Have you ever toyed with the idea of starting your own business but before you can make it happen, your enthusiasm is extinguished by dampening comments? Questions that seem to make sense but you just know it’s not an absolute given?

Here are the 5 most common anti-business questions and comments we have heard so frequently that we decided to provide – hopefully objective – answers to each instead of rolling our eyes in silence.

Why answers? Simply because there’s always more than one answer to these questions!


Q1: Why would you want to do that? It’s too risky.

Answer 1: I want to do that because unlike many others, I have aspirations. I have a vision that I strongly believe in. A vision where no one has yet to achieve and I know I can if I just get started.

Answer 2: I am young and I can afford to take the risks. In fact, the earlier I start, the more time I would have to recover should my business meet roadblocks or fail. But to begin with, no one starts a business to fail and lose money.

Complementary Answer 3 to Answer 1 & 2: Besides, not all businesses are high-risk. There are risks even when you are an employee – you could get laid off because the economy is suffering. So risk is a matter of perspective and how we manage risks.


Q2: Do you have the capital? You need a lot of money to run your own business.

Answer 1: That’s not true. Not all businesses require a lot of money to start up and keep operations going. Simple one-man service businesses like web designers, programmers, writers etc do not cost an arm or a leg to get started. All you need is a laptop with internet connection to get started, and perhaps some savings to tide you through your start up phase. Then again, how much is a lot? Think about this, a lot to you may be affordable to me.

Answer 2: There are grants and funding schemes available and I can look into that. I am serious about my business and I know my idea is going to work out, so I will find the capital some way somehow – I can apply for a bank loan if necessary.


Q3: Why can’t you just be like everyone else and get a job? You don’t have to worry so much!

Answer 1: There’s nothing wrong with being like everyone else and get a job, but I am not everyone else. I am me and I have a passion that I want to pursue, a dream that I want to materialise. I know that even though starting my own business will be challenging, I will be happier, more fulfilled, and satisfied with my career than working a 9-6 job.

Answer 2: I can be like everyone else and get a job but that doesn’t mean I won’t have to worry any lesser. With a job, I might have a pay check at the end of every month, but it is a fixed pay check. There are many folks out there with a job but they are still worrying about making ends meet, paying bills, meeting sales target at work, getting into trouble with their bosses, not getting along with their colleagues and so on. In fact, if I work for myself, I get to choose the clients I want to work with!


Q4: If you start your own business you are going to lose your work-life balance. You’ll be working 24-7!

Answer 1: That’s if I lose self-control and decide to let my business run me instead of managing my business well. Running my own business also means I have flexibility. My leave is not subjected to approval and scrutiny. I can arrange my work schedule and vacations.

Answer 2: Many others holding a job have already lose their work-life balance, working till wee hours, not spending enough time with their loved ones and friends. If I start my own business it will require discipline on my part to create the work-life balance I want. Instead of blaming others as some do in their jobs, I have only myself accountable for my work-life balance.


Q5: Isn’t it great that you work for someone else and have a fixed job and a fixed pay?

Answer 1: It’s great for some but I want to be my own boss. I am ambitious and very driven, and I know that if I work for myself, I am building my own dreams and future. If I am working for someone else, I am building that person’s dream and future.

Answer 2:  I don’t fancy a fixed job because I want a challenge and control over my own destiny. I want to be able to make decisions and be responsible for them. The same goes for a fixed pay. I want to be able to make as much money as I want. Of course it is entirely dependent on my decisions and actions, but hey, that beats working extremely hard but still getting the same amount of money at the end of every month.


The above are suggested rebuttals that should get you thinking about starting and running your own business. It’s great if you have more questions because that means you are headed in the right direction. You are not making an impulsive decision and you are taking the time to think it over.

While you are still considering whether to start your own business, just remember that it’s easy to do business in Singapore and to set up one, and now is actually the best time to run your own business in Singapore.

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