Intro: Is Everyone Suited or Skilled to Run a Business?
We can ask the question: Is everyone suited or skilled to run a business? This is an intriguing topic of discussion that can go in multiple directions. While a lot of us would love to be our own boss and have autonomy, running a business is a heavy responsibility. It comes with more challenges than most people could anticipate. There is a good reason why the majority of start up companies do not last for more than a decade. And there are just as many reasons why a large percentage of people work their entire lives without pursuing entrepreneurship. In this article I will talk about common myths regarding running a small business. I will also attempt to address whether all are qualified to run a small business.
Common myths about running a small business
1.Running a business is easy
If you think that operating a business is as simple as using a microwave oven then you are heavily mistaken. The amount of hurdles to starting a business can be staggering. Company registration, licensing, tax laws, advertising, and market research are some of the things to worry about. Once your enterprise is in service you have to make sure that you’re keeping up with competitors and that you are turning a profit. These things might seem obvious, but they cannot be overlooked. Many small companies fail to persevere because of poor market research. Just because you experience marginal success in the early years does not make your company immune to failure. If running any sized business was a walk in the park you’d see less companies disappear from the map. Ask any experienced business owner if what they do is easy and they’ll likely give you a resounding no.
2. You don't have to work hard to earn money
We like to paint the picture of a successful businessperson who does nothing but sit on the beach while his bank account enlarges. A lot of us view the lives of celebrities and influencers on social media and think that is what a model businessperson is supposed to look like. You glamorize what you see on Instagram and TikTok instead of living in reality. You might believe that once a person begins to make a profit without having to be employed by someone else that they can sit back and be set for life. But being a successful business owner does not mean you’ll live like the Kardashians. In fact you will most likely have to work a lot harder than the average employer for a company. According to Patriot Software, “19% of small business owners work 60+ hours per week”1 Your time and effort is greatly required of you.
3. You'll experience instant profitability
“Rome wasn’t built in a day” said 16th century English writer John Heywood. This could not be more applicable in the business world. Freshbooks mentions that “businesses take two to three years to become profitable”2 There are no shortcuts or quick fixes to generating revenue. Most successful businesses that you see today have been around quite a long time. Even a conglomerate like McDonalds took more than a decade to take off after starting out as a food stand. Anyone who tells you that they made a large profit in a short period is either trying to sell you a product or are the exception to the rule. Do your own research and do not beat yourself up if you do not see instant results. The one mistake that you can make is quit in your first or second year of business.
4. Everyone deserves the opportunity to run a business
The notion that workers need to have the chance to be business owners is not a new concept. This idea dates back to the Industrial Revolution. It was commonly believed even back then that workers needed to start a movement to overthrow their employers. I do not think this principle has ever been viable. Firstly, there is no such thing as parity in a company. If you are a business owner there has to be people working under you. Many businesses need to have its common workers to survive. Secondly, there are many people in the workforce who do have opportunities to start their own business, but choose not to. They are content and satisfied with the status quo despite not being in charge of a company. There are people who I know personally who enjoy the benefits of life despite not owning a business.
5. All have the skills to be an effective leader
If you’ve ever worked for any company you would have come across people in high positions that lack leadership skills. The ability to lead isn’t something that people are born with or automatically develop once they’re promoted. One of the greatest mistakes that companies make is that they place people in positions that they aren’t qualified simply because they excelled in a certain role; We refer to this practice as the Peter principle. It is something that plagues even the top businesses in the world. People think that just because a person is good at what they do that they possess the skills to lead others. In reality most people do not have the competence to lead people under them. Holding an important title does not mean that you are qualified to lead. There are many business owners that are incapable of being effective leaders as well.
Given the common myths mentioned I do not believe that everyone is suited or skilled to run a business. Does this mean that you should not attempt to ever become a business owner yourself? Not at all, if you are more than qualified to do then I encourage you to. But before you do, you should ask yourself these questions: Am I capable of leading others? Do I have the patience to handle trial and error? Can I see myself making this my full time responsibility even if I do not see quick results? If you answered yes to all of these questions you should be on your way to entrepreneurship. You might be a business owner and are struggling to grow. My advice for you is that you should consider diagnosing what the real problem is and taking considerable action.
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