the other side.

2. Appreciate what this phase brings

The toddler years mean that the initial newborn joy is officially behind you. But these small humans also bring their own kinds of joy, as you watch them learn new skills, say funny things, and give affection back to you. While your two-year-old business may not hold the same exhilaration for you as it did during those first few months, there are now different things to appreciate about it: Maybe you’re expanding your product range, or employing new people who can take the workload off you.

3. Establish boundaries

Toddlers thrive on boundary and routine – and your toddler business will too. As it grows into a new phase, try and establish limits in terms of the type of clients you want to work with and the type of work you’ll do. It’s also a good idea to make a decision about the hours you’ll work and when you’ll switch off, which will help you establish a good work-life balance.

4. Take a break

Every parent with a toddler needs a break every now and then, even if that means a walk around the block (on your own!), a dinner out with friends, or even a few days away. The same is true for a demanding small business: every so often, remember to take time out to rest properly, where you switch off your laptop and completely unplug. You’ll return much more inspired and resilient to deal with the everyday uncertainty that it brings.

5. Give it space to make mistakes

While the unpredictability of a young business can be stressful and tiring, it’s also a time for trying new things without the risk of huge consequences if they don’t quite work. After all, it’s much simpler to change your USP if you’re a small business employing a few people, rather than a big company where 50 people are relying on you for their salary, or where you’ve received a huge amount of investment capital. While you may fail in some of the things you try with your business (in fact, this is almost guaranteed), see it as a toddler that’s resilient enough to pick itself up, dust its knees and keep moving forward.

During this phase of business growth it’s also essential to have the right type of medical aid cover. There are medical schemes such as Fedhealth which has a number of medical aid options and value-added benefits to ensure that your health and wellness is taken care of too. After all, the healthier you and your staff are, the more productive your business will be – during the toddler (business) stage and beyond.

While this phase can be frustrating, it’s a sign that your business is growing and adapting, rather than remaining in its infancy, and that can only be a good thing! So embrace the difficulties, learn from them, and watch as your business strides forward confidently into the next exciting phase.

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