There’s a saying attributed to Confucius, the Chinese sage stating that “If you love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life.” In a very fragile and dangerous economy, it may be a luxury for those who are currently employed to love what they do. In some cases, with the reality of layoffs and forced retirement, starting a home business may be the only alternative that one has. By definition that business will, in all probability, be a small business. One may be forced to consider self-employment or perhaps one chooses it. In any event, such a decision requires skills, attitudes, and determination often not required in a typical employment situation. However, at the very core of this decision, the prospective entrepreneur must love what he or she does.
Business Success Secret: The Owner
According to Patricia Schaefer, in an article entitled, The Seven Pitfalls of Business Failure, maintains that “When it comes to the success of any new business, you — the business owner — are ultimately the “secret” to your success.” Being a good material and/or sales manager and exercising excellent management for employees must be eclipsed by the belief system and determination that the business owner maintains. Certainly having a sound business plan in place is important, as is having a realistic and aggressive marketing plan, but at the end of the day, the buck will stop with the owner.
Lack of Capital, Is this Google?
One of the key success factors to business management is adequate capital to fund the projects that a normal business requires. Often cited as a critical business success factor, a lack of capital is almost always the case with startups and particularly with home-based businesses. It is often useful to remember, that at one time, Google wasn’t Google, it was a struggling start-up. Also important is the fact that the vast majority of businesses are self capitalized and those entrepreneurs will use every means at their disposal to cut corners in order to keep their dream alive.
Guerrilla Marketing Tactics
An excellent book by Jay Conrad Levinson, written in the 90s, Guerilla Marketing should be the handbook for all new entrepreneurs. The basic premise is that because a company is of modest size and scope, there are numerous, clever ways to project a “larger” image while doing it “on the cheap”. To be successful, the new business, whether a service or product business, must find creative ways to achieve an impact within the market. According to their web site, the keys is “…to maximize your profits and minimize your investment.” Holding onto a company’s critical supply of capital in the formative months will be of paramount importance. Therefore, utilizing social networking (always free) such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube is a no brainer! The internet and a website are the first essentials.
SCORE Before the First Step
A new business owner should always seek outside help and it’s often free. There are many consultants that are available for startups, however, often the best are free. The consultants that can be found at SCORE (Senior Corps of Retired Executives), a free consultancy service, attached with the SBA is an excellent resource. SCORE often holds seminars throughout the U.S. that are free and absolutely useful for the aspiring business person.
First Things First…Accounting
If appropriate research upfront had been performed, if the business opportunity looks plausible, then make sure the business plans is realistic. Assuming that everything is in place, the new business must have an adequate accounting system in place. In today’s world, it’s possible to have an online accounting system, but it’s probably better to have a relatively simple desktop accounting system like QuickBooks or any one of several other software packages.
Summary for the Entrepreneur
As stated at the outset, being in business, whether home-based or otherwise is not for everyone. Some would rather be employees, under any circumstances. However, others may find that being unemployed and then starting their own business had been the greatest blessing. Whatever the case, a business can only succeed if the owner truly loves the business and loves being in business. A business owner will always have the security of knowing that his success and security is tied to his ability to produce and adapt to change.