Ask anyone who started a business, and you’ll most likely hear stories about financial challenges, being overwhelmed with all the tasks required of them, and the total time suck they experienced. This might be part of the reason that the Small Business Administration reports that only 50% of new businesses survive to the 5-year mark.
However, based on the results of the second annual Bank of the West Small Business Growth Survey, small business owners choose to continue their quest of entrepreneurship. The survey results found that the biggest challenges of owning your own business are:
- living with the uncertainty that comes with owning a business (52%)
- always being on the job (43%)
- avoiding burnout (40%)
- making and saving enough to retire (41%)
- ensuring their families are financially comfortable (35%)
- managing cash flow (31%)
With all of these uncertainties they face, why do entrepreneurs bother? Why not just go find a nice corporate 9-5 job and have a steady income? I believe that I am a typical small business owner. When I started my home and business inventory service, I was seeking the freedom that comes with business ownership, having control over my time and my income. Looking back, I wasn’t prepared for the bumps in the road. However, this desire to own my own company gave me the perseverance to keep going until I got it right.
The benefits outweigh the negatives
The responses in the survey showed that small business owners enjoy the benefits that “doing their own thing” provides:
- owning their own business puts them in charge of their own destiny (94%)
- love the freedom that comes with owning a small business (91%)
- allows them to contribute to the local economy (84%)
- running their company makes them feel empowered (83%)
- helps them make a positive impact on the community (80%)
- opportunities to connect with their families (70%)
- providing a legacy for their families (67%)
The financial and time commitment
The survey reported that 82% of small business owners put everything they have into their business. An overwhelming majority, 86%, say that all they’ve sacrificed for their business has been worth it. I totally agree with this majority, and another business I’ve developed helps the new entrepreneur. I’ve been through it myself, so through Nationwide Inventory Professionals, I now help others eliminate most of the trial and error and guide them through many of the uncertainties. Not needing to develop their own marketing materials, inventory processes, and business procedures also helps lessen the time they would normally need to invest in the start-up phase.
Executive vice president of small- and medium-size enterprise banking at Bank of the West, Michelle Di Gangi, stated, “Small business ownership isn’t always a financial decision – an even bigger draw is the flexibility and independence to chart your own path and create a business that can be passed on to the next generation. These are benefits that many other career paths simply do not offer.”