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Start Your Own Small Business

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So you want to start your own small business.  My first question to you is why? Why do you want your own business?  Knowing why will become very important to you when you have tough days – and you will.

I have mentored small business owners in the past and heard their reasons for going into business which included:

  • I hate my boss and want to go into competition to him/her
  • I want freedom
  • I will make more money
  • I just want to do my own thing

I do not believe any of these are good reasons to start a business. Hating your boss will not keep you going when the going gets tough.

You will almost certainly work longer hours and make less money in the beginning.

It is having a strong why that will keep you going.

If you are someone who just wants to do their own thing make sure you know what that is and how you will make money from it.

Assuming you have a solid reason why you want your own business and are prepared to work and learn then there are several options you have when contemplating starting a business. They include the following:

  • Start a business from scratch
  • Buy an existing business
  • Buy a franchise
  • Start a home based business which could be an MLM, Internet Marketing or Direct Selling Business.

Start a business from scratch
You can read more about it here.  In summary you will need to be prepared to put in long hours, maybe not take holidays for sometime and be a bit of a jack of all trades to get it all done. It is not an easy road but can be worthwhile for some people although the stats of success are very small compared to the number of start ups.

It is highly unlikely you are skilled in all areas. Not many people are great marketers, sales people, bookkeepers, admin systems etc – be prepared to out source the areas that are not your strength.

I have gone this route several times and would not do it again. I think there are better options.

If however you are determined to start your own conventional business please get advice from a good accountant or an experienced business person who can mentor you.  Have your numbers analyzed and be prepared to give it time and work to be successful.

Buy an Existing Small Business
Please read more details on this option by clicking here.  In summary you need capital to buy an existing business. Have the figures scrutinized by an accountant and ask for back up information for all figures supplied.

Please think about it very carefully if you are putting your house or other assets at risk by borrowing.

This can be a viable option to become a business owner but in summary my message is “do your homework”.

I have also been this route in business.  My husband and I bought into a business years back and it was a very successful business. It was also a lot of hard work!

Franchise Option
This option does have certain advantages over the other two choices and please read more details here if you are contemplating buying a franchise.

In summary buying a franchise is often buying a job, or as I have heard said, buying a terrible lifestyle. You work long hours; have all the conventional headaches that go with a business and you paid big money for it.

Many franchisors will dictate the hours you work, what you wear and how you do business – a far cry from the entrepreneurial dream of freedom – and you pay top money for that. It does not appeal to me and it is one business model I have not personally ventured into.

Start a home based business
I think  the best option is to build a business online with multiple income streams. I recommend one of the streams be in a MLM (also called Network Marketing) business. My reason is that it provides a residual income and that is something we all need to be building.

Network Marketing  is my preferred business model. I think it is the fairest and most equitable model of business today. You can read more of my thoughts here. In summary these are some of the benefits of Network Marketing:

  • Minimal start-up capital
  • You use sweat equity to build an asset
  • No asset risk (you don’t have to borrow against your house to start it)
  • Virtually risk free
  • Established systems and training
  • No employees, premises, need to carry stock or debtors
  • You support and train independent business developers
  • Low overheads

In Network Marketing you are building an asset that is will-able and sale-able

  • You can have true time freedom
  • The business will eventually work without you
  • It gives you lifestyle choices

And the most important – Residual Income. Income that keeps being paid to you month after month.

Some Quotes from the experts….
“Direct Marketing is a B Quadrant Business and it’s basically risk-free – giving all of us access to what used to be the domain of the rich. Today, the question is ‘do I really want to be rich’?” Robert Kiyosaki, entrepreneur, author

“Direct Marketing offers a low-risk but high return business system. I advise serious individuals to do your research and ‘put everything you’ve got into your product’. Genuine enthusiasm is hard to beat.” Donald Trump, entrepreneur, author

“Direct selling has become the wealth creation vehicle of choice for millions.” Paul Zane Pilzer, economist and author.

Start with the end in mind.
No matter which business model you choose please start with the end in mind. This perhaps applies more to home based business than if you take the plunge into a conventional brick and mortar business. In a home based business there is a temptation to treat it like a hobby. If you do it will pay you like a hobby.

Please pick up a copy of my free report Start Your Home Based Business With the End in Mind as you leave here. There are some essential tips there for you.

I love receiving your feedback so please leave me your comments below.

