I am in the business of helping people buy and sell businesses. So many future business owners currently work for someone else. Very often the thought process is that one would enjoy their professional career if they “worked for themselves”.
During my professional business career after college I have been an employee of others for about 5 years and have been a business owner with as few as 1 employee to 25 plus employees for approximately 25 years. I feel I do have some perspective from both sides of the coin. Is it better to be an employee or be a business owner?
I think you could talk with business owners and find that there are several that feel being employee has many benefits, and if one talks with employees you can find many that would like to be their own boss. And of course there are the group of those that are happy or satisfied being either an employee or a business owner.
But so often we are tugged by the concept that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Many prospective business buyers that I work with are ready to do something on their own. They have had very reasonable business careers working for others but are ready make the move to buy a business or start a business and no longer be an employee.
Why may an existing employee want to buy a business or start a business:
- Want to do it my way;
- Feel I can do it so much better;
- Feel being an employee is too limited;
- No longer believe in the company I am working for nor my job;
- Want to make more money ( maybe this should be at the top of the list.)
Why would a business owner consider working for someone else as a good thing. Again part of my role as a professional business broker in Florida is working with business owners looking to sell their businesses. Part of the process of what I do is the discussion regarding what one may do after selling their business. The responses I get are very dependent on ones age and the amount of money one may gain upon the sale of their business.
Age is a very strong determinant. But when we all get excited upon the idea of starting a new business or buying a business, its hard to “fast forward” and visualize a long term business owner that is somewhat exhausted by the demands of owing a business. And, working for someone else is a pretty good option; maybe not as good as selling your business and sitting next to a pile of cash sitting on the beach drinking frozen cocktails. But this option is not always possible.
Selling your business and going to work for others may bring on the following feelings and thoughts:
- Liberating – The thought of not having to carry around the strains that go with running and owning a business for many years can be very liberating.
- As a business owner the thought of collecting a paycheck on Friday instead of worrying about making payroll is appealing.
- As a business owner you get to make all the important decision. Not having to make the important decision may seem like a good thing.
- As a business owner you find that employees get paid 1st you get paid 2nd. At times that can be very rewarding, other times dealing with the unknown is difficult.
- When an employee crashes a truck your workload/cost may have just skyrocketed. As an employee this event may result in no more than idle banter in the break room.
All of us business owners and employee out there knows the list can go on and on. Want to buy a business? Want to Sell a business? Want to Start a business? The grass is not always greener on the other side, but very often we need to jump the fence and see for ourselves.