Exploring Business Ownership – Putting it All Together (part 7 of 7)

We’ve explored the options for earning income in this 7 part series, ranging from the world of employment to full entrepreneurial business ownership. We’ve covered some basic concepts of what it means to be in business, the personality types that do well in this arena, and how to gauge your tolerance for the risks involved.

If, after absorbing all this knowledge, you decide you’re still interested in business ownership, then you’ll want to know how you can stack the odds of being successful in your favor, and when in life or an economic cycle is the best time to start or buy one.

When Is the Best Time to Start or Buy a Business?

Frankly speaking, there’s never a best time in life to get into business. In fact, there’s almost never a “good” time to get into business at all, because there’s always a good reason not to.

Reasons not to include, “We just got married and we’re saving for a house.” “We’re expecting our first child and we’re saving for that event.” “We’ve just started a college savings account for the kids.” “We’re pregnant (again).” “We just bought a bigger house and it’s put a big strain on our budget.” “The economy is up, so my job is secure.” “The economy is down and we have to watch our expenses ‘just in case’.” “I just got laid off, so we’re really watching our budget.” “I just got hired, so we have to rebuild our savings.” “We have kids in college and tuition is due.” “Our parents are in failing health and we’re contributing to their financial upkeep.” “Retirement is just around the corner and we’re making maximum contributions to our.401(k).” And finally, “We’re retired.”

So, there’s never a best time in life to get into business for yourself. If you’ve decided that your risk temperament is right for some type of business ownership and you have the motivation to take the plunge, then at some point you just have to take the bull by the horns and do it.

Why Businesses Succeed

Remember that you must have the basic ingredients in place to be a successful owner, regardless of your degree of risk tolerance or the business model you operate; self-motivation, the willingness to ask for help, a clear understanding of what you want to achieve, and the emotional ability to change when the business or market needs require it.

Of all the attributes I’ve listed, the willingness to ask for help, insight, advice, and counsel at every opportunity is the single most important thing you can do. Don’t try to go it alone; there’s simply too much at stake.

Successful business owners have a drive to succeed, know that they don’t have to singlehandedly blaze their own trail, recognize what’s at stake if their business fails, and realize that every great team and performer has a skilled coach helping them.

Eric Schmidt shared in the July 6, 2009, issue of Fortune Magazine that the best piece of advice he ever received was to hire a coach. And frankly, if the chairman and CEO of Google needs a coach, then you need one, too.

Why? Good business coaches give a 3rd party look at an issue and how you’re handling it, they discuss alternative approaches or options with you that may be more effective, and they encourage you to change habits or take risks that you wouldn’t be prepared to do on your own. They are a sounding board; they become a trustworthy confidant who has your best interest at heart. Finally, a good business coach will help you break through to achieve what you couldn’t on your own.

Then, successful business owners will grab the bull by the horns and implement the advice they’ve received. And if execution is not their strong suit, they’ll ask for help in learning how.

Wrapping Up

Business ownership is a high risk venture that can have great rewards. I hope what I’ve shared here has given you some personal and professional insight as you explore the world of business ownership. I’d enjoy your feedback on whether this series has helped you in your decision making process. If you decide to go forward, I’ll look forward to hearing how you’re doing. I wish you the very best of success.

Personal Empowerment: How Business Ownership Can Create Wealth And Personal Happiness

We all want personal fulfillment and empowerment, especially in these uncertain times. We want to be in control of our time, our jobs, and our earning potential. And, some of us know that working for someone else is simply a necessary means to an end. You go to work, you do a good job, you get paid for your productivity and efficiency and your value to the company, you bring home your paycheck and you get up the next day and do it all again. But, do you really feel a sense of personal empowerment and happiness? What are the odds that you are going to create “personal wealth” working for someone else? You are more likely contributing to someone else’s personal wealth!

Please keep reading if you would like to know more about personal empowerment and how business ownership can create wealth and personal happiness.

