Sure, being a small business owner has its challenges, but since you’ve taken the plunge into running your own business, it’s time to savor the advantages of being the captain of your own ship. There is a reason you sought this role in the first place, so let’s get back to basics and remember the aspects that encouraged you to start your own business in the first place. Here are the 10 Things You Should Be Thankful For as a Small Business Owner.
1. You’re responsible for your success.
You now are the motivating force behind your endeavor and you get the recognition for steering the ship toward success. While you may have a team or support from consultants, the progress of your business rests in your hands. Celebrate what you accomplish and appreciate your efforts.
2. You are agile.
As the leader of your business enterprise, you are now able to adapt quickly to change in the marketplace due to a lack of red tape. Just as a large ship needs time and space to make adjustments to its course, so do large institutions. Small businesses have the advantage in pivoting to respond to changes in demand or technology. Embrace this advantage and apply it in situations where you can see a benefit.
3. You determine the direction.
You might have 99 problems, but being a boss isn’t one. As a small business owner, you decide which direction to go. If an owner wants to expand nationally, since she is the one coordinating the work and, perhaps undertaking most of the effort, she can do that. In a larger enterprise, there are many more layers to coordinate and much of the effort may be spent in justifying the change. As a small business owner, you chart the course and can decide which objective is the priority.
4. You are empowered.
Small business owners wear multiple hats and must have wide areas of expertise. Instead of doing the same thing all day long, every day, you have the opportunity to expand your repertoire from one thing to a variety. You can also hire out the parts that are not to your liking. In effect, you get to write your own job description every day. While there can be much to be learned from doing the things you don’t enjoy doing (self-discipline is your friend!), at a certain point, you can focus on just the components that call to you.
5. You have flexibility.
While traditional employment requires your presence from 9-5 or even longer, the flexibility offered by small business ownership is quite appealing. If you need to curtail your office hours for a personal appointment, plan a vacation, or take a few days off to recuperate from a cold, you can do it when needed. Now there’s no obligation to coordinate your attendance at a conference with anyone in Human Resources. You are free to adjust your schedule as needed.
6. You know your clientele.
Your customers are more than an identification number or just company names. You know your customers on a deeper level. Even if the scale of your company prevents you from knowing your customers’ first names or favorite colors, you can use technology, such as customer relationship management software, to get to know your customers. You should be talking to them in person on a regular basis.
7. You are independent.
Small business entrepreneurship is not for everyone. For those willing to take the risk, the advantages can be enormous. One of the first benefits you get as a small business owner is independence. It can be downright scary at times, but if you feel the need to stretch your wings, there’s no one to tell you to make yourself smaller for someone else’s benefit. You are the head and the heart of your company and you have control over your own destiny.
8. You are a leader.
Your role as a leader in the origin of your small business is the crux of your enterprise. Your actions and words generate the central value of the company you are developing. While you may find inspiration in the words and actions of others, your influence and skill determines the route to success. Embrace this role and forge ahead with all the power of your determination.
9. You control your profit.
Just as you take most of the risk, you also gain most of the proceeds when things go well with your enterprise. When you provide value, you create it for your own use instead of giving it away in return for a salary. This is an incentive to work even harder and decorate your professional life with continuous growth in your chosen endeavor. You sow the seeds and you reap the results.
10. You will retire how and when you like.
When you work for someone else, you are subject to their ideas about retirement. They select the IRA, 401K, or pension they offer — if they even offer such perks in this day and age. They decide an appropriate time to broach the subject of retirement and when they decide you’re done, it’s time to move on.
As a small business owner, you hold the reins on retirement and you get to build your nest egg as you desire. If you love your work and see yourself working for a good long time, you can make that happen. If early retirement is your goal, you can put in the blood, sweat and tears to make that your reality, but as with most things in the life of an entrepreneur, your efforts drive the cart.