We recently surveyed around 1,000 Homebase users around the U.S. about their experiences in starting a business and not only figured out the top reasons why they started their ventures, but also compiled some pretty compelling advice for those looking to follow in their footsteps. 

We asked our merchants to rate, from “not important” to “very important,” which factors motivated them the most when it came to why they started a business in the first place. The results showed that while income and flexibility are big factors in the decision-making process, another top reason for starting a business is simply to get unique concepts out into the world. 

Top 5 Reasons for Starting a Business Based on the Percentage of Users who Found them “Very Important”:

  1. Best avenue for my ideas/services: 61% 
  2. Greater income: 61%
  3. I wanted to be my own boss: 57% 
  4. Always wanted to start my own business: 52% 
  5. Flexible hours: 47% 

Advice for new business owners

When asked what tidbits of advice they would give to people with an inkling to start their own businesses, Homebase merchants didn’t hold back when it came to their thoughts on the heavy workload, employees, finances and more. 

Most of our merchants agreed on one thing — The amount of work you must put into launching a new business is most likely more than you’d expect: 

“Be willing to work to see your dreams through.”  

“Be prepared for long, long days and juggling home life and work, work usually takes precedence.”

“Be willing to do everything by yourself. Make sure you are willing to sacrifice your time to help build your business. No matter how many days your business is open, there is no such thing as a day off. Understanding this is important because if you are truly wanting to build a successful business, no one will care about something you start or build more than yourself. Be available to customers and employees if there are any issues, and work fast to correct any of those issues.”

The merchants also offered up advice on hiring employees and how to treat them: 

“Hire good workers and pay them what they deserve so your turn around is minimal and you keep them happy. In doing so, they will keep your customers happy.”

“The hardest part and the best part is working with the employees. If you treat them like family, they will be loyal to you and work hard, but if you don’t, they won’t care and your whole business will suffer. If you are there, on site, and take the time to get to know them and include them in the daily decisions of your business, you will know who is a great employee, who needs more encouragement and training, and who needs to move on.”

Another common sentiment from the merchants was to research, research, research: 

“Know your marketplace, know your business and have a contingency plan in case someone decides to open the same business next door to you.”

“Talk with other business owners to see how they do things. Then you’ll know whether you want to follow their example or figure out how to do it better.”

“Do your homework. Find an advocate with experience who has nothing to gain by assisting you (ie. commissions for products services they tell you you need).”

“Before you start, get as much information as you can about the business you are considering, i.e., number of successful business in your area, initial costs, risks, state regulations, etc.”

In conclusion, if you’re planning on starting your own business (whether it’s to get your idea out there or make more money), go into the process knowing that you’re going to work hard, plan to treat your employees well, and arm yourself with the necessary knowledge to set your business up for success.

One piece of advice from us here at Homebase — arming yourself with the best management tools is equally as important. Using our free Scheduling, Timesheets, Time Clock, and Hiring apps will not only set your business up for success, but will get rid of many reasons for that pounding headache most business owners experience when starting out. 

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