Welcome to “Small Biz Betties,” a bi-monthly column focusing on setting up and running a small business. If you are of the mind to work for yourself doing what you love, then Small Biz Betties is for you, whether you’re a costume seamstress, vintage seller, jewelry maker, you name it.
In these columns I will talk about getting started in business, and what to do once you’ve got the ball rolling. I will be writing from my own personal experiences of several business I have set up – some of which failed or just died away, but others that have been successful – and sharing with you trials, tribulations, and triumphs, along with any and all advice I can give.
So how about we start from the beginning.
So, You Want To Run Your Own Business…
And why not? You have a skill or a craft that is useful and valuable to others. You may be spending your days doing this skill or craft already, as an employee or contract worker for another company. You may also be spending all your free time honing your craft or skill, and your working hours are spent in a job you hate, working for “the man,” (or woman), and resenting every minute of it.
If this is you, you may be of the type that simply cannot work for someone else. You are resourceful, clever, and skilled, and you probably feel like you are being undervalued, and certainly underpaid. Feelings of being trapped also come from situations like these. This is when you know it’s time to leave.
Getting Ready To Make the Leap
This is a subject that I will talk about more in future articles, but it should be mentioned now, as you’re just getting started. Everyone has a different time scale for leaving their full-time job and striking out on their own. Most recommend that you test the market, develop your products or services, do a little contract work on the side, to see if your ideas can generate enough income for you to work in your own business full-time.
It’s good advice, but it’s not always practical. In today’s economy, you may not have so many options. You may not even have a job. If this is the case, then you *must* make something work, and though some may tell you to “quit messin’ around and get a real job,” you must persevere, if you know in your heart of hearts that this is the right direction for you.
Business is About Tenacity
Perseverance is the most important aspect to starting out in business. Call it ambition, tenacity, or just plain stubbornness, you have to have it if you want to be in business for yourself.
Why? Because things will go wrong. Small Biz Betties is all about telling it how it is, and I’m not going to sugarcoat this for you: business is hard. Really hard.
It can also be extremely rewarding and exciting. When you are involved in every aspect of your business, and wear the many different hats it takes to operate a sole proprietorship, you will find yourself engaged on every level, using parts of your brain that went dormant in your lackluster full-time job.
So Are You Ready For Entrepreneurship? Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you absolutely, without a doubt, love and adore what you do (or want to do), and can you do it every day, even weekends?
- Do you have an awesome idea for a product or service, and a knowledge of how to produce or provide it better than the competition?
- When the going gets tough, will you stick with it?
- Do you hate working for your boss/company/anybody else?
- Can you make enough money doing what you want to do?