Is Business Ownership Right For You?

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So, you want to own a business, eh? Do you walk into businesses and think, “If the owner just did this ______”, or, “If this were my business, I’d do ________”? If so, you may have the “entrepreneurial bug”. However, there are a number of aspects of owning a business that need to be addressed ­before you even start looking for one.

Business ownership is not for everyone. Aside from any investment you make, it also requires managerial talents, patience, sales ability, a temperament for customer service and, most importantly, sacrifice ­from you and your family.

Many people equate business ownership with freedom. While this is true to some extent, in reality, the marketplace is dictating countless things to you. When you own your own business, nothing happens unless you make it happen.

When you’re a business owner there isn’t anyone to motivate you or to give you the day’s plan. (Though a wife and three screaming kids in the kitchen and the rent due in 10 days has proven to be an excellent motivator to many people.) You’ve got to be there to open and close; order and manage inventory; keep the books; “merchandise” your business; advertise and market your business. And you’ve got to keep the bathroom clean!

And there’s more! Do you need employees? If so, you have to hire them, train them, motivate and oversee them. You have to listen to their personal woes. And then you have to pay them.

In addition to all this, you’ve got to deal with a government, the various levels of which are growing at the rate of a 12 year-old on steroids. In abject contravention to the much-ballyhooed Paperwork Reduction Act passed with great fanfare during the Clinton administration, the United States now seems to have more rules and regulations governing the conduct of business than have existed in the entire rest of the world from the beginning of time. And you, Bucko, have got to deal with them.

But all this pales in importance next to your biggest concern; your spouse and kids. Can you own a business without short-changing them? Have you spoken to them about your desire to own your own business? Are they supportive and encouraging? Their support will go a long way if an employee doesn’t show up and you have to go man the cash register on Thanksgiving Day.

Owning a business can be one of the most fulfilling aspects of life. ­More people have become financially secure by owning a business than in any other way. But before you make the final decision, consider the following.

Try to imagine the worst possible scenario for any business you’d like to own. For instance, if you’re printing T-shirts and UPS just went on strike and the only way to get your best customer’s order delivered on time to their store in Baltimore is to take it yourself, what would you do? What would your spouse say?

If you’re still excited, maybe you’ve got what it takes to own a business. But go ask your spouse. If he or she asks if you’ve been smoking funny cigarettes, go to work tomorrow with a smile and thank your boss on Friday for your paycheck. And don’t forget to check out – and subscribe to – our podcast at WorldwideBusinessPodcast.com on WBBN-fm, the Worldwide Business Brokers Network.

Joe

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