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View at field through hand frame, photo 1 (Vladimir Nikulin/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
View at field through hand frame, photo 1 (Vladimir Nikulin/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Small Business Briefing

Why the grass isn't always greener Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz

Why the grass isn't always greener

Hate your job and think entrepreneurship is an easy way out? Think again. Mike Cleary, whose story is profiled here in the NYT, left his 9-to-5 job to buy a franchise and an existing business, only to realize just how harsh going it alone can be. Now he's back in a corporate position, working for the National Wild Turkey Federation in Edgefield, S.C., where he's happier than ever.

There are obviously benefits to starting a business, but what the author is suggesting is that the entrepreneurial lifestyle isn’t for everyone, and that oftentimes the "good" clouds the reality of the "bad." The following is a condensed list of some of the myths, misconceptions and reality of entrepreneurship versus a traditional job:

  • Office politics (and rude people, whether they're customers or colleagues) are everywhere, even if you strike it on your own;
  • It's incredibly difficult to find a market niche for your products or services;
  • Would-be entrepreneurs seeking work-life balance will not find it - in fact, they may find themselves working all hours of the day;
  • Traditional jobs give you defined set of responsibilities, which for some, makes life a little easier. If you carry them out well and get results, you can go about your business with the certainty that the rest of the company can take care of itself;
  • Being able to put a known company on your résumé equals credibility and can open career doors;
  • The corporate world offers perks and benefits, as well as the opportunity to be around people; after all, the ability to establish relationships with powerful people in the context of your daily work is the best kind of networking out there.

The HR software boom

Cloud companies focused on managing human resources have been the darling of venture investors for years now, and SAP's proposed $3.4-billion acquistion of SuccessFactors indicates just how critical this sector has become, according to this blog post from the WSJ.

This year alone, a number of human resources software companies have raised significant venture capital, including small start-ups like TribeHR and Dayforce in the U.S., as well as Toronto-based Achievers (formerly I Love Rewards) - which in September received a $24.5-million round of funding from Sillicon Valley heavyweight Sequoia Capital firm.

So why human resources software and why now?

  1. Every employee needs access to an HR application
  2. Since these applications don't contain mission-critical data, they can get past the security concerns that many companies have about putting software in the cloud.
  3. HR software is also attractive because so many companies these days are looking to extract every bit of value from their employees.

Small Business confidence flatlines in November

Small business confidence across Canada barely budged last month, according to the latest survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

"This level is still lower than normal, however, as overhanging concerns about the potential spread of economic weakness out of Europe appear to be still at play," commented Ted Mallett, vice-president and chief economist for CFIB.

Provincially speaking, business owners in Saskatchewan are the most optimistic, with an index level of just above 74, while the lowest levels of optimism came from New Brunswick at 59.1, suggesting only marginal economic growth in those regions.

Measured on a scale between 0 and 100, an index level above 50 means owners expecting their businesses' performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance.


40 under 40 Awards

Rub shoulders with the winners and meet up with winners from previous years on January 25, 2012 in Vancouver B.C.


Inc. created GROWCO, a three-day conference in New Orleans, for business leaders who want brass tacks advice to achieve the next level of growth. GROWCO speakers include founders and CEOs of fast-growing companies, icons in the business community, and authors of definitive business tomes. From March 5 to March 7, learn how to develop a vision, manage a team, create a brand, get the most for your marketing dollar, connect with customers, close deals, and find capital.


Filling a founder’s shoes, temporarily

With one of SmartBride Boutique's partners wanting to take maternity leave, the company needs to find a replacement who’s just as good, and passionate


Four reasons big companies buy small ones

Strategic buyers are typically willing to pay more for your business than financial buyers.

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