In a day and age where the economy seems to go up one minute and then head south the next, why on earth would you want to quit your job to start a small business?
For some folks, the answer to that question is the desire to become their own boss. But becoming your own boss in 2012 is a risky proposition, especially given how fragile the economy has been. Just when the job market was starting to pick up and unemployment was slowly falling, a spike in gas prices has tempered that good feeling for many.
If you find yourself with the desire to forgo your given salary at work and strike out on your own, weigh the pros and cons of such a move.
On the positive side:
• You have freedom to make decisions and do not have to answer to anyone other than yourself;
• You set your own hours, although expect in most cases to work more hours now than you did under someone else;
• You have the ability to have an unlimited income as opposed to having a set salary under someone else.
On the challenging side:
• You are making all the decisions and the ability to consult with co-workers and get their advice is removed;
• If you are not disciplined, you could find it hard to put in the necessary time commitment for the job, especially with a family involved;
• In the event your business takes a while to get going, what are you going to do for a regular source of income? If the decision is to start a new business, do you have the business plan up and running? If the answer is no, this can be your first and biggest hurdle to climb.
Putting a Business Plan in Place
One of the biggest mistakes start-ups make is not having a well thought out business plan in place. Remember, starting your own business is not something you just dive into.
Prior to writing a business plan, be sure to research your market and compile up to date industry data. If you’re unsure about how to write the business plan, take note that there are a variety of business plan software packages available to new entrepreneurs. Many of the packages offer document templates, sample plans at no charge, along with advice on conceiving a plan.
As you put your business plan together, don’t be afraid to ask for advice from family or friends who run their own companies.
Once the plan is completed, make sure that a friend or family member/s reviews it to look for any holes or unanswered questions. In the event you are going to require a small business loan to get things up and running, you will likely be required to produce a formal business plan that speaks to your needs.
Finally, determine if your writing skills are up to the challenge, as the last thing you want is turning in a plan that is riddled with grammar issues, etc. If you will require financial information that is either above your abilities or unavailable to you, consider working with a certified public accountant.
With a business plan in tow, the necessary funding (if required), and support from your loved ones, you could very easily make your own business the centerpiece of your life.
Remember, your dreams and hopes that may not have been achieved under someone else could now be for the taking.
Dave Thomas writes extensively for Business.com, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.