Woman wondering - corporate versus entrepreneurshipThis is a guest post by Jackie Asta, the founder and owner of Wedding Bliss Lane and RSVP Custom Creations

Many would-be entrepreneurs don’t pursue their dreams out of fear of failure. Many also shy away from the demands and stress that come with forming a small business. It’s a difficult decision to sacrifice relative comfort and employment security in the corporate marketplace in order to focus solely on your business ideas.

Luckily for you, it’s becoming much easier to create side ventures. Technology is rapidly evolving around us, and marketing strategies have appeared that were not even possible fifteen years ago. It’s important to examine the positive and negative aspects of the corporate and startup business worlds, and see the benefits your company could gain from each.

Motivation

Creating and maintaining your own business takes a great deal of motivation. A lot of people are uncomfortable with the high level of drive required. You alone must create the business plan, seek investors, design your marketing campaign, provide customer service, and keep track of your books. It’s more than a busy day.

Of course, this work can be shared if you decide to go the partnership route; however, startups still require a great deal of focus, energy, and efficiency. You empower yourself and your business through energy and promise. Your work can potentially lead to handsome profits for you, as well as a great sense of fulfillment and ownership.

In the corporate world, it can be easy to view yourself as just a cog in the machine. You might have great ideas and supportive bosses, but ultimately, your hard work is only servicing the corporate entity. Your motivation to stay those extra hours or work that Saturday for a corporate employer is not going to compare to working similar hours for yourself.

The bottom line is that you usually do not directly benefit in most corporate situations. However, corporate employers can offer reliable schedules and steady work. As an entrepreneur, you have to be prepared for times when business is slower than you anticipated and adjust accordingly.

Customer Service

It’s obvious that customer relationships are more personal and intimate on an entrepreneurial level. Startups have the opportunity to get to know clients on a personal level and strive to benefit their lives with a product or service. Entrepreneurs have the chance to really shine and connect to create repeat business from these clients, as well as build trust and confidence.

Customer service provided by a corporation is not going to be as direct and personal. It’s difficult to feel that same sense of connection with a huge entity. However, the corporate world can offer the fact that customer service is provided by a team of individuals. Unfortunately, some customer relationships go sour for one reason or another, and as an entrepreneur, you’re solely responsible. The corporate world can provide a certain buffer or outreach system if customers are dissatisfied.

Personal Direction and Accountability

As an entrepreneur, you are your own boss; you might be surprised about what changes come with that fact. Many small business owners (myself included) quickly discover that they are micromanagers. You might feel you need to manage every aspect since, after all, it is your business. However, for your sanity’s sake, it’s okay to release the reins and have confidence in others’ work, especially if you have started a partnership.

Accountability is huge in entrepreneurship, and even more so in small startup businesses. It can be difficult when a customer does not want to pursue further business with you.  Just remember the importance of reflecting on anything you could have done to make things work, and use those reflections to strengthen your resolve. Then, move forward.

Accountability in the corporate world is extremely different when compared to a small startup environment. For example, a corporate structure provides a variety of voices within a team. This means that many different personalities are involved in making decisions. Multiple viewpoints allow a team to see the whole picture in terms of potential outcomes, and this can be very beneficial to many companies.

In the startup environment, you can take this corporate approach and seek feedback from outsiders about potential business decisions. Entrepreneurs sometimes suffer from a myopic vision about their ventures and don’t see all the possibilities. Make sure you don’t limit yourself; branch out to consult with others.

In most cases, the corporate world can offer more job security. However, this comes at the cost of less personal attachment or investment in your work with customers. As a result, it’s difficult to attain that sense of fulfillment and connection that an entrepreneur thrives on in business. As an entrepreneur, you can benefit from outside advice that enables you to look beyond yourself.  The joys of positive customer interactions, internal motivation, and the power of using all of your business skills can make entrepreneurship a rewarding choice, both personally and financially.

Jackie Asta is the founder and owner of Wedding Bliss Lane and RSVP Custom Creations. She has been in the wedding/event industry for 4 years designing invitations. With the knowledge she gained working in the invitation design business, Jackie launched Wedding Bliss Lane, an e-marketplace dedicated solely to the wedding industry.