Sure, there are lots of hassles and problems as well. BUT you are going to face those working for someone else as well. AND they might lay you off, pay you poorly and restrict your freedom to do other things in life. Owning your own business gives you greater control over your own life.
Why are you thinking of starting a business? What is driving you and why would you consider using an advisor/coach to help? Here are some of the reasons people have asked me for business advice over the years and the list is growing. In many cases the “I” can be replaced by “We” because of family businesses and partnerships. You might be surprised to find yourself in the list below!
It’s difficult starting something by yourself. Perhaps the most common problem for many would-be entrepreneurs. Trying to think of all the things you need to do. Not sure whether they are correct or even need to be done. Sometimes just needing someone to talk to about it all – someone who has done it themselves and can listen, relate and provide some support. That is exactly my role!
I hate this job! This is very common, particularly for people who don’t like to work in large organizations. You might be doing fine at the job but come home unhappy and thinking about retirement fills most of your free time. Not a good place to be.
I can’t get a job. Some people do not have “job” skills that the marketplace currently wants or there are simply no jobs. However, they also need money to survive. The majority of small business people in the world fit into this category. That is why small businesses are by far the largest employer in the world.
I can’t afford the lawyers and accountants. When you are unsure about your idea and business, it doesn’t make it any easier to have to pay large bills as well. Often it really does only take a couple of hours of conversation with someone who has done it before to get on track.
I’m working like hell but don’t seem to making any money. Perhaps you are in a business that simply requires a lot of time/work to keep it going. Perhaps you are doing some things wrong. Small business is like life – you often get in a rut and don’t know how others are doing things. Not a bad idea to talk to someone who is not in your rut to get a different perspective.
I was laid off and need to earn some money – somewhere. Massive layoffs by large firms are very common and because most people working in these firms never expected it and have never had to start their own business – they are often unprepared. Most get depressed while a few lucky ones finding a job. Others decide to control their own destiny and start a business based on their current skills, hobby, or a new idea.
I need to stay at home but could use some cash. Stay at home mothers and fathers are a big part of the workforce and contribute billions to the economy through their often unrecognized, unpaid, labour. However, sometimes a little extra cash is needed to supplement the other spouse’s pay cheque; or to pay bills that government programmes don’t cover. A small business can do that.
I have a great idea that I am sure will make millions. It might. It also might not. I usually can’t tell you but I can provide you with the tools and the processes to evaluate the idea, lessen possible risks, find financing, etc. People shouldn’t tell other people whether their ideas are good or not. One never knows until the market evaluates it.
I have a silly idea – do you think it will work? Similar to above. I really have no idea and no one else does either. On the positive side, there are lots of nice tools and processes to find out without you losing your life savings.
I know nothing about business and could use a hand. Business is not complicated and most people just need a little timely advice and some assurances that they are doing the right things. It’s really all about following a proper process and hard work. Nothing more.
I’ve been thinking/working on this for years but haven’t started it. “Launch fear” is a very common ailment. It usually afflicts perfectionists or people who like to get things right the first time. The best advice I can give you in these circumstances is to get over it and understand that what you might start today will not look a thing like what you will have in a year or even a month. I once spent six months perfecting a new software training technique that was proven wrong with my first client. Better to start and improve as you go!
I’m young, need work and can’t get a job. Welcome to the new world where youth unemployment is the new normal. The jobs that were promised no longer exist and some even spend years volunteering or interning for free to get experience. There are other options. I recently met a young (previously unemployed) man of 19 who took a small inheritance from his grandfather, bought an old truck and launched a garbage pick up service in Toronto. He loves it, is earning good money and never wants to go to school again. Nice.
I’m old, need work and can’t get a job. As the boomers get older and formal jobs dry up, this has also become quite common. The biggest impediment to this group is that they often had a good paying job for a number of years and thing they should always earn that amount; or, do similar things. Why not break out and do something different? Learn something new? Curiosity is the mother of invention and also a good start of small businesses!