20 Right and Wrong Reasons to Start Your Own Business

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Many reasons motivate entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams of launching profitable companies. Some reasons are better than others while others are downright awful. 

Before making a decision that is difficult to undo, it's important to ask yourself difficult questions about your underlying motivations for starting a business. By doing so, you can protect yourself from unnecessary risk, and you may just confirm why you definitely should become an entrepreneur.

10 Best Reasons to Start Your Own Business

Experienced entrepreneurs know the best business ideas arise out of a genuine need for something meaningful in the marketplace, and they train themselves to become hyperaware of potentially profitable business ideas within their areas of interest. These reasons to start a business are most likely to lead to success.

You See an Opportunity

It can pay off to seize a new business opportunity, perhaps in the form of an unserved need in the marketplace or new technological innovation. Just make sure the opportunity is real and you are not exaggerating its value.

You Have an Idea That Will Deliver Value to Customers

If you have an idea that a sizable number of customers are willing to pay for, you have a good reason to start your own business. Again, you just need to ensure that you aren't fooling yourself with overly ambitious assumptions of what customers will be willing to buy.

You Have a Business Idea You’ve Already Validated

Perhaps you're sitting on a tested prototype, the results of a consumer survey, or the anecdotal evidence from years working in a corporation. If you have data to back up your opinion that there is a true need for the product or service, that strengthens your case for starting a business.

You Believe Your Solution Can Achieve Something Unique

If you see an unmet need or an unsolved problem in the market, it could be a calling worth following. Perhaps no existing competitors address the problem as well as you can, or they only do so partially. That could leave room for your superior service or product.

You Enjoy Learning by Doing and Taking on New Responsibilities

As you start your own business, you will have to take on a hands-on role in nearly every aspect of the company. You'll likely need to work at least somewhat in marketing, accounting, sales, operations, and human resources roles. If you like to dive right in, think on your feet, and learn as you go, you can succeed in this aspect of entrepreneurship.

You Are Optimistic About Your Business Idea

There will be times when all others doubt you and the viability of your idea. That doubt will linger until the signs of your success are visibly apparent. Especially in the beginning, your confidence is essential to maintaining high morale and keeping the company on track.

You Won’t Accept Failure

Your progress will initially be slow and uneven. New milestones will be followed by setbacks, and your attitude toward handling these momentary roadblocks will determine your long-term success. If you are the type to get back in the saddle every time you fall off, you are well-suited to be an entrepreneur.

You’re Excited About Working Hard on Your Passion

Looking at successful entrepreneurs, you rarely find a case where hard work and passion don't go hand in hand. Behind history's most successful ventures are people who tirelessly pursued their passion.

You Have Experience in the Industry

You will benefit from having an above-average understanding of the industry, its markets, its customers, and the dynamics of its competition. These are all things that are difficult for industry outsiders to match. By leveraging your existing knowledge and relationships, you can speed up your company's progress.

You Have the Resources Necessary

Having an idea is great, but to start your own business, you need the relevant resources to turn that idea into reality. These resources can come in the form of financial capital, information, technical know-how, or valuable networks that'll help you accelerate your success.

10 Worst Reasons to Start Your Own Business

Successful entrepreneurs are in it for the right reasons—they love what they do, and success is the only reward they need. However, it's important to be honest with yourself. If any of these ulterior motives are driving your desire to start your own business, it's probably a good idea to pause and rethink your plans.

You Hate Your Job

You can hate your current job all you want, but it won't add to the value of the business you want to start. Leaving a job you dislike can be exhilarating, but make sure you are replacing your job with a viable alternative that allows you to support yourself financially.

You Hate Your Boss

Like hating your job, hating your boss doesn't make your business idea any better. The decision to start your own business should be based on factors related to the business itself, like the opportunity to deliver value and the feasibility of making it happen. Also, keep in mind that customers and suppliers can be just as difficult to deal with as that boss you hate.

You’re in It for the Money

Don't hold your breath waiting for easy money. When you start your business, you will face challenges that require you to have resilience, passion, and stubbornness. If you're just in it for the money, it'll be much harder to meet those challenges, especially if the money isn't pouring in yet. If you are truly doing what you love, the money shouldn't matter so much.

You Want to Work Less

Running your own business is time-consuming, especially in the beginning. You are always on-call. You can’t clock out from work at the end of the day like you can when you are employed by someone else. There is always work to do, and you are the only one who can make sure it gets done.

You Want More Flexibility

If you are expecting to only work when you want, you will be disappointed. You may now be your own boss, but your customers don’t care about your sleep schedule or vacation plans. Your customers will want what they want when they want it. And when they do, you have to be ready for them.

You Think It Will Be Easier Than a Corporate Job

The hardships you experience at work are a result of your job being just that: work. As mentioned above, starting your own business will be a lot of work. Entrepreneurship may entail a different set of challenges, but it is in no way easier than having a corporate job.

You Only Want to Answer to Yourself

As an entrepreneur, you answer to no one and everyone. Technically, you won't have a boss, but you'll still have to answer to your customers, your suppliers, and your employees. You can cut yourself as much slack as you want, but any slack you cut yourself will have a direct effect on your business.

You Want to Have Fun

Although starting and running your own business can be a lot of fun, you are bound to come across tedious tasks. At times, the workload will overwhelm you. To be a successful entrepreneur, you will have to face both the good and bad with a relentless fervor. Enjoy the good times, but don't depend on them to keep you going.

You Want to Be Famous

Building awareness about your company within your target audience is necessary, but you need to look at publicity as a means to an end, not your end goal. Being an entrepreneur is about building a successful business by creating and delivering value, not by becoming a celebrity.

A Friend or Family Member Wants to Start a Business With You

Just because someone you know or admire wants to work with you, that shouldn't make a business opportunity attractive. Furthermore, even if a friend or a family member has a great business idea, mixing business with personal relationships can be problematic.