The idea of being a business owner is really exciting. To be an entrepreneur seems like a higher status level. Who wouldn’t want the freedom to control their own schedule and do something they enjoy every day? Well, like most things in life, it’s a little more complicated than that. But… being an entrepreneur, self-employed, small business owner, whatever you want to call it, is totally worth it, as long as you know what you’re getting into and you start a business in a way that lessens your risk at the start.
So, what does it mean to be a business owner, and should you consider starting your own business?
What Does it Mean to be a Business Owner?
There are many motivations behind why people break out on their own to start a business. For John, the owner of Incite Tax, his journey began for more practical reasons. He needed more control over his accounting career in order to put food on the table for his family. But his motivation wasn’t just for himself. If he was struggling as a graduate with a master’s degree in accounting, working on his CPA, and working for an established tax firm, then how many other accountants were struggling on the same accounting career path? The accounting industry needed a change!
Unfortunately, the accounting industry hasn’t progressed much in the 15 plus years since Incite has been growing. Lower-level accountants are over-worked and under-paid. They spend way too much time at the office and not enough time at home, while the partners in the firm make all the money (but are still over-worked).
After basically working for free for a few months John decided the only way he was going to support his family was to leave the job he was at and try to go out on his own. He got a few clients, set up an office and after a lot of hard work Incite Tax was born. His mission was, and still is, to provide accountants with the income they deserve while maintaining a proper work/family balance.
In essence, to be a business owner means to be…
a constant problem solver
an employer who cares about their employee’s growth and well-being
a provider of quality goods or services that improve their community
an industry representative trying to improve the status quo
Just a little side note here, if you happen to be an underappreciated CPA (or bookkeeper or assistant) working for a big firm for little pay, you should go to our career page. We love bringing in new accountants. We’ll even build your business for you. Some of our accountants are making more than 6 figures, which is more than some partners make in other firms.
Should You Consider Starting Your Own Business?
The short answer is, yes. Everyone should at least consider it, because even if it’s not for you, you know it now and can move forward with confidence in your career path. There are a few things you should think about that more heavily impact the success of new businesses.
Don’t Burn Your Bridge
If you have a steady paycheck, the first tip I can give you is to keep your day job. Don’t burn any bridges with your current job and jump ship before you are sure your new business can support you.
Despite what a few entrepreneurs may say, the best way to start a business is to create it as a side hustle until it starts bringing in enough income to support you and your family. It won’t be easy. You’ll have to put in the hours at your current job and then put in more hours to get your business up and running, but eventually the extra work will be worth it.
Is there Actually a Market for Your Idea?
Go with me for a second. Remember the scene in Frozen when Princess Anna walks into the trading post and the guy says, “Big summer blowout.” He states that swimsuits and sun balm are 50% off. Obviously he can’t sell them because the whole country is full of snow. A few minutes later we meet Sven, the ice dealer who can’t sell ice because… well, the whole country is full of snow.
Whatever your business idea is, make sure there is a market for it. That doesn’t mean you have a few friends that say your product is awesome and would totally pay for it. Your business needs to be viable, and that’s why it’s important to take some time to run it on the side first. This way you have income from your job why your business works through its growing pains.
It’s Not for Everyone
You may make the best smoothies on the planet, but that doesn’t mean you can run your own smoothie shop. I’m speaking from experience here. Running your own business is more than making smoothies. It’s also managing a team, serving your customers, creating new products, and staying on top of your finances. Being your own boss means you can make your own schedule, but it also means that when the poop hits the fan, you’re the one that gets called in to clean up the mess.
Running your own business can be very rewarding, but it’s also full of challenges you may not have thought of yet. Just be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses, be willing to take advice, and delegate the duties you’re less familiar with.
Don’t be a Narcissist
Word of warning, if your reason for wanting to run your own business is to stroke your own ego, you’ll likely fail. In that situation I hope you fail, because if you want to own your own business just so you can boss people around, your employees will hate you, your clients won’t respect you, and your business won’t grow. You won’t be bettering the world in any way.
A true leader will lead and inspire you, not scare you into submission. When an employee feels valued and appreciated, they have a desire to perform better and help your business grow.
Hire the Right Accountant
If you are considering making the leap, you’ve weighed the options and are ready to enter the world of entrepreneurship and start a business of your very own, you’ll also want to make sure you have a great accountant in your corner. We can help you set it up correctly, make an S-Corp election, and make sure you’re maximizing your deductions, so your business is profitable, which makes your wealth grow.
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