Is Now the Right Time to Start a Business? Analyzing the Benefits + Challenges of Business Building
For many people, the American Dream isn’t just about owning your own home. It’s about owning your own business. There’s a reason, after all, that the U.S. is considered by billions around the world to be the true land of opportunity, and there are few opportunities more precious than the chance to earn your living doing what you love.
And there are few cities more conducive to small business success than Greater Des Moines (DSM), where a wealth of support, resources and opportunities abound. This article examines the potential benefits and challenges of opening a business in the region and touches on legal and regulatory factors aspiring entrepreneurs will want to bear in mind.
Challenges When Opening a Small Business
If you’re considering building your own small business in DSM, there are some challenges you need to be prepared for.
The first and most important question you must ask yourself when you’re thinking of quitting your job to start your own business is whether you are truly ready to give up the security of a full-time job.
Venturing out on your own, after all, takes courage and ambition, but it also takes resources. This means that you should, at a minimum, have enough capital to support yourself, your family and any prospective employees for at least six months, a year or two years while you’re getting the business off the ground.
It’s not only the financial aspects of leaving your job that you need to consider, but the psychological aspects of this transition as well. If you’re planning to launch an online business, for example, then you must be prepared for the mental and emotional challenges of remote work, including the sense of isolation, anxiety and depression that may arise if you put your well-being on the back burner.
In addition to the financial and psychological challenges of starting a business, it’s also imperative to address the legal aspects of venturing out on your own. Business laws, statutes and regulations will vary from state to state and even from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Laws will also depend on the kind of company you intend to start, whether it is a sole proprietorship or a partnership, a franchise or a limited liability company (LLC). One of the best strategies for getting started is to connect with the Iowa Business License Information Center, which provides step-by-step information on getting your DSM-based business officially and legally registered and cleared to operate.
What this means is that you’re going to want to do your research and connect with experts in your area, including fellow small business owners, to ensure you’ve cleared every hurdle before you make the leap. The Greater Des Moines Partnership, for example, not only provides comprehensive guides for those looking to start a small business but also connects would-be entrepreneurs to the resources they need to thrive.
This includes access to mentors who can support new business owners in deciding which type of organizational structure is best, in getting their business officially registered and insured and in finding the best business attorneys and accountants for their needs.
In addition, because business laws, statutes and regulations can vary not just from state-to-state, but from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, it’s a great idea to leverage a reliable, comprehensive and up-to-date database of information, such as the State of Iowa small business resource navigator, to help you keep track of relevant regulations in your industry and your area.
The Advantages of Starting a Business
If you’re seriously considering entrepreneurship, then the odds are good that you’re already well aware of the many advantages of starting a business. Yes, the burden of launching, growing and maintaining your business will fall most heavily on your shoulders, but so, too, will the rewards.
As a small business owner, you will have the advantage not only of doing work that you love but also of building a business model that works best for you, your family, your employees and your clients. In DSM, the resources and opportunities available to prospective business owners are virtually limitless, whether you’re interested in opening a franchise or launching your own unique LLC.
In 2019, for example, Sophia Ahmad parlayed her love for and robust training in classical piano into Mobile Music Lessons, LLC, a small business providing customized in-home music lessons for clients of all ages in and around the region. In the years since her company’s founding, Ahmad has expanded her reach into philanthropy, launching the MercyOne Des Moines Foundation and founding the Des Moines Area Piano Festival.
At the core of Ahmad’s success, however, lay her passion for her craft, the need to tailor her work life to the needs of her home and young child, the recognition of significant market demand for the services she could provide and the leveraging of the immense resources DSM has to offer its small business owners.
Launching a successful small business is not easy. There are numerous challenges the aspiring entrepreneur must be prepared to address. However, for would-be business owners in DSM, the opportunities and available resources often far outweigh the risks, from networking opportunities to funding support to assistance with registering and insuring the new business. Above all, aspiring entrepreneurs benefit from the support of a community that truly cherishes its small businesses — and small business owners.
Looking for tools to help grow your startup or small business? Visit the Small Business Resources Hub to find the information you need or sign up for Mentor Connection to build relationships with a trusted group of mentors.