People tend to see entrepreneurship as either a dream job or a whole lot of busy work. The reality is that it falls somewhere in the middle. From greater freedom to greater responsibility, there are many pros and cons to being an entrepreneur, but few regret their decision to become one.
So what are the main benefits of being an entrepreneur? For those that brave the challenges of starting and owning a business, the rewards can be far more fulfilling than a traditional desk job.
10 Advantages of Entrepreneurship
1. Be your own boss
One of the most common reasons people start a business is because of the independence it creates. As the founder and CEO of a business, you answer to no higher authority, except maybe the customers you serve.
2. Choose your own team
Playing well with other team members can be difficult, especially if you have conflicting personalities or philosophies. When you start your own business, you get the privilege of choosing the team members that you get to work with, and that best represent the brand.
3. Creative expression
Brands are really just the personality, the creative expression of a business, and as an entrepreneur, you get to call the shots. That doesn’t just refer to the colors and imagery, but the core values and tone of the company’s messaging.
4. Excellent learning experience
Nothing prepares you for the business world better than real-life experience. Even if you studied business in college, the lessons in a work setting are more memorable and better understood. For example, while you may have learned about writing up business plans for startups, reality may be slightly messier and less structured. Your startup will likely evolve several times and look totally different to the original concept.
5. Flexible Schedule
As the manager of your business, you also have more control over your time. If you want to work earlier in the morning and rest in the afternoon or work late at night, you have the power to do so.
6. Following a vision/cause
Entrepreneurs don’t just undertake the risk of starting a business for fun. Something usually inspires them to action, whether it’s a perceived lack of options, or an unfulfilled customer need. The drive to innovate and compete is one of the major differences between an entrepreneur and a small business.
7. Greater potential profit
Since entrepreneurs have the ability to allocate resources, they have the opportunity to save money in certain places, such as expensive marketing initiatives or costly office maintenance.
8. Set your own office
Forget about stuffy cubicles and small offices. Depending on the size of your business, you can choose to work from home, or in a coworking space. Some entrepreneurs even enjoy their privilege of traveling the world as they work.
9. No professional ceiling
Don’t wait years hoping for a promotion. As an entrepreneur, traditional hierarchies are meaningless. You automatically become the CEO of your company, so there’s no need to worry about vertical mobility. You just need to make sure you’re running the business smoothly.
10. Develop an inspiring work culture
Many entrepreneurs were once entry-level workers stuck in someone else’s concept of a work environment. Dreams of more inclusive policies and team-centered values can finally be realized. Entrepreneurs get to set the standard for how team members treat customers and one another.
Check out this TED Talk on finding and doing work that you love.
10 Challenges of Entrepreneurship
1. Multiple roles and responsibilities
Even though your title may read “CEO” or “Founder,” you’ll really be using multiple titles at once. Don’t expect to only work on sales or business development- you’ll be juggling finances, legal, marketing, human resources, and business admin work until your team gradually expands.
2. Work-life balance
Sure, entrepreneurs can work from anywhere at any time, but the downside is that you’re pretty much working during most of your free time. That might involve fielding sales calls in the evening, finishing up a SOW on the weekends, or putting out fires while on vacation.
Be sure to read our previous article on improving the work-life balance of your team.
Without a boss to keep you in line, discipline becomes a self-taught responsibility. That may involve getting up early to work, helping team members on a certain project, or holding meetings on holidays.
4. High risk
Starting a business is no walk in the park- there’s a lot of financial and legal risk involved if you don’t do your homework. Businesses without a plan in place to manage their finances risk ending their ventures prematurely.
5. Few business connections
Businesses are built on networks of investors, partners, influencers, and team members. Unless you’re a veteran in a certain industry, you’re going to have to build your business network from the ground up. That may be challenging for those with little networking experience.
6. Building reputation
Building up a new brand can be one of the biggest challenges for a new startup. Unless you have an innovative breakthrough on your hands, you’ll likely have dozens of competitors that your target audience will already be more familiar with.
7. Legal considerations
New businesses have to deal with a whole new set of laws, a challenge that can be overwhelming without a lawyer. However, compliance is absolutely mandatory- if your business doesn’t abide by industry codes, you may develop a negative reputation, or eventually risk the threat of litigation.
Entrepreneurs may struggle in their newfound leadership role, especially if they have limited experience managing people or prioritizing activities. However, there’s no need to panic – leadership skills can be learned and developed over time.
Check out Michael Hyatt’s This Is Your Life Podcast for more tips on leadership.
9. Limited supplies/technology
Starting out, a new business won’t have all the amenities and supplies that larger companies already have, including hardware such as computers, printers, scanners, cameras. There is also the challenge of obtaining suitable and effective software for CRM, conference calls, and other industry-relevant web apps.
10. Fewer benefits
Unfortunately, entrepreneurs will likely not be able to offer healthcare plans or discounted gym memberships early in the business’s life. Lack of benefits may turn a few potential customers and employees away.
Becoming an Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs have a unique job description- they have the freedom to build the business of their dreams but first have to overcome obstacles to organization and time management. Running a business can definitely feel like an uphill climb, but the journey is just as meaningful as the destination.
Ready to become an entrepreneur? Our checklist to entrepreneurship will make sure you’re prepared for anything.
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