If you are reading this that means that you are thinking of going into business for yourself and that’s great but let’s talk about a few things you can do to increase the possibility of success for your business. These are things I have learned from owning and operating a photo & video production company, event planning business, graphic art studio to now children's book publishing.
Like any other investment starting your own business requires some thought and preparation. After your initial investment you will see that occasionally your business will need funding and that funding will more than likely be facilitated by you.
First, I suggest having a small nest egg for additional marketing and other unexpected expenses. Remember success is when opportunity meets preparation. Don’t miss out on that county fair that pulls a crowd of 50,000 just because you didn’t have the money for the booth rental. Also having a nest egg will help in case of a family emergency keeping you from dipping into your future profits. You determine how much money you should have in savings before going into business, only you know your finances.
Secondly I suggest lowering your expenses as mush as possible, the goal is to have more coming in than going out. Think about those things that you really do not need that pulls money from you each month. When I seriously considered going into business for my self I took a personal inventory and found there were a few ways I could cut cost to free up some to invest in my business. First thing I did was to buy myself out of the large cell phone contract that was costing me 200 bucks a month and replaced it with an economy phone from Wal-Mart, the bill at that time was only $40 a month, so there I put $160 a month back into my pocket, the $250 buy out was worth it. Many of the non-contract providers offer the same service as the larger competitors. I also cut back on eating and going out. Don’t get me wrong my wife and I didn’t become hermits but we did look more for free events to attend to entertain us and we began to cook more at home. Eating at home also presented another benefit besides saving money; we noticed we were eating a lot healthier. Keep in mind eating healthy is important you will need all the energy you can muster to launch your business. If you just look around you will find more ways to put money back in your pocket with out compromising your quality of living.
Thirdly gather support and create a support system. When I first decided to go into business I went around discussing my plans with friends and family only to get that blank stare then the onslaught of doubt. How are going to pay your bills? Do you think that’s a good idea? Don’t quit your job! Get a job. What about benefits and insurance, heck your pension! To keep it short and sweet keep doubtful people far away it’s contagious. This doesn’t mean that you should stop talking to them it simply means that you no longer discuss your plans concerning your business with them. Find those that truly support you, join networks that consist of other business persons, join writer’s clubs, and so on, I think you get it. Having a strong support system is very important, like anything else you will have your ups and downs and having someone to confide in, bounce ideas around with and / or get business advice from is very valuable. I found comfort and support with in illustrator groups and forums, the benefit from this is that you will get advice (solutions) from those working in the field that have encountered the same problems.
So remember it’s a process not an event! Congrats on taking the first step!