Small Business Start-Up Tips, Things You Need to Consider

Should You Start Your Own Business?

So, you’ve decided to leave the rat race behind and become your own boss. Now what? Although we all have had days where we want to take Johnny Paycheck’s advice to heart (“Take This Job & Shove It”), there are many things you will need to consider before making a final decision.

First and foremost is the choice of what field to enter. We’ve all heard the maxim that says “Do what you love”, but will that pay the bills? I don’t know many people who are interested in paying me to sit on the couch and watch TV, no matter how much I enjoy it. While it is important that you like your work since you will put a lot of time and effort into a small business, it is equally important that you be realistic in what the market is calling for. You do not want to get into a situation where you have spent your entire life savings on a plan that has no chance of succeeding.

You will need to consider such factors as what problem your product or service solves and who has this problem. Do your potential clients have the money to pay for the product or service you are offering? For instance, you may have a dog who chews your furniture when left home alone, so you decide you want to start a dog daycare, which is a fairly high-priced service. It will be an uphill struggle to succeed if you are in an area where people struggle to meet their basic daily needs.

You also must make sure that others have the same problem you are trying to solve with your product or service. You may be extraordinarily good at drawing spiders and snakes, and your idea is to sell your drawings because they fill the blank spots on the walls of your house. However, you need to think about how many people are sitting around staring at their living room walls thinking, “Boy, this room would be just perfect if I only had a picture of a tarantula to hang over the fireplace.”

Another consideration is whether or not you are good at creating the product or providing the service. I dearly love to sew, but most of the garments I create would fit either a resident of Munchkinland or an NBA player – no one in between. My clientele would be rather limited if I chose this as a career.

Physical and emotional stamina are both important in your choice of careers. My personal worst job choice was when I decided to work in a factory, without considering the fact that walking on cement floors 10 hours a day caused me extreme pain in my arthritic leg joints. If you do decide on a business that requires more endurance than you have, you may want to consider doing the business part time while you keep your day job to pay the bills. This will give you an outlet to do the thing that you love, but will not require you to exert yourself beyond what you are capable of. Whether you choose part time or full time, you can expect to work extremely long hours, especially in the beginning.

Emotionally, be prepared for entrepreneurship to be one of the hardest things you have ever done. You will be juggling many balls at the same time, working long hours, dealing with angry customers, and worrying about finances, in addition to making the product or supplying the service you so love doing. It is definitely not for the faint of heart! I sometimes compare it to the stress of having newborn twins in the house – there are many sleepless nights, others are dependent on you for their needs, you must clean up all the messes these other people make, no one thinks you are doing it right, and you may feel like you are trying to nail Jello to a tree most of the time, but yet you carry on, never knowing if the outcome will be worth the effort.

All you can do is work hard and persevere, trying hard to make each mistake only once. You never know, every once in awhile our kids turn out to be successful adults, and sometimes business dreams really do come true.

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