The Fourth of July is long behind us, but millions of Americans still dream about their own “independence day”—the day they shake off the shackles of employment and start their dream business.
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A recent study by the UPS Store says nearly half (48%) of Americans who have never owned their own business dream of becoming their own bosses, while 21% are confident they will eventually own their own companies some day.
Why do people want to start their own businesses? “Being my own boss” tops the list, cited by 61%, followed closely by the desire to pursue a personal passion (60%) and have more flexibility (48%).
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What kind of businesses do they want to start? Not surprisingly, opening a restaurant is the most common business dream (18%), followed by starting a clothing/apparel business (7%).
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The biggest hurdle to startup success, however, isn’t financial—it’s internal. The study also polled existing small business owners, and they said taking a leap of faith was the hardest part of launching their businesses (36%). To get over this hump, 25% say they relied on their own motivation and internal drive, while 20% turned to an external support system to get encouragement and inspiration.
Starting a business isn’t fast or easy. But the hard work was worth it: A whopping 71% of small business owners say they would start the same business if they had it to do all over again.
So what separates the dreamers from the doers?
Dedication. “Have faith in yourself” was the number-one piece of advice small business owners in the study said they would give to aspiring entrepreneurs. You’ll need faith to get you through the tough times of startup.
Planning. Nearly one-third of entrepreneurs polled say they spent over five years planning their business before taking the plunge, and 51% spent over two years in the planning stages. Creating a business plan helps you know where you want to go, and how to get there. Don’t try to wing it.
Support. Enlist your friends and family to keep you on track. Get free help from the experts at SCORE and your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC). (Disclosure: Both organizations are clients of my company.)
Turn your dream into reality—start today!
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship.