Last week we discussed some reasons why you should start a business, all of which spawn from a need or willingness to connect with people and make their lives or businesses better. Here are a few more pragmatic, but nevertheless important reasons for you to open shop.
You can sell
If you’ve had consistently high numbers in your career, this is a good time to try your hand on your own. No matter your specialty, if you can generate revenue your market will accommodate you. I had a manager who always said “it’s all about the numbers.” It annoyed me because it was practically the only thing he ever said, but he was right.
But those numbers don’t always immediately signify dollars immediately. Racking up clients, even potential ones, is always important. Engagement is becoming more and more key in sales — whether by social media or folks who still value in-person meetings.
If you’re a good salesman/woman you are likely already someone who can connect and pull from people what you need. Good lawyers can do that, and so can good talkers, and even some good writers.
There’s a gap in the market
We’re not talking about just another big idea here, a la “Shark Tank.” If you’re seeing a need that isn’t being met by your would-be competitors and you already have experience in the field, you may consider throwing your hat in the ring. This may require you to act fast, so that gap has to be open for at least a couple of months to make sure all your paperwork and finances check out.
You enjoy a solo flight
If you’re anything like me, you absolutely need to be your own boss. Or maybe you’re passionate about your area of expertise, and in the similar vein of wanting autonomy, you’ll go above and beyond to improve upon the way things in your field are already done. You’ll still have a boss because ultimately, you’ve gotta serve somebody — every client or customer is your boss. As much as I despised him, I didn’t go into business to put my old boss out of business — I did it so I could do well on my own and not have anyone other than a doctor advise me about when I should start planning my family.
Words of warning and wisdom
There will be times when you will/must need to partner up with someone in situations where you’re not an overall expert. Scope out your professional network to see if you’re connected to someone with the credentials you’re seeking. Personal referrals are still a prime way to go. But do your own research and find people whose work inspires you.
When it comes to technology, you don’t want to be on your back pulling wires under a server, you want to an IT systems small business specialists. Preferably someone who’s worked in your industry. On the web, all sorts of good web sites and resources are posted by marketing pros all sorts of “consultants.” However, if marketing isn’t your thing, you want a former marketing officer, again preferably who’s worked with small business and in your industry. When it comes to legal expertise, basic web sites like legalzoom are a starting point but don’t rely on them. Those websites are not lawyers and do not provide legal advice. When it comes to professional advice, don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. It may lay a bad foundation and then we’ll later have to tackle a divorce.
Thursday we’ll discuss another important “why” and make the case for partnering up when your business is in its infancy.
Feel free to contact Brinen & Associates for advice about starting your small business.