Top 10 Reasons to Start a Small Business
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
February 1, 2011
Filed Under Careers
Contributed by Rosemary O’Brien, Catalogs.com Info Guru
Starting your own small business can be a scary prospect, but it can also be rewarding. Plus, you are not alone.
With the downturn in the economy, and many people unemployed for an extended period of time, many people are choosing to go it alone. So, if you have a passion for something, considering joining the ranks of small business owners. You find yourself doing the hiring!
Here are the top ten reasons to help you decide to start a small business:
10. Doing what you love
One of the best reasons to start your own small business is so you can do what you love every day. That is what makes putting in long hours or working on weekends worth it. When you are doing what you love and making money at it, it hardly seems like work. Small business owners who love their businesses rarely watch the clock waiting for the closing bell so they can go home. Quite the contrary, they usually are happy to take their business home with them to work on during a quiet moment.
Being out of work is an excellent motivator. Many small businesses, in fact, are begun because someone found themselves out of a job for a while with no or few job prospects. With a great idea for a product or a service, you can begin on a shoestring. Check out your local chapter of SCORE (Service Core of Retired Executives) for free information and seminars about starting, and running, your own business.
There is no need to call in sick to anyone if you are the boss. Flexibility is one of the most popular benefits of small business owners. That does not mean you will have a lot of free time, especially at the beginning. Long days and working after the kids go to bed are one of the things a new business owner needs to do in order to build a successful business. The good part of this is that you are not necessarily bound by the 9-to-5 workday grind. Depending on your business, you may be able to stop work in the afternoon to pick up the kids from school, or take a morning off and make up for it later in the day. Keep in mind that you sometimes need to meet a deadline, so you may also find yourself working late into the night or bellying up to the computer with a bad cold. It is all a tradeoff when you work for yourself.
Not having a boss is a beautiful thing. Running your own small business means you can turn down that difficult client if you really want to, but be ready to hustle. Many small businesses put aside their likes and dislikes for those clients. They are, after all, paying clients. By providing a service, you will need to go out and find those businesses or individuals that need that service and then convince them that your business is the one to provide that service. The same goes for a product. Why would someone need to purchase your product above anyone else’s product? Be ready to convince your customers and clients that they need you or what you are selling.
6. Write offs
New small business owners are often surprised to find out all of the items they can deduct at tax time. Basically, if you use it exclusively for business, you can deduct it. For example, your smartphone and computer along with the services it takes to use them, software for that computer, office supplies, a portion of the electricity – if you work from home – all of it, or at least a portion of it, is deductible. It pays to hire an accountant who works with small businesses or freelancers. The money you pay them to find these deductions will come back to you ten-fold. Think about the time it would take out of your business if you were audited by the IRS. Sometimes you need to spend money to make money, and an accountant’s services are definitely a place you would be wise to spend.
5. Boost your own economy
Some small businesses begin when someone wants to add to their income and not as a primary source of income. There are craft companies that allow you to teach what you love, such as stamping or scrapbooking, and then make a profit by ordering your supplies to sell through their company. It works almost like a franchise, but there is no storefront. Other companies include cosmetic companies such as Avon or Mary Kay, or gourmet food companies such as Pampered Chef. Most of these cottage industry companies began with someone working from home with a great idea. They then grew by passing on the opportunity to likeminded individuals who, in effect, did their selling for them.
4. No commute or clothing allowance
Many times at the beginning you end up working from home to get your business off the ground. This allows for less overhead costs including no business suits (one of my favorite parts of running my business out of my home). Again, one of the drawbacks is that your business is always there waiting for you, but that can be a good thing if you love what you do.
3. Change of scenery
After twenty-something years at the same company, you may simply want a change. If you are an expert in a particular subject, you can bring your expertise to others by becoming a consultant. Consultants work for companies on a per contract basis, billing the client for work done or simply working on retainer. A retainer means you are always available to the client, but at a price. Many companies are happy to pay an expert to simply “be there” should they need their specific expertise.
2. Large talent pool
You can also save money hiring workers. A lot of people have been laid off during this recession. You are probably unemployed, too, which may be the reason you are starting your own business. The good news is that others are out there looking for work, too, work you may be able to provide. Unless you are a freelancer who prefers to work solo, running your own business means you need to hire people. Many people are currently unemployed and running out of benefits. By hiring these unemployed, yet highly-talented people, you may be able to start them out at a rate lower than they used to earn in their previous position. It is not pretty, but you need to start off small and employees need to work. Many times it is a win-win situation for both sides.
1. Everything is cheaper
The market has had to readjust dramatically over the past few years. As a result, goods and services have become less expensive and interest rates have gone down dramatically. When bigger companies go out of business, you may be able to purchase inventory and furnishings less expensively than if you bought these items retail. Purchasing a used office chair or desk, or buying out reams of unused (and unopened) copy paper helps the company that is selling these items pay down their remaining bills while getting rid of unnecessary inventory. By purchasing at such a fire sale, you gain valuable items that can help you begin your business on a shoestring.