There are thousands of articles cautioning people who would like to be self-employed about the pitfalls of starting their own businesses. While there are certainly challenges to owning your own business, there are many benefits to being your own boss, as well.
Being in Control
Have you ever worked a job in which you felt you could do better if you had control over how the work was done? Let's face it. Jobs can be constricting, and sometimes don't allow you to maximize your knowledge and skill.
Having a job also means your income is dependent on the company retaining you as an employee. If you've ever been concerned about a layoff, you know putting your livelihood into someone else's hands involves risk.
When you build your own business, you do what you want, how you want, when you want. You develop the product or service to the level you think is best. You have systems and routines that work best for you. And if you need a powernap late morning or afternoon to boost creativity and productivity, you can take one. And you're able to do all this without the fear of getting fired or laid off.
Owning your own business allows you to turn your skills, interests, and passions into income. Whether you love cooking, gardening, helping people reach their fitness goals, finding deals to sell online, or doing math, you can create a business out of nothing that taps into your interests. When you own your own business, you get to shape and flesh out your dreams.
In a TD Canada Trust Small Business Survey, 96% of small business owners said that being able to help their customers and clients was one of the top benefits of owning a small business. Small businesses also help people by creating jobs in their communities and being good community citizens.
Living a More Flexible Lifestyle
For women, especially, owning your own business can give the lifestyle flexibility necessary to raise a family and still have a successful career. There are more than 11.6 million businesses owned by women generating over $1.7 trillion in sales.
Millennials who grew up with technology have turned to entrepreneurship due to low employment opportunities and increased interest in lifestyle over money. Even so, millennials are quite successful in this endeavor with 80% reporting profits, which is 3% higher than the national average for business.
It's not just moms and Millenials who can benefit from the flexibility of owning a business can offer. People who are close to retirement or already retired may find owning their own businesses gives them both the chance to keep their hands in and to do something satisfying. People who want to travel or live a particular lifestyle can benefit from entrepreneurship, plus you might be able to work from home.
Owning a business is one of the best ways to design a career that fits your lifestyle goals.
Change the World
Many business icons started with an idea that has changed the world. From Disney to Zuckerberg, and Bezos to Gates, all of them had ideas they built an empire around. Many of these companies were started from their garage.
With that said, your business doesn't have to become the next Facebook or Microsoft to be the agent of powerful change. For the last four decades, for instance, Torben Vestergaard Frandsen has been creating products such as blankets for the Red Cross, tsetse fly traps, and LifeStraw, a personal, low-cost water purification tool that is being used to provide safe drinking water to millions of people.
Making More Money
Granted, statistics on business success can seem grim. Approximately 50% of businesses survive to five years. With that said, there is much you can do to improve your chances of success, and in fact, depending on your goals, opening a business might be a better financial option than working for an employer. For one, with a business, you're more likely to earn what you're worth, especially if you're a woman. Instead of earning 79% of what a man earns, a woman can charge her value in a business.
As the business owner, you can set prices, and along with business tax perks, you could end up making more than you would in a job. And you may be able to enjoy income tax breaks not available to employees, such as hiring other family members and income-splitting.