Creating and sustaining your own business isn't just a way to wealth - it's a way to pursue your life's dreams and find personal fulfillment. This path isn't an easy one, but it's one that all of history's greatest entrepreneurs have had to follow. Though starting a business is easier if you have vast reserves of cash, it's possible to build a successful business from the ground, up with smarts, perseverance, and dedication even if you aren't loaded. If you're prepared to work hard and learn from your failures, you have the once-in-a-lifetime chance of building a successful business you can proudly call your own.
Part 1 of 3: Getting Started
Keep your current job. By retaining a reliable source of income, you save yourself from the worry of not knowing how you'll pay your mortgage and from dealing with mountains of potential debt. However, you will have to work harder. Ideally, when your new business begins to pick up steam, you can gradually make the transition from a full time employee at your old job to a consultant or part-time worker. Eventually, you can transfer to your own business full-time. Though in real life this process often doesn't go quite as smoothly, it's almost always safer than dropping everything to pursue a dream that hasn't materialized yet.
- This first step is all the more important if you're supporting a family. Don't jeopardize your family's future by giving up your primary source of income to pursue a personal dream. Though it's harder to balance your side project with your day job and your family life, it's much safer.
- If you think you may want to start your own business in the near future, avoid signing an employment contract with a clause restricting your ability to pursue other sources of income. Don't be afraid to carefully go over your contract with a lawyer.
Design a business plan. How will you make money? If you can't answer this question, you shouldn't start your own business. The purpose of any for-profit institution is to make money - have a detailed plan for how to do this before you embark on your business venture. Try to answer the following questions - these are fairly fundamental and by no means exhaustive:
- How much will it cost you to provide your product or service to the customer?
- How much will you charge the customer for your product or service?
- How will you increase the volume of your business?
- In what ways will your business offer a better deal than your competitors?
- What kinds of people will you need to hire? Can the work be done without these people?