Business Sense: Why start a small business?

Brad Crowson is the regional manager for WESST, a nonprofit small-business development and training organization.

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — Earlier this month at his campaign stop in Rio Rancho, President Trump declared that New Mexico business registrations were up almost 30 percent this year, a clear indication people are feeling confident that now might be a good time to begin pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams.

Why do people decide the entrepreneurial path is right for them?

Many aspiring entrepreneurs are confident they’re bringing something unique to the table that satisfies some unmet need or unsolved problem in the marketplace. They believe they can provide consumers value with what they feel will be an exceptional product or service.

In fact, they’ve often fully fleshed out their business idea and validated it with potential customers before they ever invest significant capital or other resources.

These potential small-business owners are passionate about what they do, have sufficient start-up capital and experience, and are well-prepared to bring their unique talents and perspectives to the entrepreneurial challenge. All of the above are worthwhile reasons to start a business and indicate a considerably higher chance for success.

However, there are many that invest an abundance of time, resources and capital in starting businesses for what are often questionable reasons. Here are just a few:

• You hate your job…or boss: Remember that everyone has a boss or someone they answer to. As a small-business owner, you’ll still be answering to customers, suppliers, employees, investors, lenders, regulators, etc. The list is pretty much endless. Also, remember that you alone are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the business.

• The money: There are tremendous challenges that arise every day when running your own business. Know that having the patience, resilience and stubbornness to keep moving forward is often far more difficult when you’re in the early stages of the business and future profitability is uncertain.

• You’d like to work less and have more flexibility: Understand that being a successful small-business owner generally demands a tremendous commitment in time and energy. Expect to work longer and harder than you ever have if you want to be successful.

Being responsive to your customers is the only way you can remain competitive in today’s market. You’re never off the clock.

• You believe you have a great business idea but haven’t vetted it fully: Do the legwork up front before you invest significant time or capital in the business.

Get out and talk to people. Find out if the market will support your business idea.

Are there enough potential customers to allow you to create a sustainable business model?

• For fun: Sure, operating your own business can prove to be incredibly rewarding and enjoyable, but not always. Enjoy the good times but be prepared for the bad. Be resilient.

Small business ownership is challenging, rewarding and comes with a high degree of risk. Take the time to do a full self-assessment, investigate the opportunity fully and make sure you move forward for the right reasons.

(Brad Crowson is the regional manager for WESST, a nonprofit small-business development and training organization.)

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