Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Starting Your Own Business

Aug 8, 2006 - Linknet Business

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There are at least two obvious ways you can go about starting your own business. The first way is to quit your day job and launch right into your new business. We'll call this the "all or nothing approach". The second way is to keep working at your current job and develop a business on the side, in your spare time. We'll call this the "spare time approach".

Unless you are independently wealthy, planning and timing are very important with the "all or nothing" approach. That's because once you leave your previous employment your source of income will be gone. You will be surprised how quickly your savings disappear. With the all or nothing approach you have a very limited amount of time to make your business work. It is "sink or swim". And you can sink pretty quickly without a source of income.

So that means you should plan the changeover to self-employment very carefully. Every situation will be different. An acquantance of mine was able to step from his quasi-government job into a private consulting business because he spent the last few months of his employment developing leads and contacts within his industry. When he went on his own he had customers waiting in the wings and was able to more than double his income in his very first year.

But most of us are not so lucky. We do not have the quality leads, the specialized skills, nor the opportunity to use our present employment to build a launching pad of potential customers before we take off into the wild blue yonder of self-employment. Most of us are starting from scratch with a few vague ideas, a questionable set of yet-to-be-defined skills, and severly limited income. So our venture into self-employment had better take off within a few months or we're likely to crash and burn.

That is why the Spare Time Approach is best for most new self-employed entrepreneurs. The spare time approach lets you test your ideas, develop your skills, and build your business slowly. If you are unsure about the products or services you intend to sell, the spare time approach lets you try out different product lines and see how well they fit in with your overall objectives. Often new entrepreneurs find their first ideas are not realistic, or there is no market for the services they want to provide. Or they find they cannot charge enough to make any money providing the products or services they have chosen.

But when you take the Spare Time Approach it is also necessary to have an "exit strategey" -- a way of turning it into a full time business. Without such a strategy you will probably find you are working harder than ever, and the returns may be questionable because you just don't have the time and resources to do everything yourself.

Rick Hendershot - Promote Your Online Business