Unemployed? Start Your Own Business
Looks Like a Good Time To Start Your Own Business
In the present economy many people find themselves losing their jobs. I found myself in a similar situation several years ago and I decided that it seemed like a good time for me to start my own business.
I had thought about doing this many times over the years but I was always working full time. Besides I wasn't crazy about the idea of quitting a stable job to start a business that might or might not succeed.
I often thought about trying to start a business while I was still working but that idea didn't appeal to me either. Starting a business is time consuming work and I was already putting in a lot of overtime on my job.
And that's another thing, in the beginning, if you are not prepared to devote at least 12 hours per day to building your business don't even start. It will take at the very least this amount of time to properly set up and promote your business.
Here are some things you need to consider before starting on your journey.
What do you do well?
If you are good at something there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to make money doing it (as long as it is legal). After all you've made money for other people doing it, you might as well make some for yourself.
Many owners of large businesses started out doing the same thing.
You may be good at working on cars. Car repair is a good sound business to begin. You might start out repairing the cars of friends and family. A good way to run that business in the beginning would be to have them pay for the parts once you have determined what the problem is, (which is what they would have to do at a repair shop anyway at a much higher mark up) and charge them to install the parts. You could do this right out of your own garage with no overhead costs except time spent and maybe some tools.
Do you like to cook? Catering is a business you might consider. Here is another low cost business that you could start right out of your own home.
You purchase and prepare the food and bill the client for services rendered. You could start with small birthday parties and baby showers and work your way up to the big stuff all while doing something you love to do..
Is there a market for what you can do?
In other words, are there people out there looking for someone who can do for them what you can do. You might be surprised at some of the needs that exist.
There are certain jobs that people need done that will always be there. Some of those jobs are: daycare (babysitting), cooking, cleaning, plumbing, electrical, yard care (grass cutting), snow removal, car repair and hair care. There will always be a need for these as long as man is on the earth.
Sometimes there is a market available that nobody has filled yet. A unique need that no one has thought of starting a business in that area. If you could find that need and fill it you could find yourself becoming very wealthy. Think about it.
How are you going to market your business?
How are you going to reach the people you need to reach to let them know you are in business. Connecting yourself (the supplier) with those in need (your market) is critical to the success of your business. If those who have a need don't know that you exist it creates a gap that someone else could fill and you don't want that to happen.
If you decide to start one of the small businesses suggested above there are some inexpensive ways to promote your business and you can do them right at home.
- flyers-these can be done right on your computer if you have one or know someone who has one. There are many software programs available that will produce some very professional looking flyers. You can print them off and distribute them yourself. Family and friends are a good place to start.
- mailers-local print shops like quickprint, kinkos, office max and office depot could produce some relatively inexpensive mailers that you could flood the world with. Remember, if they don't know you exist they will never call.
- the internet-depending on how broad of a market you are trying to reach you may want to use this medium. There are some low priced web page start up packages that may be just what the doctor ordered for you. A key to getting a decent amount of feedback is to saturate the market and this is a good way to do that.
- newspaper ad-you might want to be careful with this one because mass media advertising can get expensive in a hurry ( I know, I used to work for a television station) but if you have a small local newspaper you might be able to get away with a reasonable rate. Don't bet on it though.
Are you good with people?
Starting out and even after your business is established you will have to deal with a lot of people. If you are a good conversationalist and know how to put people at ease you should do fine. If you are shy or not very "chatty" you probably want to be involved with a business that doesn't require a lot of "face time".
Do you know professional people who can give you some free help?
Depending on what type of business you begin you are eventually going to need, if not right away, some professional help in the way of accounting, taxes and maybe even legal matters. When I started my business I had friends in all of these areas who were willing and able to help me. In one instance I had an attorney friend who gave me the paperwork that I needed to file with the state and showed me how to fill it out and submit it myself so he wouldn't have to charge me.
Don't forget about the IRS!
Your local IRS offfice has some very helpful information that you will need to know before starting your business. If you are starting a small business with yourself as the only employee you should be able to file under a "sole proprietorship" using your own social security number as your business tax ID.
Starting your own business is not as daunting or difficult as you might have thought it was. It just takes time, determination and a well thought out plan.
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