Pros and Cons of Owning a Business
Owning a small business is not just another job. It's a totally different
lifestyle. You have to ask yourself whether you're ready for a complete
commitment to the success of your business. Just as importantly, you have to ask
your partner, if you're in a relationship, whether he or she is completely
As a small business owner, you're going to have less time for your personal
life and you'll probably be using much of what you own as collateral to raise
money for the business. If you are willing to make those sacrifices, then let's
move on to some of the advantages and disadvantages of owning your own business.
- You have the chance to make a lot more money than you can make working for
- You'll be your own boss and make the decisions that are crucial to your
business' success or failure.
- You may be the boss of other people.
- You'll have job security — no one can fire you.
- You'll have the chance to put your ideas into practice.
- You may participate in every aspect of running a business.
- You'll learn more about every aspect of a business and gain experience in
a variety of disciplines.
- You'll have the chance to work directly with your customers.
- You'll be able to benefit the local economy, such as by hiring other
people to work for you.
- You'll have the personal satisfaction of creating and running a successful
- You'll be able to work in a field or area that you really enjoy.
- You'll have the chance to build real retirement value (for example, by
selling the business when you retire).
- You'll have the chance to put down roots in a community and to provide a
sense of belonging and stability for your family.
- You may have to take a large financial risk.
- You will probably have to work long hours and may have fewer opportunities
to take vacations.
- You may end up spending a lot of your time attending to the details of
running a business and less time on those things you really enjoy.
- You may find that your income is not steady and that there are times when
you don't have much income coming in at all.
- You may have to undertake tasks you find unpleasant, such as firing
someone or refusing to hire a friend or relative.
- You may have to learn many new disciplines, such as filing and
bookkeeping, inventory control, production planning, advertising and
promotion, market research, and general management.
Special pros and cons of the home-based business:
- Your startup costs will be lower.
- Your operating costs will be lower than they would if you were renting
space and paying utilities.
- Your commute will be shorter.
- If your location is unimportant to your business, you can theoretically
live anywhere and still operate your business.
- You may be more flexible in your schedule if your business can be
conducted at your convenience or outside "normal" weekday business
- On the other hand, you're much more vulnerable to interruptions from
family members, neighbors, and door-to-door salespeople.
- You may have trouble attracting qualified employees.
- You may be less accessible to suppliers.
- You may have an image problem, although with the growing popularity of
home businesses, that's less common.
- You may run out of space at home if your business grows.