Having your own business has its own benefits but it sure is risky. It could be a great source of income, however, it’s not for everyone. If starting a business is one of your goals, then I’m here to help you figure out if you should start one or not.
Disclaimer: I’m not a professional in the field of business, however, I am interested in the said topic as I too, am planning to start my own. I’m here to share with you my thoughts about the said topic.
*This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you, when you make a purchase through a link.*
Whether the business you plan to pursue is architecture-related or not, here are some of the things you’ll want to know.
What is a Business
Have you ever heard of “sell the solution, not the product”? It means a meaningful and successful business serves a need or helps alleviate problems through the products and services themselves.
When you’re going to make a sales-pitch for example, it’s wise to highlight why your product or service is significant and the significance will only be there if it helps someone or people overall.
This is where the mission and vision comes in. Why establish the business? Where do you see it going? What prompted its beginning? Your answers to these could be the heart of your business and your plan for success could and would revolve around it.
I doubt a business would be successful if it doesn’t help anyone, or if it doesn’t serve a purpose beyond money making. People use a product or service most likely because it serves them.
Speaking of money-making, having a successful or booming business could help secure you financially. Although the profit isn’t always stable, meaning there is no fixed income coming in, it also means your profit (or loss) can increase (or decrease) whenever.
A business can be a source of a semi-passive income. I say “semi” because obviously, you’re still going to be putting some hands on work. You could be earning in your sleep but at the same time doing some work later on in the morning.
Although a business will make you money, you also need some capital to start it. Before you can pull them out, you gotta put something in first. If you don’t have the money for a capital, that’s when investors can come in.
The Pros and Cons of a Business
You work for yourself
“Working for yourself” may not be everyone’s cup of tea but if it’s yours, then it’s one of the major benefits. You’ll be the one handling your time and essentially, no one will tell you when to get on and get off work — although some days your employees and partners might “have to” when there’s an emergency or if you’re needed in a certain task.
This is a major pro just as long as you know you have the willpower and discipline. Willpower depletes, and discipline could be hard to maintain. You know yourself most if you can handle it for the long-term as understandably, some people would prefer working for others for accountability.
As a business owner, you’re your own boss. What would be your ideal relationship with your boss? What would be your ideal relationship with yourself?
You can start with your passion project
I’ve mentioned that a good business answers people’s problems. But it could be better if it’s also your passion because you would authentically talk about why your product or service is needed. It’s hard to expect people to believe in what you do if you don’t believe in it yourself.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking, “if you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life” as that is completely untrue. If you’re a business-owner, you’ll most likely be wearing a lot of hats especially if you don’t have yet the privilege of delegating or outsourcing. Sometimes, you won’t like the other hats you’ll have to wear.
You have the freedom to explore and experiment
Not everyone has the privilege to fail but by starting something on your own, you’ll most likely experience experimenting on what will work for you and for what you offer. It’s a lot likely you won’t get it right the first time or you’ll feel like you don’t know what you’re doing but that’s normal.
It’s important to take note that starting a business costs money so if you’re experimenting and exploring, this will mean risking that money you have put in.
If you have not enough capital, you can seek investors
Yes, there are people willing to pay for your business because they believe in your ideas or they believe that the business will succeed. This is where pitches and data come in. If you’ve ever watched Shark Tank then you know what I’m talking about.
What did I tell you about believing in your product or service? Now here’s the time to actually convince people to believe with you.
The salary isn’t fixed
The salary not being fixed is both a pro and a con. It’s a pro because your number of working hours does not define your profit. You could profit exponentially or you could suffer losses that quickly too.
Imagine this, some people earn minimum wage for 8 hours daily while others can double their income in only four hours.
High risk, high reward
Starting a business is risky and everybody knows that. But the bright side is if it succeeds, you’ll definitely reap the goods. You could lose a lot of money, but you can earn a lot as well. It all depends on your systems, resilience, and strategies.
Having your own business isn’t a gamble because you are studying the risks. Unlike other unpredictable things, you can lessen the probability of failure through planning and analysis.
High risk, High reward
Now let’s talk about the cons of this “high risk-high reward”. Reversing what I’ve mentioned, you can earn a lot of money, but you could lose a lot of money as well. When starting a business, I think there could be a ton of trial and error — highlighting the word “error”.
Not all businesses succeed and so when we try to look at and learn from other businesses, let’s make sure we’re not experiencing a “survivorship bias”.
You might lose the “work-life” balance
Have you ever heard of anyone saying their business is their baby? If it is, then you’ll most likely give it your attention a lot. Some people still have this balance by being mindful of where they give their attention and when, but if something urgent comes along, you won’t always be able to say no.
You may work a lot less than the forty-hour workweek or more. This would really depend on the systems made and the nature of the business.
It could be costly especially when it comes to marketing
Regardless if you have a good service or product, if the people don’t know about it, how do you think it’ll succeed? A good marketing strategy is key to getting your business out there. Advertising is not cheap, nor easy. There’s a lot of studying and data analysis to check on how a publication material will do.
Trial and error also comes into play but of course, helpful resources are out there which you could use to avoid the errors.
If you prefer a fixed schedule, it might not be for you
You can definitely build your own routine when you have your own business. However, each day might look different for you so it’s not always easy. Not to mention, it’s not only your schedule you’re going to have to consider this time. Since you’ll probably be working with different people in different areas, their schedule also comes into play.
The exciting thing about this personally, is that since your days aren’t always the same, it avoids dullness. Sure, you’ll be repeating some work but compared to a traditional job, I think businesses bring more variety in what you could encounter and do.
Sometimes it can be overwhelming when your day-to-day is filled with spontaneity. You can definitely add some familiarity or peace by building routines in the morning and at night.
The salary isn’t fixed
You won’t have a stable salary since it could fluctuate month to month depending on a variety of things. The con about this is that compared to a traditional job, the latter ensures you get your pay month to month in a specific amount.
If you’ve got bills to pay, budgeting is an absolutely necessary skill. If you’re unsure of what income could come to you next month, how will you plan your savings and expenses?
What Kind of Business Should You Start?
Something you can see yourself doing long-term
This has always been something I choose to consider since high school, regardless if the job is traditional or not. Unless you’re massively rich, you’d probably need some source of income for the majority of your life. What can you see yourself doing long term, through the good and the bad?
Working your own business isn’t all rainbows, it gets tough. What is it that you’ll still willingly perform and do during those tough times?
Something you have at least some sort of authority or knowledge or skill
When you start a business, you don’t sell a product — you solve a problem. What skill or knowledge or authority do you have to be able to solve this problem? What are you good at? What are your ideas?
Everybody has one. Yours doesn’t have to be unique, but your authority or skill over it is your leverage and would be one of the sources of your confidence. Like I’ve mentioned, how would you expect others to believe in what you do if you don’t yourself?
Something that is needed by others
Yes, there are businesses out there that’s only a luxury but even this luxury is “needed” by others. If it solves a problem, if it alleviates something, then you probably have a market.
I think that the more needed a business is, the stronger it could become. Connecting your passion or vision and your skills to the market’s needs could be a powerful business idea.
Of course, business is no easy thing. Is your business idea sustainable for you? Is your strategy sustainable? Is it sustainable for the environment? Is it manageable? How do you strengthen its foundation?
There are a lot of things to consider with sustainability from your own personal strengths to its impact to your surroundings and the people. How do you think your business idea will become sustainable?
So Should You Start a Business?
Your answer to these thoughts and questions could help determine if you should start one. It’s not for everyone, but if you believe it’s for you and if you believe in what you can do, what are you waiting for?