Re: A bit off subject but relevant


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Posted by Kenzi on October 9, 2002 at 17:28:27:

In reply to: A bit off subject but relevant posted by Steph on October 8, 2002 at 22:04:33:

Back in 1995-96 when ideas of running my own business were
just germinating I read a book, whose title I can't remember, but
it's something like "starting your own business". I can probably
dig up the title and author if you really want to know, but almost
any book like this will do. This book was excellent because it
gave you the nitty gritty about licenses, taxes, organizing your
time but also the more subjective stuff like how to know if you
have what it takes to run your own business, whether it's better to
start your business while still employed or should you quit your
job etc. I was really inspired by this book and found it very
practical.

7 years down the road, looking back on my business, I think
about that book still. I remember they had a checklist of what
makes a successful self-owned business person and I think
about how I saw that list and how I thougt of myself....it makes
me laugh. The degree of hope and optimism is so high when
you are thinking about starting your own business that it is hard
to see the situation clearly. Sometimes I regret my decision but I
also wouldn't have it any other way. What this means is that you
don't know until you do it and just be sure that you have what it
takes to get yourself out of it if you really hate it!

I would say that there are two ways to approach your business,
each has its merits and risks.

1. begin little by little, doing a few little gigs, making a little
money, gradually growing the business and responding flexibly
to the market and the environment; this is a low risk venture
because you could actually work a full time job while running
your business and you don't have to sink a ton of money into the
business and tie it up there, banking everything on the success
of your business

2. save or borrow money so that you can make a full investment
in your business at once; this is a bigger risk because you are
putting everything in before you know whether you are up to the
challenge or whether the market is ready for your
product/service; the benefit of this approach is that if you make
sure you have a large sum to invest you can set everything right
the first time which will pay off in the end because you will be
organized and have what you need to run your business

I have done something in between these two models and still
can't tell you which is best. At times I wish i could have invested
a large sum in the business to set up everything beforehand
(accounting system, computer system, business cards,
stationery, website, online ordering, etc.); the way I am doing it
now is difficult because I have to wait until I have a little money
saved to invest in the next improvement or advancement; I can't
just make the change when it is most needed.

I would suggest that, if nothing else, just make sure you have all
the information you need to get started. Know what is needed in
terms of local permits, taxes, accounting, shipping, receiving
funds etc. etc. Your ambition, drive and creativity will get you
through the rocky times, but without complete information you
can't do much. Also, make sure that you have people you can
count on for various kinds of support: a friend to listen to you
bitch, a friend to listen to your ideas and help you develop them,
local business owners who are going through the same thing,
etc.

And stick around here because there are a lot of
business-owners here who will be able to commiserate and
support you. I have found that I can always count on the people
on this list.

Good luck!

 


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