Starting Your Own Business Versus Working For Other People
Sometime in your life, you will probably get tired of working for someone. I am sure many of us, at one time or another have felt this way. I know what it feels like. I have been on both side of the fence.
Working for some company does has its benefits. Medical care, insurance, investment or retirement funds. The paycheck is a source of stable income. Hey, some of us get paid for doing nothing, all day, every day of the week. There are other perks, like a company car, expenses account, traveling and an assistant. Even the prestige of working for a well-known and respected company.
But for some of us, trading time for money is not the way to go. Maybe you need to spend more time with your family. Sometimes, it is because you do not agree with the way things are done, and it can be a soul-numbing experience. In my case, sometimes I work a 70 hour week, even a 20 hour day. I have a toddler and a baby at home, so it can be challenging to manage my time.
It is in trying times that you start looking for greener pastures. Taking a pay-cut in another job with flexible hours might work. Or you might want to be your own boss. Before you make the choice, I really do think you need to look at your plans objectively. Many people make the change from being employed to being self-employed. Unless you have something that you can offer your customers, this is a risky proposition.
The problem with being self-employed is that you end up working even longer hours trying to build a business. You have to do everything yourself, and the minute you stop working, the income dries up. In many cases, being self-employed is an inefficient use of your time because you have to do everything yourself.
Even if you manage everything properly, it can take years before it can be self-sustaining. In that time, you work horribly long hours and your family life suffers as a consequence. Starting a business is quite a simple matter, making it successful so you work less is another matter altogether.
The solution depends on a lot of factors, starting with being realistic and objective. Here are 5 things you need to consider before venturing out on your own:
1) Know The Market
Determine if there is a need or want in the marketplace for what you have to offer. Go out and talk to people in your market, get hard data. You need to offer something to the market that other business do not, your Unique Selling Proposition or Unique Selling Point. What is it that you can do for your market, and do it better or more effectively?
2) Get The Income Now
You need to get some paying clients or customers now, before you quit your job. If your business model does not work or if people do not want to do business with you, how are you going to generate income? Why should they do business with you? This is the ultimate test, if you cannot generate income now, what do think your chances of success is going to be?
3) Seek Additional Finances
You may some money put aside that can sustain you for a few months. But it is never to early to start seeking additional funds to drive your business. Even if you manage your cash-flow well, working capital is seldom sufficient for growth. You need to find additional resources quickly.
4) Look For Business Partners
Your business needs to grow to succeed. Look for businesses you can partner or joint-venture with. Something that is a strategic fit which you can use to build up your client base. Perhaps you can do a joint promotion, and they can extend your reach into your target market.
5) Seek Expertise
You don’t know everything, and you cannot be expect to know or do everything. There is always someone to turn to when you need expert knowledge. In one of my enterprises, we have a consultant who advises our company in financial matters. Spending that small amount of money up-front allows the company to keep a bigger share of the profits. You could find a mentor or an adviser, someone who is successful in business.
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