Pros and Cons of Being a Small Business Owner

Starting a small business is no small feat. You must be resilient and dedicated if you want to build a business that makes a profit and stands the test of time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 20% of new businesses don’t make it past the first year. What’s more, opening a small business during a major economic crisis (e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic) can make your chances for survival even slimmer.

Although entrepreneurship can be a challenge, it’s not all doom and gloom: There are currently 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S., which accounts for 99.9% of all businesses nationwide. Small businesses are the cornerstone of the American economy, and for good reason. If you have a great business idea and want to try your hand at entrepreneurship, weigh the pros and cons first.

Business planning improves your chances for success.

Most people don’t plan, but it will help you get to market faster. A business plan will help you gain clarity, focus, and confidence. A plan does not need to be more than one page. As you write down your goals, strategies, and action steps, your business model becomes real.

Before you spend money, find out if people will actually buy your products or services. This may be the most important thing you do. You can do this by validating your market. In other words, who, exactly, will buy your products or services other than your family or friends? (And don’t say. “Everyone in America will want my product.” Trust me – they won’t.) What is the size of your target market? Who are your customers? Is your product or service relevant to their everyday life? Why do they need it?

There is industry research available that you can uncover for free. Read industry articles with computer science data (Google the relevant industry associations) and read Census data to learn more. However, the most important way to get this information is to ask your target market/customers directly and then listen.

Business owner FAQ

Is an entrepreneur a business owner?

Yes. Small-business owners tend to run an established business with a proven product and customer base. Entrepreneurs tend to take on more risk through high-growth, innovative, untested business ideas, such as an app that hails cabs from your phone. Both are self-employed and referred to interchangeably.

What’s another name for a business owner?

What do you need to be a business owner?

About the author

Braveen is a content creator and marketer at Shopify where he develops resources to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Outside of work, he enjoys writing and tinkering on side projects.

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