The Why’s and Who’s of Business

There's no one reason that someone starts a business, but the "why" is always the driving force. In this article, we cover the "why" and the "who" of business.

Business makes the world go round. Businesses are driven by a multitude of factors, but there is one thing that sparks their existence in the first place: inspired business owners. Business owners around the world are inspired for a variety of reasons, whether that be exuding and amplifying cultural values, making a sizable impact on their communities, or simply being their own boss.

In this article, we’re covering a few dynamics of business owners. First, we’ll talk briefly about the “why” of business. Why are business owners inspired to take such personal risks and open up shop? Additionally, we’ll touch up on different types of business owners. Are there certain characteristics that can be applied to a variety of business owners, regardless of industry? 

The Why

There are many factors that inspire business owners to finally take the leap of faith and start their own businesses. When you think about it, it’s a somewhat frightening proposition. While all the good things that happen within your business and profit margin can be attributed to business owners themselves, they also have to take all the financial risk and ultimately pay the price for any shortcomings.

There are several reasons business owners open up shop in the first place:

Making a profit: By selling products for a price that is markedly higher than its cost of production, many business owners gain satisfaction from profit and enterprise.

Satisfaction: By operating one’s own business the way s/he prefers, many business owners start their endeavors in the pursuit of satisfaction and independence. 

Making a Difference: Owning your own business gives business owners the ability to offer their service to community members and organizations in need. 

No matter your motivation, the "why" is the ultimate driving factor behind almost every business in the world.

Types of Business Owners

Not only are there a variety of reasons for people to start businesses, but there are a variety of types of business owners that contain particular characteristics. The folks over at BizJournal put together four distinct types of business owners based on a survey and here’s what they found:

Passionate creators

The people in this group started their businesses out of love for what they do, and they believe wholeheartedly that passion is a crucial quality of success. Running their businesses gives them a sense of accomplishment and pride.

When compared with the other profiles, passionate creators operate at an arguably more successful level. They are also the most marketing-focused and tech-savvy owners of the bunch.

About half of this group spends $500 or more per month on marketing activities. In addition, 65 percent use social media, 70 percent email to a list and 48 percent use content marketing.

Freedom seekers

Freedom seekers started their small businesses because they value the ability to control their work experiences. They want to be in charge of their schedules, career paths and work environments.

This troop wants things simple and manageable. Close to half of them are the only employees in their business, and they are the least likely of the four profiles to have more than one other employee. Not surprisingly, they cite, "time to get everything done" as their biggest challenge.

In tackling the challenge of chasing daylight, they have adopted automation. Nearly 60 percent utilize automated software, and its usage spans across many elements of their business, including bookkeeping and email marketing.

Legacy builders

These owners started their businesses to bring something new to the marketplace. They are practical in their approaches to business ownership.

Business ownership provides them with a sense of stability for their futures and the futures of their families, and they have created businesses to help secure their retirements or legacies to their children. They take tremendous pride in the businesses they have created and are in it for the long haul.

However, they are less dependent on technology. Just slightly more than half of this group have websites, and 21 percent do not use any bookkeeping, email marketing or payment processing tools.

Struggling survivors

The struggling survivor profile represents the cold, hard-truth of business ownership: Sometimes running a small business is scarier than it is rewarding. Fear is deeply rooted in this group and they face the very real challenges of ownership every day. In fact, more than half said they've considered closing their businesses.

They are jacks-of-all-trades, and masters of none, as 51 percent run their business alone. They are spread too thin, wearing most of the hats within their businesses with a to-do list that includes managing everything from sales to administrative duties to customer service.

The motivations and inspiration people find for starting businesses is as wide ranging as the businesses themselves. 

Running a business is hard work. It takes a certain level of dedication, determination, and commitment to conceptualize, open, and operate a business, and there are more than a few bumps in the road along the way. The "why" is the ultimate driving force behind a majority of businesses in operation today. The "who" is the epicenter for how the businesses actually come to fruition.

Further Reading