- Business and Employment
Entrepreneur - To Be or Not To Be
On the road to success
I am writing this hub to share with those people who are thinking of becoming business owners or are skeptical about owning a business. Since I was young, I had always dreamt of becoming my own boss but fate seemed to have other things in store for me.
I have worked since 1976 in various industries and environment. I got "laid off" two years ago. My husband got laid off at the same time. When you reach a certain age, no one wants to hire you. Organizations want young graduates who are vibrant and have fresh ideas. I don't blame them. So, both my husband and I got really worried. We had bills to pay, mortgage, car loans, etc. Luckily my husband was on the same path as I was ... he also didn't want to work for someone. When both husband and wife get laid off, the financial situation of a household becomes really tight because you may think that the severance money will help you out; however, this severance money is actually your monthly or bi-weekly salary that you are getting and how long is it going to last?
Both my husband and I closed our eyes and decided that this is it, .......no more 9 to 5 job working for someone in a thankless job. Whether you do it right or wrong, it's never to good for your bosses. What people don't realize that it's not the managers or upper level people who run an organization and make it successful ... it's the people who are below managerial level that are really the cogs turning the wheel. We invested all the money that we had and plunged into starting our own business.
We now had to look for a suitable location because there is stiff competition in the kind of business we do. Luckily, we came across a real estate agent who showed us an industrial unit that appealed to us right away. We signed the lease and got started. Initially, no supplier wants to give you any material. It's always upfront that you have to make payment. Our showroom was pretty empty except for a couple of displays that we got from two suppliers who gave it to us at no cost. There were times when I couldn't sleep at night thinking what's going to happen tomorrow? How will we get customers? How will we pay the rent and utilities? My husband got in touch with some old contacts who started supporting us. I attended BNI meetings for networking purposes, joined the local board of trade, spent money in advertising where I shouldn't have.... all this just to get our business going.
Today, I look at myself, our business and thank God for giving us the courage to go on because I couldn't have been happier. Our main advertising is our clientele ...one happy customer passes the word on to the next and so on and so forth. And, I can't thank the internet enough. No point in signing up for those fancy ads. Have a great website and make sure that it comes up well in search engines. These two factors have made our business grow.
Some tips that I would like to suggest are:
1. Don't be afraid or skeptical. If you want to open up your own business, do it.
2. Opening a business is a gamble - just like marriage. If you don't take the risk, you don't know if you will be successful.
3. Create a great website with appropriate keywords is very important
4. Serve your customers the way you would want to be served.
5. Do your research in the area where you have your business. If your neighbour has the same kind of business as you do, this means competition, so diversify your business.
You are on the road to success!
Remember: When you are successful, your friends are the first ones to get jealous; when you are down, they are happy.
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