I believe there isn’t much you can do that is more exciting than starting your own business. There also aren’t many things riskier. On the other hand, if done the right way, there aren’t many things that will yield a bigger reward.
Many people I come across would love to start their own business, but are either too afraid, or, are looking for so many guarantees of safety, they just paralyze themselves.
Owning your own business gives you a great sense of freedom, yet the commitment required to succeed is enormous. If you are not willing to lay everything on the line and risk everything you have, you probably shouldn’t read any further.
Here are some ideas you might want to consider before going out on your own:
• Do something you love. Do it all the time, even if you have to give it away for nothing. This is a cheap form of advertising. If what you do is that good, people will want more and they’ll pay for it. In a new business, money is the last thing that ever comes. It’s your love, commitment and confidence in what you do that will get you through the inevitable tough times.
• Keep your personal and business overhead low, but don’t skimp on business necessities. Fancy vacations, cars and restaurant meals are not things a new business owner should be spending on. If you’re able to work out of your home, even better. Keep your staff to a minimum, but don’t be afraid to pay good people. Try to outsource as much as possible; this way you save money on payroll taxes and benefits. Never skimp on good advice, i.e. lawyers, accountants, insurance agents. Find good experts and listen to them.
• Plan ahead while you’re still working and earning income. Cut down on your personal overhead before leaving your job and sock away as much money as you can. You’re going to need it. Buy as much disability insurance as you can while you’re still working and have income. The amount of disability insurance (D.I.) you can buy is based on your income. Insurance companies are setting tougher and tougher income standards. If you wait until you start your business (and are earning no income) you’ll be out of luck.
• SELL, SELL, SELL! Never take yourself out of the sales process. If you’ve never been in sales, start learning. No one knows or believes in your products or services more than you do, therefore the customers and prospects need to hear from you. Even if you do end up hiring salespeople, or a Sales Manager, keep selling. If you have no customer contact and other people are bringing in all the business for you , you are giving up control of your business and are leaving yourself in a vulnerable position, should your Sales Manager or top salesperson leave.