Starting a business, has many pros and cons itself and you need to analyse all good and bad aspects before starting your own business. A best business idea and execution plans are not enough to start. Follow the example and list down pros and cons to setup your own company.
Once I completed with my graduations, I had to choose between starting a business and working for someone else. I opted for the latter because I believed it was a less risky proposition. Having a job meant having financial security and facing fewer stressful situations. Unfortunately, I was proven wrong very early on in the job. Being on the job meant to be at my boss’s disposal.I was expected to answer even if he called at two in the morning. Being on the job also meant doing things his way or facing dire consequences otherwise. I was just a slightly more dignified version of a slave. Having a job also came with its own handful of stresses.
I was constantly worried that the business might face a drawback and I would be held responsible for it. In case the business progressed, I was rarely shown any appreciation for my contribution. Long story short, in less than two years, I decided to quit. I was tired of hearing only about my shortcomings.
So after quitting, I felt a little lost and didn’t know what to do. I spent the next two weeks, getting up late and going crazy in the kitchen. Every day, it was a new dish and a new cuisine. Preparing a three-course meal and playing it beautifully for my loved ones to eat and devour became my new mission in life. One day, it suddenly it hit me. Why can’t I use my passion for cooking and start a business around it?
That is how the germ of my business idea was born. The ecstasy of finally knowing what I wanted to do with my life lasted for barely five minutes. That happiness and joy were soon replaced by a lot of confusions. How do I go about starting the business? Will I be able to run my own business? Will I be able to deal with the stress of having my own business? Where will I find people and other resources to make this dream into reality? I had no answers to all these questions.
So after discussing my idea with a lot of entrepreneurs, I came to the decision that before starting anything, I needed to do two things. The first thing was to list all the advantages and disadvantages of starting a business and taking decisions, whether it was worth jumping into the fray. The second thing which needed to be done was to come up with an exhaustive business plan so that all aspects of the business were thoroughly thought through before the first business step was taken. So I started one day by having a pro and con discussion with myself with regards to starting my business. The discussion outlined the following points:
Advantages to start a business
- The best thing about starting a business is that it gives you complete freedom to carry on business activities as per my wishes. As far as the food business was concerned, I knew that I would be planning the menu, deciding the pricing, designing the food presentation, all on my own.
- No interference
- Nobody would have the power to interfere and I was under no compulsion to listen to anybody. I also took the decision of how to go about starting the business. Instead of getting lost in the clutter of food outlets which exists nowadays, I decided to retain my idea, home-based. It was a great feeling knowing that I no longer had to report to anyone or follow any orders or instructions.
- With a job, life is all about following a strict regimen. Waking up at seven in the morning, rushing through breakfast, hurriedly getting dressed and then driving at a neck breaking speed to reach work on time was a routine thing. While the day officially started at nine in the morning, it never ended at the official time of six. It was very rare to return home, before nightfall.
- Work-life balance
- There was no work life balance and all the near and dear ones were shamelessly ignored. When I would have my own business, I could be flexible with my timings. I could start a little late in the morning after taking care of the household chores.
- Working at your own convenience
- If the work required, I could work till late in the night and if the workload was reduced, I could get done with it in half a day’s time. It will be completely up to my discretion. I could afford to give time to all my family commitments because I was my own boss and could determine what business activity was a priority and what activity could be postponed. There would be no one standing on my head and monitoring my every move.
- The biggest advantage of having my own business which I could foresee was the fact that whatever I earned with my hard work and dedication went into my pocket only. It was not going to someone else’s pocket. In a job, I only managed to earn a miniscule percentage of what the entire business earned. My increments and my bonuses were all in the hands of the management. If they decided I did not work hard enough, all my sleepless nights and stressful days would result in zero increments and zero bonuses.
- Work for yourself
- With my own business, although the risk would be high, the rewards would be even higher. If the business was a failure, I would end up earning nothing. However, on the other hand, if the business registered a decent profit, then I wouldn’t have to share it with anyone else.
- Steep Learning Curve
- In a job, you have a set job description and you are required to stick to it. You rarely get a chance to understand let alone manage other functions of the business. On the other hand, in my business, I will be marketing my own product, managing my finances, ensuring smooth and structured running of the supply chain and taking care of the product distribution. I will be Jack of all trades and will understand how the business works from the end to end. This broad horizon of responsibilities will allow me to learn the tricks of the trade very quickly, which would not have been the case in a job setting.
- High Self Satisfaction
- While I was working in a multinational company, I worked from nine in the morning to nine in the night but couldn’t clearly see if my hard work was resulting in good and positive results for the business. I was a very small cog in a gigantic machine. This was the reason why self-satisfaction was never very high on my job. With my business, I will feel proud of my accomplishments, at every juncture. When the product would be prepared, I would know that I was responsible for preparing it. When it will be sold, I would know that I was the one who convinced customers to try out my product.
Disadvantages of starting a business
- A risk averse person would never start his or her business because it involves a very high level of risk. I had no guarantee that my business will succeed. If it fails, it will take my entire amount of savings with it and I will have nothing to show for all my hard work. Anyone who ends up working for me in my business will also depend on me for his income. Even if the business doesn’t make any revenue, I will still be expected to pay him and all the other suppliers of the business. I can go into debt trying to sustain my business and even then there is a good chance that it will not work out.
- Increased Stress
- While being responsible for all facets of the business is great from a learning point of view, it is also quite stressful. I would have to take care of everything going wrong in the business, whether it relates to marketing, supply chain, finances, or sales. No one would be as well-equipped to fire fight all the issues like I would be. This would mean continuous stress day in and day out because all businesses face bottlenecks and crisis on a regular basis.
- Non-stop work
- While I can choose when to start my work every day, I can never switch off from my business. If a crisis occurs in the middle of the night, I can’t ignore the ringing of my phone. I would still be expected to step out of my cozy home and deal with it. Also, at the start of any business, more hours need to be put in so initial planning and initial implementation requires a lot of commitment and as a result everything else is compromised including family.
Anyone who is thinking of starting his or her business will make a similar list of pros and cons. The difference occurs when a decision is being based on this list. A risk averse person will give more weight age to the cons listed down and will shy away from starting a business venture. A risk taker, on the other hand, will take more notice of the positives and jump into the fray with all of his heart or soul. So now all of you out there who are contemplating to become an entrepreneur, ask yourself this question “Did you analyze the pros and cons of starting your own business?” and proceed further only if your answer was affirmative.