Friday, November 22, 2013

Should You Start Your Own Business? 3 Questions to Ask Yourself

In school, you used to daydream about becoming a writer... or a wedding planner... or a chef. Or fill in the blank, but you dreamed it. Maybe you still ponder the joys of setting your own schedule, being your own boss and making your own rules. But at some point, as the old saying goes, “Life got in the way.” You were practical. You found a job with benefits, something stable, something... boring.

If you’ve been thinking it might be time to revisit the idea of turning your passion into your own business, it’s time to do a little soul-searching. Start now by asking yourself these three questions:


1. Do You Hate Your Job?


It’s alright, a lot of people do. It’s really OK to admit it. If "hate" is too strong a word to describe your feelings for your current venture, ask yourself this: Do you feel dissatisfied, bored or empty when you’re at work? You deserve better. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), an average of 583,499 small businesses open each year in the U.S. If more than half a million people can go out on their own every year, so can you.


2. Do You Spend More Time on Your Hobby Than Anything Else in Your Spare Time?


Do you find yourself spending more time on your hobby or interest than you do on other leisure activities? While your friends are busy getting into fights on Facebook or browsing the Internet for nail design ideas, are you creating the next culinary masterpiece, crafting a work of literary genius or inventing a new product? If so, you might not even know it yet, but you’re already on your way to starting your own business.


3. Quite Simply, Is It Something You’ve Always Wanted to Do?


If there is something you’ve always wanted to do, now is the time to do it. Don't let life pass you by without doing what you’ve always dreamed of doing.

Get Going


If your "yes" answers mean the time is now, don't panic—starting your own small business doesn’t have to feel like a complicated and scary process. Some things to keep in mind at this stage of the game:

  • One of the first tangible items you need is a business card. They are still standard business practice, even in this digital age. Use a quality paper stock and a reliable printing service, as this piece of marketing collateral is often the first glimpse people (including potential investors) will get of your new venture.

  • Set aside some time to delve more deeply into your niche and the concerns that come along with your segment of the market. The National Federation of Independent Businesses has specific information about starting a business in your particular state as well as details about your chosen industry.

  • You are going to need the ability to make purchases. Government loans, bank loans and small business credit cards can supply you with capital—just make sure you explore all the funding options available. Visit SBA.gov to learn more.

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