Why is it that nearly 600,000 new businesses are started each year? There are plenty of reasons why entrepreneurs strike out on their own, ranging from personal fulfillment to giving back to their community.

At Summit Financial Resources, we believe that running your own business is ultimately about love. Our customers are passionate about their products and services and driven to meet a need or solve a problem for a particular customer or market. We are equally passionate about helping them achieve their dreams.

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To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’re sharing 14 reasons why small business owners do what they love and love what they do:

1 – Flexibility

As an entrepreneur, your time is your own. The days of watching the clock and asking permission to go out to lunch or take a vacation are a thing of the past. Business owners have the freedom to make their own schedules and do whatever works best for them and their company. That said, while entrepreneurs enjoy the flexibility, they put in plenty of hours. A TD Bank study found that nearly half of small business owners work more than 40 hours a week, with 40% working between 40 and 60 hours a week.

2 – Control

The majority of entrepreneurs agree that flexibility and control are the best aspects of owning their own business. In fact, a recent survey found that 44% of small business owners said being able to control their own destiny and make their own decisions was the reason they went out on their own. Being in charge means having the ability to get things done quickly without necessarily having to compromise. It also allows you to determine and direct the culture of your company and create a workplace environment that is inspiring, challenging, and rewarding for you and your team.

3 – Risk/Reward

Owning your own business is a risky proposition. However, for those who can manage the highs and lows, it can be incredibly rewarding. Business owners who are willing to take the greatest risks also can reap the biggest rewards.

4 – Face Time with Clients

Entrepreneurs often relish the opportunity to make sales calls and interact with their customers. Rather than being shielded by automated greetings, a large sales force, or a customer service team, small business owners thrive on dealing directly with current and prospective clients and having the power to decide not to work with those that will negatively impact the business.

5 – Choosing Coworkers

When you work for someone else, you rarely get to choose who you work with. That’s not the case when you work for yourself. Business owners who have responsibility for hiring and firing can make sure they surround themselves with competent and supportive people who are aligned with company values and dedicated to helping the business grow.

6 – Less Red Tape

Rather than having to wade through endless red tape, wait for multiple approvals, or lose precious time lobbying to revamp guidelines, entrepreneurs and small business owners thrive on being proactive when it comes to getting the job done. Being small and nimble often allows them to beat competitors to the punch and get ahead of the curve with new products, techniques, or marketing strategies.

7 – Continuing Education

Some people thrive on routine and performing the same job tasks day after day. As an entrepreneur, you get to be a jack-of-all-trades. Small business owners embrace the ongoing opportunity to challenge and stretch themselves and develop new skills, whether it’s understanding the intricacies of a new technology or gaining knowledge about the different facets of running a business.

8 – Work/Life Balance

According to a small business survey conducted by Inc.com, one of the most often cited benefits of owning your own business is being able to establish a healthy work/life balance. From having flexible hours to working remotely to bringing a cherished pet to the office, entrepreneurs place a high value being able to better blend their business priorities with their personal and family life.

9 – More Than Money

Making a good living is important to small business owners, but money is not necessarily the driving force behind why they do what they do. While some entrepreneurs start companies with the goal of one day cashing out for a big payday, most small business owners are more interested in the lifestyle benefits and personal fulfillment that comes with being their own boss.

10 – Job Security

Many people are reluctant to start a business because they are afraid of the risks involved. However, entrepreneurs often think it is a safer bet to work for themselves than work for another company. Instead of worrying about losing your job or the company going bankrupt, running a business gives you the ability to build equity in your own company and create a sense of security and satisfaction over time.

11 – Giving Back

Small business owners love being part of a community and make it their mission to give back to those they serve. You can choose to contribute to causes you care about and build staff engagement by donating time, money, products, and services to support local charities and neighbors in need.

12 – Building Relationships

Being part of a small business gives you and your staff the chance to develop meaningful relationships with vendors, customers, other business owners, and each other. You are able to savor the small victories and appreciate the big wins, whether it’s taking pride in an employee’s success, finding satisfaction in knowing a customer’s life is improved by your product or service, or experiencing the joy of working closely with a happy, dedicated team.

13 – Personal Satisfaction

When you own a business, you don’t simply show up, complete the day’s tasks, and go home. You chart your own course and make decisions that affect your future and the lives of your employees. Entrepreneurs who build something from the ground up and achieve a level of success discover a sense of ownership, pride, and fulfillment unlike any other business endeavor.

14 – Sharing the Love

Entrepreneurs have a passion for turning ideas into reality, and they enjoy sharing the love. For successful small business owners, there is often no greater satisfaction than delivering a product or service that exceeds customer expectations – and maximizing revenues to benefit the business, themselves, and their team.

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Summit Financial Resources specializes in working capital financing for small to medium-sized businesses that need increased cash flow. We provide working capital financing through invoice factoring, asset-based lending, inventory lending, and equipment financing.