It has been an observation that more people are getting downsized, terminated or just plain fired all the time. And because of the state of the economy, finding another job can be difficult. Creating a job of your own by starting a business looks attractive when you can't find a job - or just
But "How do I start a business?" is not thefirst question you should be asking if you're in this situation; the first question you should be asking is "Should I start a business?" Before you start thinking about the different types of businesses you might start, you have to do some thinking about you.
Starting a business is not for everyone. Being self-employed is very different than being an employee. And some people find it impossible to adjust to the differences. Let's see if you have the necessary entrepreneurial mindset to become self-employed. These are the six traits that I think encapsulate the ways you have to think and behave if you want to make a successful transition from being employed in someone else's business to starting a business of your own.
1) You have to be flexible to be self-employed.
If you start a business, you no longer have "one" job with clearly defined duties and responsibilities.
And once you start a business, there's nowhere to pass the buck. As an employee, you may be used to passing problems up along the food chain or not be very involved in decision making. As a self-employed business owner, you're the one who will have to deal with whatever the crisis is and solve the problem. You're the one who will have to make the decision
2) You have to be a self-motivated initiator.
When you're an employee, other people tell you what to do, either directly or indirectly. You get used to having your actions directed by others. But you have to direct your own actions as a small business owner. You can't just sit there and hope that maybe some clients stroll in or that someone will drop by out of the blue with inventory for your retail store. For many people who try to become self-employed and start businesses after having a long-term full-time job, this is the hardest adjustment to make.
3) You have to be able to recognize opportunities and go after them.
If you start a business, you need to be the one constantly watching for opportunities - and be able to recognize them when you see them. It might be a small opportunity, such as the chance to pick up a new client, or a large one, such as getting your product on the shelves in a large retail chain, but as a small business owner, you have to keep scanning the horizon yourself and positioning yourself to benefit from the opportunities that you find.
As an employee, you may be used to operating in a "head-down" position; if you're going to start a business and become successfully self-employed, you need to start operating in the "head-up" position.
4) When you're self-employed, you have to be able to plan ahead.
If you want to start a business, you need to develop expertise in both short-term and long-range planning; it's about to become a big part of your life.
When you start a business, one of your first tasks will be to work through a business plan. As your business becomes operational, you'll find that this plan (however detailed) needs to be revised and that other plans need to be created, as you work towards the long-range goals that you've set for your business.
5) You need to be prepared to put in a constant and consistent effort.
Initially starting a business takes energy, and you need to be able to give it 100 percent.
Your customer and/or clients need to know that you are devoting 100 percent of your talent or skill or attention to them - and will go elsewhere if they don't feel this is the case.
Worse, you need to deliver this constant and consistent effort without the employee safety net.
6) You have to be able to deal with uncertainty.
As a self-employed entrepreneur, there's no guarantee that the products or services you offer will be in demand six months from now. There's no guarantee that your customers will pay their bills on time or even pay them at all. There's no guarantee that your current big client, who seems to be perfectly happy with your work, won't drop you next week.
There's actually no guarantee that you will make any income this month or the month after. For many ex-employees who are used to having a pay cheque arrive regularly every two weeks, the uncertainty of being self-employed is very difficult to deal with.
The point of this article is to make you aware of how you have to readjust your thinking to make the transition from employee to self-employed business owner. Hopefully as you read through this list of traits you need to become successfully self-employed, you were saying to yourself, "I can do this". Because every one of the traits I've listed here is an attitude or behavior that can be learned, and when it comes to being self-employed, awareness is more than half the battle.