Ever daydream about running your own business? Well you’re not alone. According to Statistics Canada 2004 Business Registry SMEs account for 97% of business done in Ontario. The definition of a SME is a company with less than 500 employees and less than $50M in annual profits. In Ontario, the self-employment rate has risen substantially since the early 1970s, with the self-employed labour force growing at more than two times the rate of wage and salary employment. In the early 1990’s self-employment accounted for all net job growth in Ontario and was a key economic driver for the province.
Self-employment is a trend that is here to stay and is growing rapidly. So what drives this trend? There are various factors that can influence a decision to start up one’s own business. Economic factors are one, hence the increase in entrepreneurial endeavours during the early 1990’s when Ontario went into a recessional tailspin, but over factors are certainly at play and may have a far greater impact on the decision. Many are drawn to starting their own business to establish greater financial stability, some for personal ambition, a strong belief in their service or product, and still others by desire to accumulate greater wealth. Whatever the impetus there are certain realities that need consideration.
First consider personality traits that make a good business owner. You don’t have to be an over-the-top Type ‘A’ to do well in starting up your own business but there are definitely some characteristics that all entrepreneurs have in common:
You have to have the ability to stick with it and ride out the good and bad times. Most business owners who start out make mistakes and often times lose money for the first few years. Failures are lessons that make you and your business stronger.
Believing that what you have to offer is a good and needed thing will get you through some of the tougher challenges you encounter.
Tolerance For Risk
Fear is what holds back most people from achieving great things. An ability to face down that fear and mentally commit to pushing on against adversity might just be the ultimate strength found in successful entrepreneurs.
Knowing where you are headed and believing in that destination is a crucial element for success. During your journey towards self-employment there will be many times when you need to communicate your vision whether it’s to get financial backing, persuade others, or market your product or service, seeing a true opportunity in the marketplace must be well-conceived.
As you consider whether you are cut out for running your own business there are some other “must-dos” to consider:
- Write up a business plan
- Do your research and dig deep
- Find out who the competition is and how they run their business
- Know what makes your business unique
- Make sure there is a market for your product or service
- Figure out what you are hoping to accomplish with your business
- Do something you love and know how to do it
Remember you can do anything you set your mind to as long as you want it badly enough!
Here are the Top Five Entrepreneurship Resources recommended by Amy Matchen our Manager of startGBC - your gateway to entrepreneurship at the college.
The definitive guide for anyone starting anything, from the master.
The latest on entrepreneurship: news, tips, hacks.
The source: videos, templates – start here.
Especially for social entrepreneurs and enterprises.
If you’d like to add start a conversation online, visit our Alumni group on LinkedIn.