Make Your Own Career: When to Start a Business

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Own your careerEspecially in a down economy that has lost a lot of jobs and is full of employers who are tentative with regard to creating new positions, you may have a hard time finding a great job that fits your skill set. If there just aren’t positions that match what you’re looking for, one option is to strike out on your own and start your own business. This method of creating a career for yourself can be a great way to follow your passions and start having the career you’ve always dreamed you could have.

Evaluating Your Business Idea and Deciding Whether to Launch
Starting a business isn’t for everyone so before launching into it, first consider whether you’re the right type of person and whether now is the right time. You’ll need to be strongly self-motivated to get tasks done every day without a boss looking over your shoulder, and you need to have the skills needed to run a business. You will have to communicate with people to sell your product or service, and you’ll also have to keep meticulous financial records to file taxes each year.

In addition to having the right personality and skill set, you also need to have a business idea that is likely to succeed. Many people who start a business work as independent contractors, selling their skills to a wide range of people or businesses. You may decide to start working as a consultant with local businesses to advise them in particular areas in which you have expertise. Or you may decide to start a yard care business in your area. The other route is to create and sell a product that you believe people will pay for. This may be physical items, like purses and scarves, or more technical ones, like computer software or phone apps.

The last consideration you need to make is whether you have the financial ability to start a business. In many cases, you’ll need some capital to invest in your business at first. You may need raw materials, equipment, office space, or money for advertising. You can use savings, or you can try to secure financing by getting a loan from a bank or venture capital organization. You also need to consider that it often takes a while for a business to become profitable, so you’ll need to have money on hand to pay your usual household expenses during this time.

Becoming an Entrepreneur
If you’ve decided that starting a business is right for you, create detailed business plans. You’ll need to know what you’re selling, what costs you’ll incur, and what the right price is to charge. Once you have that established, it’s time to start advertising and gathering clients and customers. Social media websites can be very helpful to get the word out about your business and develop a loyal base of people who will buy from you. And of course, don’t forget to step back occasionally and enjoy the feeling of being your own boss!