By Michelle Strubeck With an ever changing world, more people are working remotely and some are rethinking their careers altogether. The idea of being your own boss can be very appealing to some, but there are a number of factors to consider when opening a business. First, you have to decide if business ownership is right for you. There are pros and cons of business ownership such as doing what you enjoy, creativity, and personal satisfaction. Then there is the financial risk, time commitment and stress.
There are a number of start ups that fail due to no experience, lack of market research, inadequate financial planning, and poor location just to name a few. You have to evaluate your business idea; think about what you are selling and how it will benefit your customers. Do you have any experience with the product or service you are selling? Who is your target audience? You also have to evaluate yourself and identify the reasons why you want to own your own business. Some reasons to consider are being bored with your present job, you feel you have a product or service where there is a demand, and doing what you want when you want. Ask yourself, do I have personal characteristics such as leadership, will power and self discipline?
When creating a business plan you have to determine who, when, how, where, what and why. The next step is to do market research. Look at the ongoing trends, determine how much product you will need in order to be successful, and look at the size of your market area. The most successful businesses keep a low inventory with a wide variety and they have a good relationship with their vendors.
In regards to financial planning there are start up costs to consider such as utility deposits, equipment and software, furniture and fixtures and professional services. It is recommended to have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses as well. Another consideration in regards to starting your own business is, where will the funds come from? There are a number of sources where you can obtain those funds from such as your own personal resources. The money could come from a savings account, a retirement plan, an insurance policy or any type of personal investment that can be converted into cash. There are also small business loans, investors, partners, friends or family that could help out. Consider renting or leasing instead of buying. This helps to reduce the amount of money needed up front when opening a business.
When choosing a name for your business keep it simple; avoid limitations and choose a name that covers a broader area. Once you have chosen a name for your business, you then have to register your name and your business. Will you need a business license and what are the possible city and county requirements?
A few individuals recently gathered to learn more about starting their own business at a workshop put on by the Ozark Small Business Incubator. Diana Middleton was living in Dallas when she lost her job. After moving to Ava, she joined a number of community organizations that focus on helping individuals develop a business plan to further understand what people need. Although she doesn’t have a business in mind for herself, she is considering investing in real estate. Shelly Freeman currently works in healthcare taking care of the elderly. She has always had a passion for opening a children’s boutique. She is following her passion by starting small. She has obtained her tax i.d. and is working out of her home. She sells children’s clothing from newborn to size twelve. She has purchased imagery to use when the time comes to have a small space for her children’s boutique. Another individual in attendance was a photographer who has a love of animals. Because there are no pet grooming businesses nearby, she is thinking of opening such a business. Then she had the idea of combining photography and pet grooming; photograph pets and their owners.
Taking the leap into entrepreneurship can be an exciting yet terrifying experience. You have the opportunity to make your own decisions, pursue your dreams and eventually attain financial freedom, but for every opportunity there is a drawback. Before going into business for yourself, carefully consider whether or not you are prepared to face the challenges that are involved.