What Motivates Entrepreneurs to Start Small Businesses?


Entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart. Starting a small business means that you get to pursue your passion but takes self-discipline. As an entrepreneur you must also make sacrifices, like careful budgeting and working more hours outside the traditional 9-5 schedule, to reach your goals. However, this investment of time and energy does pay off as more and more individuals turn to entrepreneurship every year.

A recent report from Guidant Financial and the Small Business Trends Alliance (SBTA) takes a closer look at entrepreneurship in the new decade. Small Business Trends: 2020 surveyed more than 3,000 current and aspiring small business owners to uncover insights into what’s driving today’s small businesses. Data from the survey examines the demographics of entrepreneurs in 2020, including their age range, gender, and education backgrounds. It also takes a closer look at the industries entrepreneurs want to go into, challenges that they currently face, and motivations for opening a business.

Let’s go back to the last part of that sentence. What’s truly motivating individuals to explore entrepreneurship and try it on for size?


Ready to be your own boss

Since 2018, the Small Business Trends report has surveyed entrepreneurs and overall business climates. 2020 marks the year the most individuals surveyed said they were ready to be their own boss, at a whooping 55%. This compares to previous surveyed years 2019 (26%) and 2018 (49%).

How do you know you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? A few traits successful entrepreneurs have in common include passion, resilience, innovation, and organization. Studies from the last few years have also shown individuals possessing emotional intelligence, including personal and social competence, tend to be the top performers.

There’s a popular saying that essentially sums up if you must ask where things are going, you already know the answer. Let’s use the example that you find yourself investing a lot of time and energy into a flourishing side hustle on top of working a less than fulfilling 9 to 5 job. You’re focusing on certain nuts and bolts of the hustle, like drafting a business plan and putting aside funds, that will help it keep growing and succeeding. This hard work may be leading up to making that side gig your full-time career. You’re ready to take the leap forward and be your own boss.


Growing desire to pursue your passion

The surveyed results for this motivator option have fluctuated a bit in the Small Business Trends report. 45% of surveyed individuals agreed in 2018. This number dipped to 23% in 2019 and rose back to 39% in 2020.

Passion, as mentioned earlier, is a major factor in determining whether entrepreneurship is a fit for you. Pursing your passion means going on a transformative journey. You must be willing to do it, ready to invest the time and energy, and stay motivated enough to keep going through the good and bad moments alike.

What happens if you find your interests start to splinter into several fields? Maybe you started a PR consulting company where you provide public relations strategies and initiatives to clients. Business has been going great, and you have another emerging side hobby — baking. You love to bake and have even started a blog featuring your recipes that has a moderate, but growing, readership. Who says you need to stick to one field and never explore other industries? Why not pursue both passions and embrace serial entrepreneurship? Starting one successful business may lead to a domino effect where you take another interesting hobby you’re passionate about and turn that idea into a startup. Let your passion — and original ideas — act as your guide toward entrepreneurship.


Opportunity presented itself

The Small Business Trends report notes that this option tied at 25% with “dissatisfied with corporate USA” in 2020. However, motivator did not tie with another option in the years prior. Opportunities continued to present themselves to aspiring entrepreneurs, with 19% surveyed in 2019 and 36% surveyed in 2018.

However the opportunity presents itself for entrepreneurs, it’s always a good idea to do your due diligence before moving fully forward. Once you know you want to turn your dream into a business, start by creating a business plan to act as the company’s foundation and outline goals to reach. Incorporate or form an LLC for liability protection. Register for any necessary trademarks and copyrights, obtain an EIN number, and file for required business licenses depending on the industry. Getting your ducks in a row puts you on the right path for running a small business successfully.




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