Chapter 9: Yearning to Be on Your Own
So if, unlike me, you decided from last week's review of your Self-Assessments that you're a good candidate for Entrepreneurship, you now get to think about everything that might be standing in your way.
Step 2: Exploring Roadblocks and Opportunities
First, Jansen give us a list of ways we can break into self-employment. There are pros and cons for all of them, so I'm just going to give you a few bullet points:
- Be a temp worker. I don't consider this self-employment. I've been a temp, and it's more like I have two bosses (the agency and the client company), not none. But it does provide flexibility. Contract work falls under this umbrella, too, but most contracts I'm qualified for, I'd be an employee with a finish line and without benefits. You have to be ready to hit the ground running with some of these jobs, because they are hiring you to do just one job and be sure it's done, and done well, before your time is up.
- Hang out your shingle. Flying solo lets you do whatever you want, but you have no backup. Jansen asks us to narrow down our business focus if we want to go this route:
- What skills and abilities would you enjoy using?
- What needs are there in the market that you can fill?
- What about trends?
- Are you special enough to fill or create a niche?
- Can you improve on an existing product or service?
- Can an existing product or service be introduced to another market?
- Have you observed any patterns you can exploit?
- Is there a business in another country you can bring to your home?
- And so on! Basically, it's marketing at this point.
- Buy a franchise. You're starting with name recognition and some backup from the parent company. Not bad, if you can afford the capital needed to buy in to begin with. And while you're the boss, you still have to play by Corporate's rules.
- Can you handle that balance?
- Is the franchise you want actually reputable?
- Will you like working there?
- Enough to research your brains out before you even start?
- Will you feel proud of your product?
- Is it recession-proof?
- Does the franchisor have a strategy?
- Are you comfortable with the market?
- Are you familiar, and comfortable, with the resources available to you?
- Do you have a lawyer?
- Buy a business. There are always business owners looking to sell. Maintain or improve what the previous owner did, and you've got a client base built in -- not to mention products, employees, and systems. But researching to find the right business to buy is a giant chore, it may be hard to find a good fit, and you never know what unexpected problems you might be inheriting. And be sure to inspect both equipment and invoices!
- What's your professional background?
- How much, and for how long, are you willing to research to find the right business?
- Can you move? Commute?
- Are you an investor or a manager?
- How's your network?
- How big do you want to get?
- Like a stock, is your business "growth" or "income"?
- Can you turn around a failing company?
- Can you afford the investments you'll need to make?
- What's your timeline on actually making money?
- Create a partnership. It's just like getting married! But what kind of partnership do you want to have? Make sure your lawyer is clear on that, too.
That's a lot to think about, and we haven't even gotten to the Roadblocks and Obstacles! We'll talk more about them next time.