I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit recently. There’s no doubt that the decision to work for yourself is a huge one. It’s a roller-coaster. There are huge ups, but equally huge downs. You have to be brave. You have to obliterate your comfort zone. It takes financial commitment and an enormous dedication of time and energy. It’s a risk – albeit (hopefully!) a calculated one. So why would someone choose to run a small business?
Personally, I think that the answer to this is very much dependent on circumstances, but here are a few of the reasons:
This one is, on the face of it, quite straight-forward! Essentially, people choose to start a business because they have a great idea. They believe they’ve either discovered (or invented!) the next big thing. A gap in the market. A new solution to a problem.
Innovation was definitely one of our reasons for creating our business. Both Chloe and I were experienced in the world of self-employment, but our goal was to support other small business owners. And in creating Tabono, we believe that we can do so in a unique way.
Necessity. This is an interesting word. Do people choose to run a small business because they have to? I don’t think that entrepreneurship is necessarily the only choice, but I do think that for many, especially for mothers of young children, it can be the only practical choice.
In my case, motherhood didn’t mean I had to leave full time employment – my former employee was happy for me to return at three days per week. However, those three days meant that I would be unable to participate as much as I wanted to in my daughter’s education. I would have been unable to attend a middle-of-the-day dance show. There would have been no volunteering to help with the Year One trip to the park. And what about joining the after-school babyccino crew at our local Costa? Only if it was on a day I wasn’t working.
But no. I didn’t have to leave the PAYE world because I had to. I did it so that I could be 100% present for my daughter. And to have the flexibility to do that whenever she needed me.
In addition, if I had remained in the corporate world, was it likely that I would find a similar position elsewhere on the same terms? Unlikely. But in choosing to run a small business, I can choose my own work and my own workload. And work whenever works for me.
This is pretty fundamental. It’s not the only factor that contributes to successful entrepreneurship, but it’s so important. Choosing to run a small business is such a big decision, and so passion for what you do certainly helps to smooth the way forward.
Some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs that I know are those who exhibit their passion by the bucketload. Social entrepreneurs who want to make the world better for the people they work with. Photographers and videographers, who find such joy in capturing moments in others’ lives.
It’s pretty obvious when you’ve come across someone who has chosen to run a small business because of a passion for something. When you talk to them, it really does shine through.
And we hope that when you engage with We Are Tabono, you feel this too. Our passion is to make a difference to other small business owners. Giving them the knowledge, confidence and connections that they need to take their business to the next level.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, I think everyone’s reasons for choosing to run a small business are personal and unique. So what about you? Why not share yours in the comments? We’d love to hear your story.