Each business has a story. No matter if the business is a Goliath like Wal-Mart, or a local business owned by a couple or family, the business has roots in an idea. For each business owner, the story of their journey can range from monetary needs or the passion for a unique project. Each story is different though the reasons may be the same. No matter the tale, the background behind each and every business is what fuels each and brand.
We asked some entrepreneurs and business owners, why they started their businesses:
#1- To take knowledge and apply it to what is coming next
I actually started two businesses for similar reasons. I started Ignite Social Media in 2007 after working in a mid-sized regional ad agency. I didn’t feel we were differentiated enough and, at the same time, I was hearing all this buzz about social media. The model and the timing were good. A decade later, we’ve worked with many of the biggest brands in the world. I’m glad I didn’t wait, as lots of players moved into the space after us. In 2014, I saw that influencer marketing was growing in importance but not getting more sophisticated. So in 2015, we launched Carusele to apply digital media targeting to influencer marketing. So to me, the concept is to take what you already know about your industry and apply it to what’s coming next.
Thanks to Jim Tobin, Ignite Social Media!
#2- I didn’t like doing what I love for someone else
I loved what I did (sales) but I didn’t love doing it for somebody else. Watching all my hardwork flow into someone’s pockets, paying their bills gave me the spark I needed to finally take the leap.
Thanks to Mary Vamvoukakis, La Pittura Studio!
#3- To be in charge of my financial future
I started my business because I knew I was excellent at what I did and deserved more than to work for a company and earn peanuts, while practically running their business. The final straw for me came when my annual raise (which was two years late) turned out to be 25 cents an hour Of course, it came with tons of praise and compliments on how they couldn’t do without me, however, 25 cents an hour hardly paid my bills. I quit shortly thereafter and never looked back. What really rocked though was when they came to me a year later and asked for help. I gladly agreed at my rates, which was substantially more, and worked for them for many years. Nothing felt better than having the power to be the one in charge of my financial future.
Thanks to Diana Ennen, Virtual Word Publishing!
#4- To have some freedom and flexibility
Six years ago I realized that traveling 3-4 weeks a month got me a successful six-figure career, but it kept me away from my daughters. The constant travel was also taking its toll on my body (which was already being attacked by an incurable disease). So I left Corporate America and started my own agency. Since then, I have gained the flexibility I need to be here for my daughters, less stress on my body, and the satisfaction of a successful, although less glamorous, career. It isn’t always easy, but as a single mother, the freedom it has given me is priceless!
Thanks to Rebecca Downing, Mommy Media Group!
#5- Out of survival necessity
I started my business out of the necessity to survive. At the time, I was taking care of my sick mother and paying all of the bills including student loans. My skill set limited to theater and social media. After a few months working out and end jobs around Chicago, I met an extraordinary business consultant who helped me build my business from the ground up in exchange for social media services. Since going incorporated in 2015, I’ve helped scale up several small businesses in the Chicagoland area.
Thanks to Maggie O’Keefe, Maggie the Marketer!
#6- To connect to the world
There are so many reasons, perhaps even too many to list, of why I started my business. But ultimately, it boils down to one. I started my business to connect the world. The world is a big place – there are so many places to explore and people to meet. And at the root of all cultures and so many conversations is food. Food and food culture tells a magnificent story of a region. It tells about history and cultural values. But ultimately, we likely won’t be able to travel everywhere. My service aims to transport kitchens and introduce you to people everywhere. Amazing chefs and experts who want to share their cultural and culinary traditions with curious people – even if they can’t hop on a flight and visit Japan this year or Italy next year.
Thanks to Jenn Nicken, The Chef & The Dish!
#7- Incapability of my former industry to generate cures for chronic diseases
As a 30+ year veteran of the pharmaceutical industry, I started my current business, the regenerative healthcare company Bioquark Inc. (www.bioquark.com) due to the fact that in spite of generating close to $1 trillion annually, my former industry was incapable of generating any cures for the chronic diseases responsible for the majority of human degeneration, suffering, and death. Bioquark’s current focus is on developing proprietary
biopharmaceuticals and consumer healthcare products, targeting the regeneration and repair of complex human organs and tissues. The company is focused on merging knowledge from various scientific disciplines, including regenerative biology, evolutionary medicine, and comparative genomics, to develop a set of bio-products capable of directly remodeling diseased, damaged, or aged tissues, to induce efficient and controllable regeneration, repair, and rejuvenation. The company is taking a unique approach to mimic the dynamics found during natural reversal of disease, degeneration and aging found throughout the biologic kingdom, as opposed to only affecting the symptoms of such conditions, as most marketed pharmaceutical products do today. With annual healthcare expenditures for conditions that either have an underlying cellular degeneration or damage component, now surpassing $7 trillion globally, Bioquark’s platform makes the company an attractive candidate for high-value strategic transactions and liquidity events for investors.
