Step One – Starting Your Own Business

Ever thought of starting your own business?

At last, you’re retiring or retired! After the holidays and ‘chill out time’ which you’ll undoubtedly have, you might then think ‘what’s next?’. Perhaps you may be considering starting a small business which fits your new lifestyle. A very rewarding and profitable thing to do. However, there are many traps for the unwary. Here are some steps that will help you to consider the pitfalls & traps and some tips to help make your journey into business a successful one.

So, what is business really about?

What does it really mean to be in your own business?

Business is exciting, challenging and enjoyable, but it can be hard work, very time consuming and demanding. Often when people are thinking about starting their own business, they don’t know what questions to ask or where to go for information. There’s plenty of books, websites and training programs around, but how do you know where to start, what to choose?

The best place is by looking firstly at yourself. What do you want for your future? What will you be happy doing with your days? What are your skills, interests, abilities? What experience do you have which could be turned into a business opportunity? By determining answers to these seemingly simple questions, you can often find a starting place. Consider if you will be happy, excited and motivated doing something which might make money, but which absolutely bores you senseless. Is this what you want at this stage of life? Being in your own business may mean you’ll often work longer and harder than at any other time, so being enthusiastic and even passionate about your work is very important.

You need to consider the impact of business on your lifestyle and that of your family/partner. How might it fit? Certainly there’s much flexibility of time, but the work still needs to be done, so if not carefully planned, you might find it can take over your life.

A trap many fall into is to go into a business in which they have no experience and/or move to a location they don’t really understand. This can be a recipe for disaster. An example : Alan was seriously looking at buying a motel and moving to a ‘fabulous location with great fishing and a warm climate’. When asked what experience he’d had with motels, his reply was ‘I’ve stayed in heaps.

Alan had never managed a motel and didn’t know if he’d be suited to doing so. All he was thinking of was the fishing, climate and an easy lifestyle. When do you think he’d need to be available in a motel? Yes, almost 24/7!

Similarly many choose to go into B &B’s for similar reasons. The message here is – deeply consider and imagine yourself in your new life before making any radical moves. Contact others doing similar things and speak with them, find training programs which highlight the pitfalls of this type of business, speak with peak body organisations who can also assist. Do your research, but firstly do your internal research and discuss fully with your partner and family. Give yourself the best chance of creating a new and fulfilling life in this exciting time.

Article by June Hope

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