Sunday, January 10, 2010

What You should be Prepared for before Starting a Home Based Business

Starting a home business can be a very liberating and rewarding thing to do. Escape from the 9-5, lack of a boss that always tells you what to do, the thrill and adventures of running your own business however you want to, growing big and having a lot of resources, both social, spiritual and material – all of these things are on the “awesome” side of starting and running your own enterprise.

But the life of an entrepreneur is definitely not for everyone. You have to commit to what you’re doing; you have to sacrifice commodities, food and sleep in order to get your business off the ground. For many, this sounds like the best adventure ever, but for most it sounds scary. Here are a few things that you must absolutely know about and be prepared for before venturing into the startup world:

Nothing is certain. The bad side of having the freedom of running everything how and when you like it is having to decide every single step, often without any advice (especially in the beginning). You’re in charge and responsible for everything – the good, the bad and the ugly. Depending on what decision you make today, your company may gain profit or may fail completely, and if you don’t like such extreme uncertainties, you should think twice before throwing yourself into them.

You’ll have to sacrifice… a lot. It’s like going out in the woods, alone or with just a few friends (who might turn out to be traitors). Until you learn how to survive and be strong in this environment, you’ll be constantly looking out for wolves or bears (competitors, regulators, unsatisfied clients, government regulators, you name it) which may not even be there. You’ll have to always think about what to do next, sacrifice sleep, food, social interaction and other important things because you just can’t afford to waste any time.

You’re a salesman. Even though you’re acting on your free will and on a bigger scale, you’re still a salesman who has to do everything he has to do to pitch and sell his product/persona/idea. This is unavoidable, because all our civilization is based on selling and buying, but if you don’t like salesmen who most of the times bend the truth and do anything to sell you something, it will be hard for you to work. As they say, we invent and sell people stuff they don’t even know they want :-).

You will fail. Everyone says it and every experienced entrepreneur knows it. You may fail at only one thing or at the whole deal at once, but there will always be an idea you thought is great which will turn out to be a big flop, wasting you money, time and brain cells. All you can do is learn not to do the same thing again or do it differently, and move on and try again.
The above might sound quite pessimistic, but there are some people who just read this article and laughed at it, because they either already know how it is or are not afraid of the challenges and say “Bring it on!”. One thing is for sure: they are a minority.

If you are not ready to commit to your business and sacrifice anything that needs to be sacrificed in order to succeed, perhaps it might be easier for you to get a managerial or commanding position at one of the many already established companies. The pay is stable (and definitely higher than what you would be making in the first months and years of your own startup) and you get most of the benefits of running a business without a lot of the risks. In the end it is up to you: who knows, maybe if you try starting a company you will get to like it in time or at the very least you’ll gain some experience, whether it fails or not.

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