There are an abundance of benefits to starting a small business. There is the biggie, of course — being your own boss. But there’s a lot more to it than that. Here’s a look at some of the other perks for running your own show.
Building your own team
Think about the fantasy football phenomenon. Millions of people spend time playing NFL general manager and coach — drafting and trading players, starting and benching them. On a smaller (but much more real) scale, business owners can do the same. Rather than being thrown together in a typical office, entrepreneurs can search for the kind of people they want to be around on a daily basis, and who can help the business succeed. In a story for Inc.com, business owner Christine Clifford talked about the benefits of this hiring freedom. “Surround yourself with positive people who give you the confidence and optimism you need to keep moving forward,” she says. “Weed out the people that put out negative vibes. The smaller your organization, the larger choice you have about who you work with.”
Following your vision
Ever hear of movie directors or musicians who demand “creative control” or “final cut” of their projects? What may come off as stubborn or self-absorbed can actually fall in line with what small business owners crave — chasing their own dream and doing it their own way. Management consultant Jane Chin recently wrote about this for Forbes. “What can be more empowering than taking our inspirations and ideas for ourselves — for our community, society, even the world — and create something tangible, something real?” she writes. “Entrepreneurship is passion solidifying into form, where visions become visible. Owning a small business is a reminder every day that we had made our dreams come true. This gives some of us courage to further break through our comfort zones and try new things; a major side effect of small business ownership is intense personal growth.”
The education process
There is a certain sense of daring in stepping out on your own and starting a business. But the things that you learn in doing it right can provide a sense of personal and professional satisfaction. Michael Wilson, co-founder of a web design firm, tells Inc.com how new situations can invigorate an entrepreneur. “The great thing about owning a small business is I rarely experience the same day twice,” he says. “Because every day, I learn something new about the act of owning a business. Whether it’s something about taxes, about accounting, or the plethora of other things that go into running a company, I am always fascinated by the parts and pieces of knowledge that I learn every day just to keep the business on track.”
Being happy in your job is one thing. Being “extremely happy” is quite another. As smallbiztrends.com reports, a 2013 survey showed that 91 percent of small business owners with 20 or fewer employees are happy, and 55 percent are extremely happy. The results acknowledge common worries, including heathcare costs, saving for retirement and earning enough money to provide for a family. And 40 percent say they work between 41 and 60 hours per week. But think about those words again: “extremely happy.” How many of us can describe our jobs in that way? Those of us who can’t may find some real benefits in pondering small-business ownership. That level of professional satisfaction is impressive enough to at least explore it.