The Risks and Rewards of Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs Ups and Downs

Window cleaning professionals who own their own businesses often earn great rewards for their hard work, but they also face risks that regular employees don't. From disasters to unpaid invoices, to legal issues and retirement... entrepreneurship isn't for everyone. Some days you may lose sleep thinking about how tight financially the winter will be. Then it’s not over when you wake up to tackle the spring season. With the stresses and responsibilities, you might not get a good night’s sleep until summer. So is it worth it?

A new survey from online accounting software maker FreshBooks shines a light on the challenges small business owners face. The survey, “Self-Employed Professionals and Small Business Owners in America: The Rewards and Challenges of Career Independence,” revealed that the majority (7 in 10) of self-employed individuals have no intention of returning to traditional employment and intend to grow their business. Is that a clue that the rewards do outweigh the risks?

Some of the Risks

Its daunting to think about the multiple roles a small business owner must bear. Are you financially savvy enough to pay employees? Are you personable enough to sell? Are you tough enough to call a client about a past due invoice? In the survey quoted earlier, more than half of all respondents said they were unprepared should a large invoice go unpaid.

Which leads me to one of the single largest reasons why small business owners lose sleep at night; unexpected financial setbacks. This often opens a Pandora’s box of expertise needed that the average window cleaner is unfamiliar with, i.e. legal, insurance, accounting, etc. Many small business owners, newer especially, find it difficult or nearly impossible to find lending to cover current cash flows in this case. The nightmare of such a scenario tends to lead to the reality of layoffs, reduced personal income, and possibly closing the business..

Some of the Rewards

But the rewards must be worth it for small business owners be intent on staying in control of their work. By taking on a few extra responsibilities, a skilled window washer can more than double, perhaps triple their earnings compared to an hourly employee. In the aforementioned survey, most respondent business owners choose to take a Do-It-Yourself approach to services they had no internal expertise in. For example, using a book keeping software versus hiring a bookkeeper. Building your own website or designing your own business cards, versus hiring a marketing and advertising company. These and other financial strategies keep costs down and contribute to higher earnings compared to traditional employees.

However, is that all there is to it, money? In the same survey before, two-thirds of respondents say that as a small business owner, they find it easier to find flexibility when needed to be with family. And close to half feel that is easier to find quality time with them. It’s clear that professional window cleaners venture out into the world of entrepreneurship to seek greater financial advantages and improved work-life balance, but is it for you?

Written by Justin Bolmgren
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