People choose to take the plunge and start their own business for various reasons. Be it financial gain, frustration in their current role, lack of job opportunities, or a big idea – perhaps they have designed the next best thing to a bread slicer.
In addition to people’s inner drive and motivations, governments also want more small business owners to emerge and succeed. President Obama launched the Startup America initiative this past January, and recently issued a proclamation for the 48th National Small Business Week, May 15th – 21st, stating “Small businesses embody the promise of America: that if you have a good idea and are willing to work hard enough, you can succeed in our country.”
The UK government is also trying to encourage more of its citizens to go into business. One example is George Osborne, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, increasing the bank levy by £800 million (approximately $1.3 billion USD) for 2011 in order to persuade lenders to finance small businesses.
To better understand why people start their own business, public liability insurer, Hiscox ran an online poll asking entrepreneurs what motivated them to turn their idea into reality.
It may come as a shock that the results showed the top reason wasn’t financial gain. Rather, the study found 32% of responses indicated people went into business to be their own boss (although the option ‘to make more money’ was a close second at 27%).
The remaining results showed:
- 16% hoped to bring to life a great idea
- 14% wanted to escape the corporate world
- 10% had started their own business as a result of being made redundant
As the poll allowed users to choose more than one option, it is no surprise that many of the participants had more than one reason for going it alone. Taking the leap and starting your own business isn’t an easy decision when weighing up the pros and cons (as some of us well know).
Although making money will always be important to business owners, it is interesting to see the main driver is a desire to be your own boss. This could suggest that people are taking the plunge because they want independence and the freedom to make their own business decisions and sculpt their own future.
Untemplaters, why did you decide to start your own business? What are your motivations? What would be your main reasons to walk away from your current job to become an entrepreneur?
Kristoph Matthews says
I became an entrepreneur for the following reasons:
1. To do something remarkable rather than follow the “templated” lifestyle that corporate ladder climbers go after.
2. The ability to set my own pay once I come up with a marketable idea
3. Freedom to do things the way I want to (I don’t ever plan on going public), be location independent (to a degree), and set my own schedule.
Greg Miliates says
If you run your own business, you’ll have a boss (yourself, or more specifically, your customers). But, based on my own experience, both having had various jobs and bosses, as well as running my own consulting business for the past 4+ years, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to a regular “day job”. I have too much flexibility, much higher income potential, and the ability to pursue more opportunities than I ever did as an employee.
Interestingly, many people sit on the sidelines when it comes to starting a business, thinking that it’s way too complicated, or expensive, or maybe they’re afraid to fail. What I’ve found is that business really isn’t that difficult–although it certainly takes hard work to succeed–and doesn’t need to be expensive or risky.
On my blog, I talk about ways to get past the fears of starting a business, as well as specific tools to run your business on the cheap.
Financial Samurai says
Carrie, you are spot on. Just like most people wantto be rich and successful, yet aren’t willing to take the risk or the effort to do so.
The key to making money is to market a get rich, lifetyle business and say it’s easy like the 4 Hour Work Week. By the time you’ve bought the book and given it a go, you can’t get your money back!
Carrie B says
Most people don’t want to “be their own boss,” most people just don’t want to HAVE a boss. There is a difference. When folks realize they have to actually have a boss (themselves) they can succeed. If you just don’t want to have a boss, you’ll languish unless you give yourself some hardcore direction.
Jamie Makar says
That’s a great point Carrie. It takes a lot to keep all the cogs running smoothly in a small business and without self discipline, goals, and a solid plan, things won’t go anywhere. Not everyone will be successful but props to everyone who takes the plunge and gives it their best shot.