Many benefits lead individuals to found their own businesses. Of course, many people daydream of being their own boss and leisurely sipping coffee that their personal assistant brought to them. They might envision delivering speeches to a roomful of individuals who hang on their every word. They picture themselves receiving awards from the rotary or chamber of commerce.
Walter Mitty has nothing on them. Although their dreams don’t typically mesh with reality, many benefits do exist to owning your own business. Let’s look at the top reasons why so many people go out on a proverbial limb to accept the risk of working as their own boss.
Self-Fulfillment Means a Lot to Them
When you work for someone else, you do the assigned work. You follow the directions. You submit it by your manager’s deadline. You may dream of writing a novel or a book on your industry or a blog on your position. Instead, you do the work you get assigned. This doesn’t provide fulfillment, but working for yourself lets you choose the work you do. You choose the business you’ll open, and the services or products you’ll offer. You do what matters to you to make money instead of what someone hired you to do.
You Can Carve Out Hours You Love
You won’t sleep late when you run a business, but if you love a four-day work week, you can set it up that way. Things might happen on the other days that require your attention, but you won’t always have to work the full day.
The opposite might also occur. Maybe you love your work. You chose a career that lights a fire inside you and instills excitement. It always irks you that you have to go home because your boss limits you to 40 hours a week. Your personality mirrors Elon Musk’s personality. He loves his engineering projects so much that he’s been known to sleep next to one of the cars he’s designing while working out problems with it. Whether you want weekends off or you always want to work, you can design the schedule your way without asking anyone else’s permission.
Reduce or Eliminate Cost Sharing or Employer Fees
Some industries, such as freight, charge their independent contractors or employees fees for overhead. This may come out of their pay automatically, typically expressed as a commission paid to the employee. When you work on commission, you receive part of the payment of the client to the company, not all. As a freight agent, for example, when you work for a company, you earn about 70 percent commission per load. When you work for yourself, you receive the full 100 percent of the client’s payment to you.
You Set Your Rates
You’ll need to use reason and logic here. You can give yourself a raise though as long as your research shows that your locality or region can support it. If you’ve got two degrees yet took a job that pays $15 an hour so you can pay bills, you can rectify this by working for yourself as long as your local market can support it. That means you could pay yourself the $40 an hour you want to earn. You just need to land the clients.
The Internet Made Landing Clients Easier
No one’s saying landing clients became simple; it still takes work, but you can do it more easily by partnering with an agency or brokerage. You can do this whether you want to become an independent freight agent or you want to work as a certified public accountant (CPA). As long as you have the job skills or will complete an on-the-job training program before opening your own firm, you can open a business. Partnering with brokers or agencies like Freelancer or Upwork offers you access to a vast number of jobs and reduces competition for them since only those who register for and qualify to use the online agency can access the applications or proposals.
Small Business Funding Abounds
As funky as the economy has been lately, you can easily access funds to start a small business. The Small Business Administration offers low-interest loans, but you can also fund your start-up using crowdfunding. Sites like Kickstarter provide you the opportunity to fund beginning your business without needing to take out a loan. You’ll need to write your business plan and show your planned budget but using sites like Kickstarter or GoFundMe can save you time and create a groundswell of interest in your young company. If you reside in an economically disadvantaged area of the US, try the site Kiva for no or low-interest crowdsourced loans that combine the concepts of the two mechanisms.
The last two options for funding the typical new business include putting it on your credit card or borrowing from family or friends. The old saying “neither a borrower nor a lender is” should tell how far down the list this option should fall. Use these choices as your last effort for funding. For most at-home businesses, you can bootstrap though. That means that you can cobble together existing resources, so you don’t have to borrow money or wait for crowdsourcing to build your year one budget.
You Choose the Direction You Take
Along with choosing a job you love, when you own the business, you decide how large you want to grow it. Perhaps you envision yourself owning a mom-and-pop shop or your concept tends toward the other end – a national or international company. You can choose to build either.
You decide the time and effort you want to invest in building your business. One of the greatest benefits of business ownership comes from the fulfillment gained by helping others do more and achieve more. You can hire employees and offer them training, just as you received training either in high school, vocational school, college, or on the job.
Sometimes, helping another person achieve what you did can provide even greater fulfillment than starting the business or your initial career. Why? Typically, business owners find it heartening to know that another individual builds their own independence the way they did. It bears similarity to watching a child walk, knowing you taught them. Helping others develop their skills and forge a career can provide an added value to business ownership.