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Old 19-06-2009, 03:09 PM
quek quek is offline
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My parents operate a small retail shop in a small neighbourhood. Income used to be quite comfortable, especially considering the fact that they are uneducated. But because they are older now, they have to hire some relatives to help and thus earn less now, but still more than enough to get by.

I said their income is "quite comfortable". How comfortable exactly? I won't give numbers, but I'll say this: if I had started out like them instead of becoming a salaried employee, I would be making more.

Moreover, they had some opportunities to expand their business, start more shops, and even move up the value chain by becoming distributors, wholesalers and even importers. But they didn't. They were in a comfort zone and decided not to take the risks. In hindsight, if they had gone ahead, chances are good that they'll be making even more- some of their suppliers are good examples.

In terms of income, I would say running a small neighbourhood retail shop is almost equivalent to an above-average working professional. And you get to enjoy the freedom and have control to do what you think is right for your business, be it in expansion or in utilising modern management and technology.

Why didn't I take the plunge? I would like to. But thanks to being "educated" and being "too aware" of the (small) risks, my plan is to save up first, just in case. I'm giving myself 5 years.

Being educated also introduce another complication: opportunity cost. Will I miss being a salaried working professional, the monthly pay that's auto-credited in my account, and the annual leave?

Hopefully the fire in my belly does not die.

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