Becoming self employed is a dream that a lot of people have. Making your own decisions, setting your own schedule, and doing something you enjoy are just some of the attractions that self employment offers. And if you're working from home, the commute is pretty good, too. However, running your own business is not easy. In fact, it can be downright risky. To maximize your chance of success, you need to make several decisions before you even start. Adopting a "wait and see" attitude on these matters can easily lead to ruin.
Quitting Your Current Job
If you are still currently employed, the first decision you need to make is whether to quit your job so you can put all your efforts into the new business, or keep it to make sure you have a stable source of income. Your new business is not likely to earn much within the first year. For that reason, it may be better to keep your current job and start a new business in your free time. That can get exhausting, though. On the other hand, getting a new business off the ground can take a lot of time and effort. You may not be able to put all your energy in if you're working another job. It all comes down to how much you have in savings and what the new business actually is. If you have no savings or a business that is relatively easy to get going, keep your current job. If you have enough savings to live on for several months, and invest in your new business, it could be worth the risk of quitting your current job.
Running the Business Alone
The second decision you need to make is whether or not you can run your new business alone. Don't just ask yourself if it is possible to do everything yourself, ask yourself if you can do it all long term, or if the stress would eventually get to you. If you need to hire employees, you need to make sure you can pay them. Alternatively, you can look into hiring temporary freelance help when you need it.
Working from Home
Working from home, if your business model permits it, has many good points. There's no commute, you're in a comfortable environment, you can listen to whatever music you want, and the fridge is nearby. There are some bad points too, though. Family, friends, and neighbors can be a real distraction. The TV can prove to be too tempting, and the fridge is nearby. You might do better working out of an office, even if you're the only one in it.
After you have made the previous three decisions, you need to figure out how much capital you need to get the business started. You will need to add up the cost of all of the necessary equipment, office rent, payroll, materials, and utility bills. You should have enough money to finance your business for several months. If you are quitting your current job, you will also need enough to live on for several months.
You also need to put as much money as you can into marketing, because you need potential customers to be aware of your business if you want to sell them anything. Never cut your marketing budget too much, no matter how poorly the business is doing. Once you know how much money you can allocate to marketing, you need to decide how to use that money. Depending on what demographic you are trying to reach, targeted social media pay per click ads may be the best use of your marketing money.
Before you start on the adventure of starting your own business you need to have a very good idea of exactly where you are going and how you are going to get there. If you make the decisions described above before you do anything else, you'll be able to make the most out of your resources, and have the best shot at success.
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