You’ve built it, now is anyone showing up to your web site to take advantage of what you have to offer? Did you make a mistake when you built your web site? Is it the fault of your designer or is there something you are doing wrong? Let’s explore five of the aspects of web sites that you should avoid when building your web site. Read more…
It has been over twenty-one months now since I quit my job and started my own business. Like most people who want to be entrepreneurs, I think I’ve always had a need to own my own business. Having the freedom of being your own boss is an incredible feeling, but it is accompanied by terror that makes most people hesitate.
I remember the day I came home and told my wife that I finally made the move and that the next Friday would be my last day of work. She freaked out! I assured her that there was nothing to worry about. I had some customers and we had money saved up. I needed her to trust me to do this.
A friend of mine – an accountant – has always wanted to be his own boss. We would talk for hours about starting a business and being successful. His excuse was that he never could settle on the right business no matter how much he wanted it. Personally, I think he is overcome by the fear of making that fateful step.
That step is really the turning point of success or failure. If you no longer have a safety net (i.e. a regular paying job) to fall back upon, you must succeed. Therein, lies the key and the conundrum. You have to give up your security to gain your freedom.
While I was planning this radical change, I spoke to others who owned businesses. I asked them about the growing terror I was feeling. Is it normal to not be sure of yourself? “Every day”, was their almost unanimous reply. When you are out there without a backup and it is sink or swim, you are going to have feelings of fear.
Now I am not asking you to go and give up your job to be a businessperson, but here are some of the steps I learned while making my fateful journey.
Everybody needs it, whether you are healthy or not. In my case, I have some health issues and having insurance is imperative. The week I got married, I switched my health insurance over to my wife’s company. Other options could include finding alternative coverage. There are plans in which you pay into an account and draw from that money as you need it. Look into programs that cover small businesses and micro-businesses.
Equipment and Supplies
I own a web design and marketing firm. My equipment is basically a computer, printer, and backup hard drives. I also needed software, business supplies (business cards, brochures, etc…) and peripherals, such as a camera and scanner. Whatever you need, get it before you make the step of quitting your job.
We all need it and in this economy it is hard to get a loan. Most banks will ask for two years of your income taxes to give you a loan. This means, for the first two years after you start your business, you will find it difficult to get a loan. So, you will need cash. When looking to make the leap to self-employment, make sure you have a decent cushion of money to hold you over. Another suggestion is to give yourself a salary. This way, you will make a certain amount of money per month and avoid the bank loan dilemma.
This, of course, is the biggest need when starting your own business. Have a business plan. You will need one in any endeavor you are going to start. Most professionals will tell you that businesses have a better chance of succeeding if you have a written plan. Keep the plan flexible. It is going to change. It has to change if you are going to succeed.
Don’t Be Afraid To Fail
A young reporter once asked Thomas Edison if he felt like a failure when he tried over 9000 times to make the electric light bulb, without success. Edison replied “no” because he learned over 9000 ways how to NOT make a light bulb. The point is, your business may not be a success. Most people who make it don’t do it on their first try. It takes experimentation and utter failure to gain the wisdom to succeed. Don’t give up!
June 6, 2010 I will have been in business for myself for two years. I gave up my position as a Director of Marketing for a shoe company to become one of America’s thousands of small business owners. I’ve survived a national depression and being off for two months due to a heart attack.
My first day on the job, I panicked.
I didn’t know what to do first! I had spent the past 15 years going to work, having a clearly defined schedule to accomplish, and do my job. For the first time, I was solely responsible for my success and failure. My mouth was dry, my heart was racing, I was scared!
I’ll be honest: I did all right in June. In the month of July, I didn’t make a dime. My preparedness was put to the test. But August was all right, September became even better and October and November were amazing! I’ve never looked back.
Owning a business isn’t for everyone, but for me – I can’t think of a better way to live my life.
I grew up in what is now known as the “Rust Belt of America“. The corpses of long-forgotten factories lie in ruins along streets that can no longer be maintained. Yet, somewhere amongst the ghosts of the Industrial Revolution, small business thrives. Time is almost reversing and people are making their livelihoods in local shops and home offices where they promote their skills rather than follow direction from big business management.
But, how do we get an entrepreneurial spirit? It isn’t like we were given this roadmap to look outside the box and do things on our own. Actually, it has been just the opposite. We are taught that there is structure in everything and it is our job to follow that structure. It is trained within our makeup to follow the establishment.
When you are young, we are told to listen to our parents. Meals are a set schedule, we are given orders to clean our rooms and take out the garbage, we go to bed at a certain time, and do what we are told by the management, i.e. our parents.
Next, we go to school and it is more of the establishment. The teacher puts you in a class, sits you in an assigned seat, and you study what the teacher instructs you to learn. In actuality, it isn’t even learning, it is memorization and regurgitation. If you do wrong, you are punished. If you do something right, you are rewarded with a foil star.
Finally, we graduate from high school and/or college, we go out to find a job and we are expected to be leaders – but we’ve never been trained to think on our own. We are still looking for direction.
So how does a person become a leader? How do these small business owners get the nerve to stand up against what we’ve all been trained to embrace?
Question: What made you decide to go into business for yourself?