Starting Your Own Business or Internet Business, Part 2
Be Sure Of Your Facts
Don’t panic and do something dumb, especially when it involves things like borrowing large amounts of money, going into partnerships and signing contracts for anything.
Besides knowing what you are getting into, you need make sure you have the right facts. Is there a market for what you are selling? Are there laws and regulations you need to check into? Can you really make money at it?
When Tawra and I first wrote the book, we started selling it at craft shows. Many women who sold things at these craft shows said they made lots of money, so we tried it. We didn’t do too badly, but we were surprised at how many women said they had a really good day and made $300 that day.
Here’s what we couldn’t figure out: It took two people 15 hours just to man the craft show booth. At $300, that was $10 per hour each, but that didn’t even begin to include the cost of making the product.
The women we talked to had spent a lot of money on materials to make their things and had also spent a couple of hours a day for months before the craft show making them. When we asked them if that didn’t bring their hourly wage down into the negatives, they said they didn’t count the hours they worked making the items.
You can’t think like that if you go into business for yourself. Every expense counts. Time is money.
You Are Special. You’re the Only One
We all have certain gifts, talents, abilities and personalities. Regardless of what yours are, they’re not more right or wrong than others. They are just different. When deciding to start your own business you need to make sure you have the right personality to do it. Here are some questions with which to test yourself:
- How do you react under stress?
- Do you fall to pieces when faced with an apparent crisis or calmly try to find a solution?
- Do you truly have tenacity or do you just give up or get mad the minute something goes wrong and you can’t figure out a problem?
- Do you procrastinate?
- Do you keep your own personal paperwork and finances in order and under control?
- Do you keep your home in order or are things always out of control? Do you find that you can never find anything and are continually behind all the time? Chances are your business will be the same.
- Can you live a life of feast or famine? Almost all businesses have times when they are so swamped with business they can hardly keep up and other times when they can go for weeks with almost no business at all. Can you live on $4000 one month and $500 the next month?
If you don’t handle these situations well in your regular life, it can spell disaster when transferred to business dealings. It really takes a special personality to run and stick with a business. I know people who have tried one new business after another, quitting after only a few weeks and always blaming it on outside circumstances. The reality is that some people just work better in a normal 8-5 job working for someone else. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Just be honest with yourself or you will get yourself into a place where you are miserable.
That doesn’t mean you have to be perfect in all the areas I mentioned above because most of us aren’t, but the better you are in certain areas the better your chances are of succeeding. That also doesn’t mean you can’t change. This leads me to my next point.
Have a Passion
It helps to be passionate about what you are doing. If you are passionate you will have the desire and will work hard to change some of the negatives I mentioned above so you can succeed.
If you don’t have a passion for it, chances are you will give up at the first roadblock, which usually happens right away. If you don’t have a passion for it, that still doesn’t mean you won’t succeed. It just will be harder. I didn’t have a passion for most of the businesses I started.
I only succeeded in my first business because at the time it was the only option and I had to feed my kids. It was strong motivation but I was miserable each day doing the work which, in turn, made the work seem even harder. You can financially succeed and be good at what you do but it turns into a weight around your neck without the passion.
Don’t Think That All Is Lost
I know that the things I mentioned above sound a little negative but, when considering starting a business, most of us tend to look at these things through rose colored glasses. As much as I hate to cause you disappointment now, I would rather do that than to have to try and help you deal with an even bigger mess later.
If you still are reading and haven’t given up yet, here are a few suggestions to help you:
- Do lots of research on everything.
- How much will a building or materials cost. Can you find things for wholesale prices and what are they?
- How much will it cost to make something, down to the last penny? How much will I have to charge to cover my expenses AND my time? Will people be willing to pay that much?
- How many others are doing the exact same thing? Is there really a need for your services or product?
- Don’t borrow large amounts of money. Even though we could have made more money by printing more books we only printed a few at a time in order not to go into debt. Because of the way we did it, it took longer but we have almost always run our business debt free, which is very unusual.
- Be patient. It can take time, often years, to build up stock or customers. We didn’t start being able to really support ourselves even a little until after 8 years. Can you wait that long?
- Start slowly and work from home if you can.
- Be prepared for success. I know that seems to contradict everything I have said but even when they do have what it takes, sometimes people aren’t prepared for success. All of a sudden in one week you can go from one or two orders to a thousand orders. Can you get the materials you need to fill the orders quickly? Can you get more people to help fill the orders if necessary? Will you have the money to pay for supplies and for the workers until the customers pay you for the orders? It can take a week or two to get paid in some businesses or up to 90 days in others.