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career girl : I want to own a small business

Have you ever had that dream? The one where you’re working for yourself, running an indie record store/bookshop/café/bar/vintage clothing store? And every day is a dream-like holiday where you get to chat to your lovely customers, hang out in a gorgeous little shop and earn money directly from the source rather than through wages?

Yeah, that’s also generally known as a ‘pipedream’, right?

Here’s the thing – I know that running and owning  a small business is no small feat, and I know that there is an alarmingly high failure rate for most new business ventures, but despite those cold hard facts, my dream lives on.

And not just for wishy-washy daydream reasons either – there are some obvious reasons why small businesses are exciting and rewarding options when it comes to careers.

For a start, there’s the notion of ‘being your own boss’. As much as I love working for established organisations and getting to know my supervisor, I also enjoy editing Lip and being able to make executive decisions and have that responsibility. Granted, I’m lucky in that I have an amazing team of writers and fellow editorial staff to make the going much smoother and easier than the average café/bookstore, but there’s something about knowing the ins and outs of a business and running it yourself that is very satisfying.

I also think that being in charge of your own livelihood that way is a great way to grow and learn as a person. My parents have always run small businesses, and sometimes I can’t believe the amount of stuff my mother knows. Like tax forms, and banking and book keeping, and staff contracts, and pricing and who knows what else! It’s the kind of knowledge and responsibility that you learn as you go, and that you have a vested interest in.

And then there are the obvious reasons for wanted to run a small business – the fact that you can choose what you do, and in most cases, it will be something you love. The fact that, despite getting home bone-weary and exhausted every day, you’ll know that you’re really building something. I can only imagine that the job satisfaction could be great.

I’m not silly enough to think that small businesses are a good idea for everyone, or that they’re in any way easy to run. But with the whole range of technological aids available – computer filing systems, payroll software, online tax calculators – there is more support than ever.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be interviewing women in various careers who I think have shown exactly what hard work and a good head can get you in the long run.

Some of them will be small business owners, and I hope that they inspire you to reach for those pipedreams, and turn them into realities. And you know what? Even if I open a small business and it fails in the first two years, I bet the experience would be worth it!

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3 thoughts on “career girl : I want to own a small business

  1. I’m looking for full-time work at the moment, so I can save up to start my own business! Long live the pipedream :)

  2. I say go for it! Depending on what you want to do, running a business doesn’t have to cost a lot in start up funding. I started my business on my Rudd bucks payment a few years ago, and even though I still work full time to pay the mortgage and day to day living, my business is sustainable and growing. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to ditch the day job and indulge my passion/business full time.

    There’s lots of free support available, especially before you get started. Visit your local BEC – they were invaluable to me in the early stages.

  3. I was working full time but was a very round peg in a square hole. I was good at what I did but it just wasn’t me. I dabbled in my hobby and it grew to friends hiring me which then lead to getting more and more serious about my ‘hobby’. I pined to do it full-time and not have to switch between one job and the other not being able to give both 100%. After a few years, we bit the bullet and opened a little shop in a downtrodden street. Soon that street started to fill up, I got busier and busier until due to family needs as well, I was able to resign my full time job to take up the passion of working for myself and setting up my little shop so pretty – which I get to go to every day now. It pays the bills but I don’t earn a lot of cash for myself so I am eternally grateful to my husband who has been setting up his own business over the last 10 years and says its ‘my turn now so go for it’. And that’s it! Life it short! Don’t waste your years dreaming. It’s great to dream, but sometime or other make that dream a reality before it’s too late in life. I am 50 and have had my shop open for near 2 years. If I had of gotten my act together way back, I am sure I would be a lot further along but am grateful for where I am at now too.

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