What is your Motivation?

Why do people start their own business and what motivates them?

There are a number of personal reasons why people start their own business. Some see an opportunity, some suffer a personal situation such as redundancy or unemployment, whilst others have a family history of self employment or consider it as a way of earning their living.

Considering your true motivations can help you think about the goals you may set yourself and provides a measurement for success as defined by you and not as defined by others looking at your business externally.

Success means different things to different people. You need to define what success means for you and this will certainly help you to find the ways to achieve it. If you do not know what you are aiming for it is unlikely you will ever achieve it.

Understanding your motivations will help you identify the real purpose of your business and its aims and objectives. So for example, if it is a bigger house for your growing family, then how will the business generate the cash for this?

Motivations such as “I simply do not want to work for someone else anymore” is not strong enough on its own. If you are struggling, add the question ‘Why?’ and keep drilling to the detail.

This is a great question to ask yourself to establish your ‘Reason Why’ and your ‘Purpose’. These are areas that I explore with my clients at an early stage, as they fuel the motivation we all seek.

You should also consider planning your exit from day one. It will have to happen to all of us at some point and I seriously hope that is not on your death bed. You need to have a vision of your exit from the business, so that you get the timing right for you. Too often business owners say my business is my retirement nest egg, but in reality when they come to retire it may not be the right time to sell or the value may not be as expected. So consider the need to groom successors and how to exit at your chosen time, not when other pressures may dictate. Then plan your business to build towards that exit plan. So if you want to sell for a price of £250,000 in 25 years time, what do you have to achieve in the meantime to get there?

Possible exit options include: your family succession, selling the business, flotation of the business, a merger or simply closing down the business.

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