Not everyone wants to own a business. For those who do, it is inevitable that one day you will reach that pivotal crossroads in your career. Do you continue to spend countless hours working for someone else or searching for jobs, or is it time to finally take control of your life by becoming an entrepreneur? Only you can answer that question, but here is some guidance to help you along the way…
Many people in our society are raised to believe that the smartest way to be secure financially is to get a job, earn “regular” income and support themselves in that manner. The idea of safety, stability and security fed by the receipt of a regular paycheck seems sensible.
For many people, however, the traditional job route is a scenario where freedom and empowerment are sacrificed in exchange for taking orders dutifully while earning that precious paycheck. Further, the fear of getting laid off in spite of all of your abilities and hard work is a genuine concern for anyone who works for an employer rather than themselves.
If you are a capable employee with a solid track record, you may have the ability to switch jobs, but it is not always that easy. Many workers also find it difficult to ask their bosses for raises because they don’t feel secure in their jobs and don’t want to rock the boat. Having your raises – and by default, your overall quality of life – determined by forces beyond your control is too much for some people to take. If you fall into that category, the only way to shake that fear and appease those legitimate concerns about your income and your career is to go into business for yourself.
After all, when you are in business for yourself, there is a more direct financial benefit, which is your just reward for your tenacity. The hours and energy you put into your business help to strengthen your flow of income more directly. No matter how fair your supervisor may be in a traditional work environment, take a look at the word “Boss” itself. The online etymology dictionary defines “Boss” as a “1640s, American English ‘overseer’ from Dutch ‘baas’ meaning ‘master’ ”. It goes on to explain that the popularity of the word “Boss” in the U.S. “may reflect egalitarian avoidance of master as well as the need to distinguish ‘slave’ from free labor.” So, the real question is, “Who is your master?”
And the follow-up question worth posing is this: “Are you happy about that?”
52.3% of Americans are not satisfied with their jobs. – The Conference Board (a nonprofit research group)
Entrepreneurs and business-minded individuals tend to view the idea of being an employee a type of willful subservience that lacks security because your boss – or your “superior” – determines your fate. If they choose to do so, someone who is your “superior” in the company you work for has the power to throw you right off that corporate ladder you worked so hard to climb … and they can do it at their whim. While it is true that leaving your job behind and taking flight as an entrepreneur is a major life decision that comes with some risks, you also relieve yourself from the ever-present threats that exist from a power-hungry boss or a volatile company that can downsize at any moment. Entrepreneurship may not be for everyone, but owning your own business does effectively mitigate the possibility of getting laid off as well as other factors that can cause you to be let go from your job.
If you have the mentality of wanting to be in control of your future, then you will have to weigh job security vs. entrepreneurial freedom. As an employee, you are dependent on the whims of others and that is hardly secure depending on the nature of the situation. It is true that a great number of entrepreneurs first explore business or franchise opportunities after a layoff. However, if you are unhappy working for someone else and you feel you can do better on your own, then why wait for the other shoe to drop? You can make the decision to own a business or franchise without having to be fired or laid off, and you can also do so from a position of strength and while you are still employed.
Of course, there are a lot of variables that will go into your decision. You can certainly always get another job, but some of the myths attached to the idea that jobs have security benefits superior to business ownership can be dispatched if you adjust your perspective and apply your determination to command your own professional destiny. If the passion to be your own boss (your own master) is there, the time to explore businesses or franchises for sale is NOW.
As an entrepreneur, you will get to take on challenges with a combination of determination, ambition, grit and, ideally – proper support. This will arm you to take on tough situations and allow you to enjoy the many victories that comprise a career as a leader, including creating jobs for others, solving problems in your community the opportunity to create wealth and perhaps even a legacy for yourself and others close to you. But, of paramount importance, you become the much-acclaimed “master” of your own destiny.
