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How Pros Outweighed the Cons of Owning a Small Business for MaineRealEstate.Me

By Caroline Sullivan, November 17, 2015

You may have considered starting your own local business, but have refrained because of the potential risks you may endure. Are you sure the cons outweigh the pros?

Anne Plummer Legere, business owner of Anne Plummer & Associates Real Estate ( located in Naples, Maine, saw the opportunity when her life was at a crossroads between working for someone else, or doing it on her own and doing business the way she believed it should be handled.

When I am deciding on something important and life changing, I often find myself making a Pro-Con list to make the ultimate decision. Here are some of the Advantages and Disadvantages of owning a local business.

Let’s start with the negative and end on a positive note…


1) Risk Of Failure:

Of course, the risk of failure is frightening, who wouldn’t turn away from it and find a safer option? When starting your own business it is all of your money on the table, and if it fails it can create great stress on you and the ones around you. As Anne says:

The fear of not succeeding will drive you to make your business successful.

Being in this position means you have all the control and get to make every decision surrounding your business and its’ future.

2) Long hours

There are no set hours to when you would be working, as the boss and owner of your business you are always on the clock. What you put into your work is what you are going to get out of it. Upside to this is you can take the vacations that you want and attend your daughter’s ballet recital, you just might be on call when out of the office.

3) Inconsistency

With any business there is “lots of stress starting your own business because it’s going into the world of the unknown, so it’s scary.” I have to agree with Anne, you never know which way your business will go, and the inconsistency can be unsettling to most. You may have a bad month that makes you worried, but the corner will turn and you could have several good months that make that bad month worth it all.

When starting her business, Anne spent time learning what you needed to do to set up a business and even met with an attorney to understand which direction to go in. There is no way to foresee obstacles ahead of you. One thing Anne did was made a “mockup of what it costs to run her [your] business and what she [you] needed for income and how to generate income.”


1) You are your own boss

This is probably the biggest advantage of owning your own business. When you are your own boss, you don’t have anyone to answer to except yourself. Many small business owners start their own business because of this reason. You get to decide when you want to go home, how long you want to work and all of the changes that need to be made.

Anne had been in the Real Estate business since 1988, and at the time did not see herself owning a business. She found herself at a crossroads between looking for a job working for someone else, or starting her own journey. What pushed her to start her own business was when her husband said to her

When we get old and are sitting in that rocking chair on the porch, you better tell me you did what you wanted in life.

Will you be able to tell yourself you did everything you wanted when you are all wrinkled and grey?


2) You enjoy all of the benefits

When you are working for someone else, you don’t get to enjoy every aspect that a business has to offer. A major benefit Anne sees as a real estate agent is

having good people working with you that emanate what you want your business to be about, honesty and hard work.

Although it took some trial and error to finding the right people working for her, she is in control of who was going to be apart of her business.

Another benefit when owning your own business is making money for yourself; it isn’t going in someone else’s pocket. Every decision is ultimately yours.

3) Able to form strong relationships with Customers

When you walk into a large store like Nordstrom there is a small chance you feel a personal connection with the sales clerk or via the ambiance of the store. When you own a small business you are able to form strong relationships with each of your customers.

When helping customers find a home, having a personal relationship is such an important aspect as “it is such an emotional time whether they are old or young,” Anne says. This personal relationship is one of the biggest advantages of owning a small business and one of her goals is to “have customers for life”.

4) Job Security

You can say good-bye to the “hush hush” rumors in the office regarding lay offs and mergers, your job is here to stay and no one can fire you, except yourself! Wouldn’t that be the best feeling?

After working for a top New England broker franchise, Anne saw an opportunity to interview with a new national agency entering her neck of the woods in Naples, Maine. She asked, interviewed, and then was unfortunately fired from her position, which she sees as the “best thing that could have ever happened.” Since then, Anne has been in control of her job security by owning her own business.

5) It’s your passion

Personally, I think the most important thing in life is to be happy, and what better way to find happiness than doing what you love. Working a dead end job from 9-5 doesn’t provide the average employee as much happiness that is possible or needed to be fulfilled.

By owning your own business, you get to do something that you enjoy and something that makes you smile when you wake up in the morning. For Anne, after lots of hard work she is in control of her business and her life.

It’s not a job, it’s my life.

When weighing the pros and cons of starting your own business it is important to be aware of the potential disadvantages, but it is imperative to remember why you’re taking this jump into unknown territory and the advantages that lie ahead.

Can anything outweigh doing something you love every day?

Tip: An important aspect of starting your business is bringing it online. Even Anne agrees, “Today’s world is online.” She knows her customers are “at home with fuzzy slippers and cruise on the internet all day or all night…everyone has busy lives, more so today.”


Caroline Sullivan

Caroline is a happy-go-lucky gal with dual citizenship between the USA and Denmark, which has allowed her to view the world from many viewpoints. After graduating with a Bachelors degree in Strategic Communications, she is still discovering her way through the new and exciting years after college life.

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