The Pros and Cons of Being the Boss

There are pros and cons to any decisions you make in your life. This includes the small ones and the big ones. In my role as a franchise ownership advisor, I've had the distinct advantage of hearing first hand (from people I've helped become their own bosses) what they feel the pros and cons are of being your own boss are.

I'm going to share what they've told me, along with what I know first-hand, since I've been my own boss since 2001. Here are three of the many positive things to being the boss:

1. You can set your own schedule

Imagine how it would feel for you to be able to come and go as you set a schedule based on your needs instead of your employer's needs.

2. You don't have anyone to report to

If you own an independent business, the buck stops with you. You make all the decisions having to do with your business. Believe me, it's quite empowering.

If you end up becoming the owner of a franchise business, the buck still stops with you, but there is a difference. You don't get to make strategic decisions about your business. In other words, you can't just add new products and/or services in order to increase revenue. Those things can only be done from franchise headquarters.

3. You have lots of control

As the boss, you have the ability to control your day-to-day work life.

In addition to setting your own schedule, you have the final say so on who you hire, and what benefits (if any) you provide.

You can also control the growth of your business. Maybe you're at a time in your life where you don't want or need to pursue record-breaking sales numbers. Guess what? When you're the boss, you don't have to.

On the flip side owning a business, does have its drawbacks:

1. Income fluctuations

When you own a business, your income is dependent on the revenue you bring in. And it may not be consistent-especially at first.

Think about it; when you're an employee, you expect and receive a paycheck on a consistent basis. It's up to your employer to figure out the revenue part. It's really not your problem. Not so when you're the boss. You're the one in charge of making enough money to pay your employees, pay your operating expenses, and pay yourself!

2. Liability

You, as a business owner, are liable for bad things that can sometimes happen in a business. For example, if you own a restaurant that serves alcohol and one of your employees serves alcohol to an underage customer who drives away from your restaurant and hurts someone in an auto accident, you can be held liable. Scary, huh?

That's only one example. Can you think of any others? You need to.

Tip: make sure you hire a business attorney who will explain your liability as the owner of a business before you become an owner.

3. Long hours

It's one thing to “understand” you'll be required to put in long hours when you own a business, it's quite another to actually work 12-14 hour shifts. Feet get sore.

Granted it will probably be easier to do knowing that the hours you're putting in are for your own business, as opposed to someone else's business. But still, long hours are long hours. You may want to talk to current business owners to see what kinds of hours they're putting in.

When you own a business, tired or not, you have to be the one who steps up when longer hours are needed to keep your business up and running. You need to weigh all of the pros and cons before you take the plunge into business ownership.

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