Americans as a whole, are very entrepreneurial people. Small businesses and small firms are the backbone of our economy, in good times and in bad. According to statistics by SBA.gov, office of Advocacy. small businesses:

  • Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
  • Employ just over half of all private sector employees.
  • Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
  • Have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years.
  • Create more than half of the non-farm private gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Hire 40 percent of high-tech workers (such as scientists, engineers, and computer programmers).
  • Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises.
  • Made up 97.3 percent of all identified exporters and produced 30.2 percent of the known export value in FY 2007.
  • Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms; these patents are twice as likely as large firm patents to be among the one percent most cited.

Please note the astonishing statistic that 52% of small businesses are home-based!

With the above statistics in mind, I think it is safe to say that being a successful business owner and entrepreneur empowers you and can give you control over your financial future and your personal happiness. I also think it is safe to say, that, even if you are making a good living working for someone else, you probably aren’t going to “create wealth” while working for someone else.

People who own their own businesses express contentment, even when they own stressful businesses. The small business owner understands that he is working hard and enduring long hours because is working for himself. He and his family will be the direct beneficiaries of all that hard work. Many businesses are “family-owned and operated.” If you are working for someone else, can you pass your position on to your son or daughter? A family business is a legacy! And, even if you don’t pass your business down to your children or grandchildren, can you sell your current position when you decide to retire? A business is an asset. Your current job is just that: a job.

It has long been known that personal empowerment,and business ownership can create wealth and lead to personal happiness. I’m not saying that owning your own small business is easy, but, we all have to work, and most of us work pretty hard. So, what I AM saying is this: if it’s worth doing, it is worth doing for yourself!

You owe it to yourself to at least look into owning your own business: You’ve probably thought about it a million times. Give yourself the gift of personal empowerment and find out how business ownership can create wealth and personal happiness for you and your family.

Exploring Business Ownership – So You Think You Want to Be in Business? (Part 1 of 7)

This series is dedicated to helping “wannabe” business owners determine whether they’re a good candidate to venture forth into the world of business ownership.

Many times those who have been laid off or downsized, or are in danger of that happening soon, begin to actively think about business ownership. Typically, they’re tired of the uncertainly of their present position, or simply have that entrepreneurial itch and are considering striking out on their own. This may describe your situation and you might be wondering whether it’s best to continue in the employment world or if it’s time to take the plunge.

So, how do you test the waters to know if you have the risk tolerance, level of motivation, and personal attributes necessary to succeed in the business world? Read on.

So You Think You Want to be in Business

Maybe you’re tired of working for “the man” and you want your own “gig”. Or you might have a great idea that you’re sure will work. Or maybe you want to build wealth by starting and building a business to sell at a tidy profit. Or maybe you dream of creating a “gentleman farmer” lifestyle where you simply hire someone to work hard in your business, while you collect an owner’s check at a retirement resort in another state (or country). There are many reasons people start or buy businesses. Most of them have a root in the dissatisfaction with their current situation.

What Kind of People Do Well in Business?

Conventional wisdom says you have to be a “sales type” to be successful. However, Bill Gates is the world’s most famous geek, is definitely not the sales type, and didn’t even finish his undergraduate degree at Harvard, yet few would argue with his success.

While there are some traits that serve owners better than others, in my experience nearly any personality type or style can be successful in business. Rather than focusing on whether someone is outgoing, the basic ingredients I find important to a candidate’s success are a clear understanding of what they want to achieve, a high level of self-motivation, the willingness to ask for help, and the ability to change when business conditions or market needs require it.

Typically, natural sales-types are not good at detail, yet successful businesses must deliver everything promised, when it was promised. So the challenge for the sales-type is to recognize that details are important in running a business and they must have a “dot the ‘i’, cross the ‘t'” person filling these functions.

Likewise, those who see themselves as “geeks” are great at detail, but are not comfortable with the self-promotion and personal contact necessary to create prospects and generate sales. So, the challenge for the geek business owner is to recognize the importance of the sales function and ensure a sales type is in it.

So, it’s far more important to recognize that a successful business requires all personality types working together than it is for the owner to posses a particular personality style.

Everyone wants to be successful in business! In part 2 we’ll discuss what your definition of success should be.