42 thoughts on “Start Your Own Small Business

    1. Sue Post author

      Tara I think anyone who has, or has had a traditional small business knows how much work it is. I live in a town where people come to get away from the city and often start up a business. Sadly most do not succeed.
      You are spot on with learning how to leverage yourself.
      Thanks for dropping by and commenting.
      Sue

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  2. Linda G. Cox

    Sue~
    Wow! This is a very inclusive post! Of course you know I am already sold on Direct Sales! There are so many benefits! And I absolutely love this online community! With the experiences that you’ve had and the wisdom that you’ve acquired, I appreciate the knowledge you share! Your opinion is very valuable to me.
    Thank you,
    Linda
    Linda G. Cox recently posted..The power of validationMy Profile

    1. Sue Post author

      Thanks for the kind words Linda. I am at a place in my life where I really do value the experiences I have had over the years and want to use them to help others. It freaks me out a bit when I see people blindly going into traditional businesses without doing their homework.
      I am with you in loving the online community. There are so many wonderful people who support each other. It is awesome. Hey and we have become friends online.
      Take care
      Sue

    1. Sue Post author

      Thanks Belinda. And also thanks for the thought to do some more articles on Residual Income. I think it is not understood by many people. I will do that.
      Cheers

      Sue

  3. Don Enck

    Sue,
    In today’s world more and more people are looking to start their own business in hopes of gaining more financial security. There are a lot of options out there for them to consider. Also, a lot of pitfalls to watch out for. You have done a wonderful job of illustrating the pros and cons of each of these. No matter the route people choose, as you said, you have to know WHY you’re doing this. Often, people don’t always realize just how much work is involved and this can derail them.

    Thanks for sharing your insight with everyone.
    Don Enck recently posted..Does This Fitness Mistake Slow You DownMy Profile

    1. Sue Post author

      Don what you said is so true with more and more people losing faith in job security. I think it is a thing of the past.

      I really have seen too many people go into business not realizing it take work and commitment. I think it is important they understand what is needed.

      Have a great day

      Sue

    1. Sue Post author

      Toni thanks for your comment. I see you opted for my ebook. It is information that is not the sexiest but very necessary. 🙂

      Have a wonderful day.

      Sue

  4. Oliver Tausend

    Hi Sue,

    thanks for this precise overview. I also believe that network marketing is one of the best ways to build a business. It’s a business school, if and when done right, as Robert Kiyosaki says.

    The fact that it is risk-free and low cost can be an issue because people whose motivation isn’t strong enough will treat it like a hobby and not like a business. What does Robert Kiyosaki say: He has to pay for playing golf because he treats it like a hobby. Tiger Woods gets paid for playing golf because he treats like a – business.

    We all should treat our network marketing business as if we had paid 500,000 $ for a franchise.

    That’s why I never talk about my business as being a small business, it may be still small today, but my idea is huge.

    Take care

    Oliver
    Oliver Tausend recently posted..Think And Grow Rich – The Ghost Of Fear Of Old Age Pt 2My Profile

    1. Sue Post author

      Oliver I love your comments on this. I agree the low entry cost is a reason why many people treat their MLM like a hobby.

      Good advice to think of it as if we had paid $500k for a franchise and also to think of it as huge when we start. I also think the fact that people work from home with low overheads is another reason it gets treated like a hobby.

      Thanks Oliver

      Sue

  5. Louise Steiner

    This is a great summary Sue of why Network Marketing is the business model of choice. So many people fail to take this type of business seriously and yet it is potentially the most lucrative model of them all.

    I particularly resonate with your thoughts on franchises. I have never owned one, but have been involved with managing a franchise. As you say, not only are they expensive to get into, but it is not really your business. Better stick with the boss you don’t like….at least you can quit if you’ve really had enough 🙂
    Louise
    Louise Steiner recently posted..Online Marketing – Web Page Copywriting In 5 Simple Steps – Part 1My Profile

    1. Sue Post author

      Hi Louise

      It was interesting for me to revisit the various models of business. Interesting you have managed a franchise which would be a good way to learn about the model before ever partying with your capital. It has never appealed to me.

      Far too few people still misunderstand the MLM model. I guess that is our challenge as bloggers 🙂

      Take care

      Sue

  6. RealStrategic

    Hi, I agree with your view, I would like to add something that Google Places is now giving Small Business Marketing Help to local businesses. Google has created 50,000,000 free SEO optimized, small business friendly, traffic rich websites and 98% of companies have not claimed their listing. To see your Google Places website and how it’s currently ranking for the top keywords in your local area go to http://www.localrankingreport.com. It will give you the insights needed when you are looking for small business marketing help.