Thanks to Ira S. Pastor, Bioquark Inc!
#8- Pretty simple, I was tired of working for someone else
In the field I was in, I believed I was much better at what I was doing than the folks in a leadership position, and had felt that way for a number of jobs in a row and something had to change. It wasn’t really the job, it was that I knew I could do a better job if I could unshackle myself from a boss. I did, and it was the best decision I ever made. I make more money, I have more time, and I can pretty much do what I want and work with the folks and clients that I want to work with. One rises to one’s level of incompetence, so I figured, why not be the man. If I fail, I’m not ready. But, 10 years later, alive and thriving.
Thanks to Rodger Roeser, The Eisen Agency!
#9- Escape problems with authority
I was a poor college student (in computer networking field), while working part-time in food delivery (restaurant food/pizza). My boss was this crazy dude with anger issues – always screaming at workers (including myself) over the walkie-talkie and in person. As I was finishing college, I just imagined being a network admin, and having my boss YELL at me all the time, while I’m laying network cables in some dusty basement or in suspended ceilings. I decided that it’s not the life I want, and since I always had problems with authority, being my own boss, seemed like a great idea. So I started a roofing company, which turned into an online business (about roofing). Now I run a website that helps homeowners estimate roof costs, find contractors, etc. It also helps contractors find clients. And I do my roofing on the side, part time, when I get bored 🙂
Thanks to Leo B, RoofCalc!
#10- Address financial and operating metrics
By screening hundreds of SMB acquisition opportunities as managing partner at my private equity firm, I saw first-hand that the vast majority of small business owners run their firms without the benefit of good financial or operating metrics. In other words, most run their firms in the dark. I positioned Driven Insights to address that market pain.
Thanks to Dave Robinson, Driven Insights!
#11- Two reasons
I started my business because i could not stand the Obesity death toll rate and because i didn’t like the current solutions on preventing it. So we developed a high tech invention that allows you to get a 3-hour workout in just 20 minutes.
Thanks to Daniel Nyiri, 4U Fitness!
#12- To develop negotiation strategies or plans
Everyone negotiates every day. In business, we negotiate with external vendors, suppliers and partners. Internally, we negotiate with other teams, office mates and managers. However, we observed very few companies develop and nurture effective negotiation and partnership skills in their people, nor do they develop negotiation strategies or plans that lead to successful outcomes. We decided there was an opportunity to startup a business that both taught negotiation & partnerships skills, and developed and implemented negotiation & partnership strategies and plans. We realized a business need and started-up a company that’s been very successful, helping clients like Crate&Barrel, Target, Starbucks and Whole Foods.
Thanks to Daniel Duty, Conlego!
#13- Solve a particular problem
I started my own businesses because I was frustrated by having a problem no one was solving, I knew a lot of other people had the same problem, and believed I knew how to solve it. The way I got into that unique position was that my career has been spent in field sales, and so I understood the challenges faced by field sales first hand. When I was working on the Google Maps team, I got to know how powerful mobile mapping could be, and had experience with the types of solutions and apps that mobile was capable of enabling. I knew I could improve my performance at my job as a field sales rep if I could combine my customer data with a mobile mapping system, and I could envision a solution that could schedule and plan my time selling in the field more efficiently. Looking back at it, it was a combination of my role in sales and the industry background with software and mapping that made me well positioned to launch a company to solve the problems of field sales based on a mobile mapping platform. I was in the right place at the right time with the right background to start the company.
Thanks to Steve Benson, Badger Maps!
#14- To do what I love most
It was 95 degrees, a typical August day on New York when you could fry an egg on the sidewalk. I had a PR firm in midtown and was tired of being everyone’s Jewish mother. Every day there was another drama with one or another of my staff, and I could not do what I most love–the writing. So I went home to my comfortable 2000 square foot UWS apartment and thought, what can I do myself, from home, and still make a good living. Aha–ghostwriting! To date, I have ghostwritten, published and promoted 42 books and am still going strong.
Thanks to Judy Katz, Katz Creative!
Why did you start your business? Tell us in the comments below