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Top 7 Reasons for Not Starting Your Own Business

By Gerry McRae

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To start your own business you must have a lot going for you. To start with your hands tied behind your back is foolhardy.

Check your situation against the following reasons for not becoming an entrepreneur. Can you do without such support and security as your employer's economies of scale, complementary support system of fellow workers and such benefits as health care, vacations and status? Are these enough reasons to abandon your quest to strike out on your own?

  1. Desiring to be your own boss. This is the common appeal used by the purveyors of get-rich-quick schemes. It's an appeal that works for them because it's in the minds of many people trapped in a job under bosses they don't like. It has been a strong motivation for many people who have successfully become their own bosses. You will still have "bosses" who can be very demanding and unreasonable in the form of customers, competitors, suppliers, lenders, bureaucrats from regulating agencies, employees and partners. As is often the case, the most demanding boss will be yourself. Especially, if you have an overwhelming desire to be successful.

  2. Looking for shorter hours. Unless you are prepared to accept less personal income, it's unrealistic to expect replacement of your salary from the proceeds generated by a fledgling enterprise. Will you be able to forego or replace the perks and benefits provided by an employer? Do you have an independent source of income or are you able to reduce your needs? Do you have skills which can earn greater compensation on a freelance basis from people prepared or contracted to provide those payments? Be very realistic with your calculations and your answers to these questions.

  3. A personal track record that does not include a history of saving. Has your saving habit resulted in accumulated financial resources and in demonstrating your success at handling money with budgets to meet goals? The amounts are not as important as the portion of revenue saved and the length of time your habit prevailed. You will be the person responsible for the tough financial decisions.

  4. Having no personal revenue producing assets or to replace capital expenditures on such requirements as furniture, fixtures, equipment, supplies, operating space and transportation.

  5. Possessing insufficient management skills. Each skill you lack must be contracted to someone else. Will you be able to generate sufficient revenue to pay these costs? In addition, do you possess sufficient knowledge for supervising the skills you delegate? What do you know about bookkeeping, accounting, selling, advertising, training, product knowledge and the many other essentials of small business management? Most importantly, what's your expertise in self administered time management? How are you going to gain these skills while handling the day-to-day operations? Successful implementation of a great concept demands effective management skills.

  6. Harboring the slightest doubt in your commitment to succeed over all adversities. Your business will generate enough doubts which don't need to be complicated by self doubts. Setbacks and imperfect plans afflicting most enterprises require your personal ability to cope with these challenges. This demands you have a firm belief in yourself together with the support of perfect health, the energy and the resourcefulness to survive and overcome.

  7. Being risk averse. Despite your being able to state you have none of the above shortcomings, are you uncomfortable taking even calculated risks let alone unexpected ones? Every day an entrepreneur is required to make decisions and each is accompanied with some element of risk. You will be required to incur liabilities each time you sign a contract. There will be risks resulting from neglect or deferral caused by your preoccupation with the hustle and bustle of day-to-day operations.

Gerry McRae offers advice, coaching and guidelines for writing business plans on his website, He has written his own business plans for several successful enterprises and has coached hundreds of students and practitioners in writing plans.


Article Submitted On: October 13, 2005