  7. Chris

    Hello Sue,
    A fabulous piece on launching or purchasing a small business. I’ve spent the last five years working for a small company that started out as an idea-kernel in an Ontario, Canada basement. We’re now 15 people strong with $2 million in revenues, with a distribution impact in three provinces.
    Taking an operation from a basement to $2 million in revenues is not with out risk, and any budding entrepreneurs should acknowledge that. Where there are unique risks in the launch and day-to-day operation of a small business, they are certainly not immune to the operational risks their larger competitors also face.
    Any entrepreneur should be well-versed in the financial and strategic risks they face, at any phase or decision-point in the business life-cycle. I’ve have met far too many entrepreneurs who failed to recognize and mitigate the cross-enterprise risks in their decisions, sometimes because they thought they were ‘too small’ to be affected.
    Happy Entrepreneur’ing Everyone!

    Cheers!
    Chris
    Chris recently posted..Sensitivity Analysis in Business Risk ManagementMy Profile

    1. Sue Post author

      Chris thanks for your comment and sharing your experience. Also congratulations for the part you played in your company’s success. Given you would have encountered the GFC not too long into the company’s existence makes it even more of a success story.

      I agree with all that you say about entrepreneurs needing to acknowledge the risk in building a business.

      Thanks again for commenting.

      Sue

  8. Soa

    Nice article regarding small business. Very much related with me. Glad to read it. Thanks. And i hope it will work for me too.

  9. Joe Shaw

    Sue,

    This is an excellent post! It is so easy to get overloaded with all the complexities of launching a home business. I also have found that you have to constantly come back to your WHY…

    I would say it’s probably the number ONE thing anyone needs to consider.

    Best wishes,
    Joe Shaw
    Joe Shaw recently posted..Are Your Ready for the Social Media RevolutionMy Profile

    1. Sue Post author

      Thanks for the feedback Joe. I really appreciate it.

      I agree with you about coming back to your why, it is critical. It actually took me a long time to go deeper for my why. I had superficial reasons but the real why for me was an “ah ha” moment.

      Take care

      Sue

  10. rebecca

    Wow! I believe you’re an expert when it comes to business planning. I can wait to think to ask my business accounting about this shared information you gave. I’m sure he will be delighted to read this tips you gave us.

  11. rebecca

    Glad to hear it from you. I’m pretty sure your having a good time right now. You have undergo several changes and i think that’s so flattering. Knowing that you have so many accomplishment in your career. Keep it up!

  12. eloisa

    Great tips, sure thing this will be added to my list. Thanks sue, this will help me to better understand the flow of business.

    1. Sue Post author

      Thanks Andrew for the comment.

      I agree with you many people are afraid of failing. I think it can be equally as dangerous to not be aware of pitfalls. I have seen people dive in not knowing anything.

      Have a great rest of the week.

      Sue

    1. Sue Post author

      Kevin thanks for your comment and I agree with you totally. I think sometimes people promoting various opportunities are also at fault in selling a magic bullet – or portraying it is just that.
      As you say there are no magic bullets.

      Sue

  13. Andrew Ludlam

    This is a great article, with some good honest advice!

    I think anyone wanting to start a business, must also consider what they can do, bring or supply that is different to what is already out there. I meet many small business owners who struggle simply because they do and all say the same thing! So I think it’s also important to think about what makes you different – how can you almost exceed your prospect’s expectations, such that he or she will do business with you.

    1. Sue Post author

      Thanks for your comment Andrew and valuable points. I agree with you that people starting a business should look for someway of differentiating themselves. Oh and yes exceeding your prospect’s expectations is so valid.

      Sue

  14. Adam Robinson

    I’m quite surprised to see the reasons you enumerated as to why people go into business. They seem to be the popular ones indeed. None of them seems to be inline with passion. Business I think is all about passion. Just like in any field – medicine, the arts, sports, writer, blogger, etc. People who are passionate about what they do are the ones who succeed. They don’t usually care if they get rich doing it, if they’ll be they’re own boss, do their own thing, have their own freedom. These things are basically the perks associated with doing what you’re passionate about. They should NEVER be the source of one’s motivation.

    1. Sue Post author

      Adam thanks for your comment. I agree passion is very important. Life is here to be enjoyed and doing anything we do not feel passionate about seems sad. I continually have been surprised at some of the reasons why people go into business.
      I do think there are valid reasons for wanting a home based business for example for people who want to be around their kids but they still need to find something that will make their heart sing.

      Sue

  15. Alvin

    It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things about it!
    Alvin recently posted..http://www.riskmanagementinbusiness.comMy Profile

    1. Sue Price Post author

      Hi Carlo

      Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I agree one of the good things about a direct selling business is that you do not need a lot of capital. It really levels the playing field.

      Sue