None of the steps to starting a business is ‘hard’. They might require knowledge you don’t have. They might require a skill you’ve never developed, but with the availability of information today, you can learn to do about anything. Surf the Internet, read a book, take a class, and practice until you master the new skill.
You can make it easier by taking the time to develop a business plan that includes every step necessary to start your business. The more thought and effort you put into it, the more you will be focused and the fewer unpleasant surprises you’ll have as you start your business.
Once you’ve written the plan, assign an order to the steps, estimate the time it’s going to take for each one and make a commitment to yourself for when you’re going to complete that step.
You can gain confidence and learn valuable information by taking a part-time job working in a business that’s similar to the one you want to start. If it’s a small business where you take the position, be upfront with the business owner. If you can determine ways to collaborate rather than compete, you’ll both benefit from the experience.
The myth that starting a business is hard is just that, a myth.
In the early 2000’s, Daniel Burrus, the author of Technotrends (Burrus, 1993) was a guest on my radio show, The Executive Toolbox. As I got to know him during the pre-interview process, I realized he was one of the happiest people I’d ever met. I asked him to what he attributed his deep sense of contentment and his answer was, “I figured out that the way to be happy is to find your passion and wrap a career around it.”
There are those who are happy working in businesses owned by others. They want to limit the time they put into ‘work’ so there’s time for their other passions. There’s nothing wrong with that at all if they can find work that satisfies that criteria.
Then there are those for whom the drum of their entrepreneurial spirit beats loudly. They can’t really afford to quit their jobs (yet), or maybe they can, but don’t want to invest a bundle until they’re sure, so prefer to move cautiously down the path of business ownership.
If that’s you, I don’t think it’s difficult to ‘find your passion’, but in case you haven’t landed on anything specific, there are 60 businesses outlined in my book, $1,000 Start-Ups. For each of the businesses, I provide ideas on how to make money from that business, what you need to do to get it started, how to market the business, additional resources I’ve found, and sage advice from research and from those who are now in or have been in that business.
You might not find your perfect business within these pages, but it is my sincere hope you’ll find something of interest.
Small businesses and the success of those businesses are essential for our economy and a game changer for anyone who starts and operates one. Starting a business can be the answer if:
- You’re unemployed Even with our economic recovery there are still, as of this writing, 9.5 million people in the United States who are unemployed – a third for more than 27 weeks.
- You plan to work after retirement. Seven in ten Americans ages 45-74 say they plan to work in retirement according to the AARP Bulletin, July-August 2014 (www.aarp.org/bulletin).
- You’ve always wanted to start your own business. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, one in four adults, ages 44-70 are interested in becoming entrepreneurs.
- You don’t have enough saved to retire. More than 50% of people who are of retirement age have less than $10,000 in savings, according to Mitchell Schnurman in The Dallas Morning News (www.dallasnews.com).
- You’re tired of working for other people and want to work for yourself.
Starting a business puts you in the driver’s seat and in control of your future.