Greater than 8 in 10 U.S. small business owners are satisfied and would do it again – Wells-Fargo Gallup Small Business Index
Stephan Parmett is the proud owner of a successful digital print, design and marketing franchise: Minuteman Press of Williston Park, NY. Stephan is an experienced, successful entrepreneur who doesn’t mince words when it comes to the hard work involved in becoming a business owner, but he also can attest to the fact that your concentrated efforts will repay you in ways simply “having a job” cannot. Stephan shares, “If you do have a sense for business and you want to be in charge of your own journey throughout your career, owning a business is the way to go. You come to control your own destiny as a business owner. The truth is it is tougher in certain ways than getting a job because you have to answer to your customers and make sure business is coming in to order to be profitable.”
Stephan is further gratified by the positive effects of his entrepreneurial success upon his community and the payoff that comes from dedicated, hard work. He explains, “I feel my responsibility is to my employees. I keep this business healthy so they can have a job. I have owned my own business most of my working career and before I was a Minuteman Press franchise owner I owned a business manufacturing women’s clothing. To me, there is nothing more satisfying or more enjoyable than owning your own business. You determine how much money you want to make and if you want to make a lot, then you have to work a bit harder. When I was 21 years old, my boss said, ‘You can have anything you want, you just have to work for it.’ By owning my own business, I can set my own goals.”
As Stephan expressed from experience, it is a myth that running your own business is easy. You need grit because you will be tested every day, frequently being pushed beyond your comfort zone. However, this is GOOD! It means you are growing and your success along with you. Yet, without strong support along the way, you could find it overwhelming which is why many seek to find a perfect balance between independence and mentorship. Certainly, if you are ready emotionally, physically and mentally for the challenges, business opportunities that put you in charge will produce rewards far beyond what a job could provide over a lifetime.
Educate yourself about the industry in which you hope to begin your entrepreneurial career and become familiar with success factors.
Ask yourself: Have you ever managed employees? Do you have experience relative to the industry? What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competition? Where are the best business opportunities? Or perhaps, it is wise, if you find you don’t “know it all” and you have a real passion for a particular field, to investigate franchise opportunities. When looking at businesses/franchises for sale, consider that there are enough variables to deal with and a well-established franchisor can provide answers to many questions that are troubling to answer on your own with the added benefit of full support.
Another bonus of buying a franchise is the chance to invest in something great that can be passed down. Bob Titus is current President and CEO of Minuteman Press International, the number-one rated digital print design and marketing franchise. He has seen hundreds of entrepreneurs get away from the instability of the job market, take control of their careers through franchise ownership and successfully pass the torch to their successors. Bob shares, “It’s tough today for kids to get jobs when they get out of school, so many people open up their own businesses for their family to run and build. Eventually retiring and turning their business over to their son or daughter.”
Buying a business is investing in your own ability to increase your income without having to negotiate with a superior within some company. No one outranks you when you are a business owner and you can decide how much you get paid based on grit, determination, drive and the right kind of support, if you choose wisely. As an employee, when you want a pay increase and are declined, there is little option beyond seeking a new position or waiting until the next chance to approach your boss. As a business owner, if a customer transaction doesn’t go through as hoped, you move on to other customers, seal the deals and bring in the additional money – always fine-tuning your ability to market your products and services.
Matt Peretz, Minuteman Press International Vice President located in their New York World Headquarters, expands upon the idea that business ownership sets you free for the long term. He explains, “Owning your own business is hard work. However, working for yourself is much different than working for somebody else. You’ll work harder for yourself than you will for someone else. You’ll be building equity in your business. No matter how good of a job you have, you can’t sell it when you’re done.”
We are conditioned in this society to believe that working hard in school and landing a job working for a stable company is the path to security and freedom, but there can be no security or freedom, really, working for someone else. So many of us take that conditioning and let it guide a course through a life that could otherwise be marked with truly liberating professional experiences. If you are in the position to choose between buying a business and simply getting a job, consider assuming the role of “boss” from this day forward, examining everything from business/franchise for sale options to visiting successful entrepreneurs to see how they run their empires – and how you can too.
Are you ready to consider buying a business vs. getting a job? Learn more about Minuteman Press franchise opportunities at http://www.minutemanpressfranchise.com.