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Make sure you’re starting a business for the right reasons

Understanding the reasons and motivations you have for starting a business can be a deciding factor in your success
Rachel Bridge

/ Last updated on 27th October 2017

A giraffes head staring directly at the camera in black and white

Before you start a business, you should be absolutely clear about why you are doing it. That may sound obvious, but there are actually many reasons why someone should choose to turn their back on the security of a job and career for the uncertainty of starting a business. So the clearer you are about what exactly you are trying to achieve, the better chance you have of achieving it.

Related: The complete guide to starting a business

Common reasons for starting

  • To pursue a passion, interest or hobby
  • To be your own boss
  • To prove – often to someone you know – that you can achieve something special
  • To take control of your life and shape your own destiny
  • To secure your financial future and that of your family
  • To pay school fees
  • To make a lot of money
  • To do good and make a positive difference in the world, either in what your business does or by using the money you make to bring about change
  • To build a family business that you can pass on to your children

Make sure it’s a good reason

In reality, you are unlikely to have just one reason for starting a business; it is likely to be a combination of several of them. So be aware that the aims may conflict with each other. Creating a long-term family business to pass down the generations, for example, may well be incompatible with making a serious fortune, because you may find you need to sell the business in order to realise its full worth.

While it is possible to create a successful business solely to make a lot of money, in reality, it will be hard work if there isn’t at least one other factor acting as a motivator. This is because it can take many years between starting a business and receiving any money from it – if ever – and along the way the hard work required is immense, and the possibility of failure is very real. Simply pinning your hopes on a future possible pot of gold is unlikely to be enough to sustain you through the difficult times. So make sure you have a good reason, work hard and enjoy the ride!

Related: How to start a business in your spare time

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