Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pros and Cons of Starting a Business

Are you still in the "should I do it" stage of launching a new business?

Take a look at this list of pros and cons of starting a business.

If you are not truly excited by some of the pros, you may find that the sacrifices are not worth it.

On the cons, be sure to factor in some of these gritty realities of having your own business. It is not all wine and roses, and you want to factor in some of the inevitable negatives before you jump off the precipice.

But if the pros excite you and the fully-understood negatives don't scare you, what's keeping you?

Pros of Starting a Business:
- If it works, you can make more money than you are making now - a lot more money.
- You get to personally make the decisions that determine success or failure.
- If you are right, you get to show it.
- Only the marketplace can fire you. No need to worry about office politics.
- You get to be creative - if you have a great idea, you can put it into practice.
- No more being pigeonholed - you get to learn about and participate in each and every aspect of a business.
- You get direct contact with your customers and potential customers.
- You help build the local economy, by creating new jobs and new demand.
- It just feels good, and creates a sense of personal satisfaction.
- You can become an important player in your local community.
- You can create something to pass on to your children, or something to sell to fund your retirement.

Cons of Starting a Business:
- You will have to work like a dog.
- You have to be involved in all aspects of your business - right down to whether the toilets are clean - even if you can best leverage your skills by focusing on your area of expertise.
- Starting out, you probably will have less income than you are used to. Long term, income can be unpredictable and unreliable.
- You may have to take a big financial risk - investing your savings or incurring personal debt to get the business launched.
- There's absolutely, positively no guarantee that you will succeed.
- Success depends on your becoming competent in a wide range of disciplines, ranging from accounting to marketing to customer service.
- Support services you may take for granted at your current job - from someone setting up your computer to arranging travel to seeing that your social security taxes are filed on time - now become your exclusive, time-consuming responsibility.
- When you have a great idea, you will have less resources to draw on in making it happen - and more external obstacles to prevent it from happening - than if you were able to draw on the resources of an established business.
- If you currently have a high-status job, don't expect people to be as impressed with your position as the owner of a small, unproven business. If the psychic income of impressing people is important to you, prepare yourself to live without it until after your business becomes a hot success.

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