As an employee turned entrepreneur myself, this is a plunge I have taken and coach clients on from a career, business, and personal level. With nearly 30MM job seekers, including 14MM unemployed, and a job search process that takes over 211 days to land a new job, it’s no wonder many professionals are wondering if now is the time to take the plunge and open their own small business. If you are among the millions of Americans considering going this route, take the time to think through it thoroughly.
Quite a few small business owners starting their first entrepreneurial venture start with the “friends and family” funding option. With The Great Recession’s impact, many friends and family have likely had their stable careers, income, and savings accounts impacted negatively requiring an alternative funding source. Up next, credit cards and banks. Credit cards are a scary option as the interest rates are high and you’ll likely need to get them in your personal name since the business has no established credit or history. That leaves banks, still are an option for those with very good credit. Contact your local SCORE office for help with small business and minority, and women-owned business loans.
Saving for success
We all love our own ideas and think our business will be the best one yet, or we sure wouldn’t be invested the time, energy and effort – much less money- into it. To prepare that you and your family are set up for success ensure you have at least 12 months of savings in the bank before you embark on your entrepreneurial journey. The stress of opening and operating a business will be far more than working as an employee; adding the strain of finances will be enough to put your business under even if began as a great idea.
Do you remember the first time you kissed your wife, or husband? What about the first time you saw your baby’s face? Your new love will be your business and it will take away from every other love in your life. Your blackberry or iPhone will take priority from your family, your friends and your vacations. You’ll be responding to clients and orders when you used to be relaxing. Vacation? Two weeks will seem like an eternity. The 40-or-50-hour work week will soon become a thing of the past, a dream you have on the nights you achieve more than 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep when you’re not business planning during the night.
The best part about all of this is that although you’re walking around in a daze, partly from the lack of sleep and partly from being consumed by your business ideas, you will contributing and working for…you. All of this will be going to your bottom-line. That also means that every minute you take off is a minute that you’re not generating revenue or closing a deal.
Opening my businesses has been the best journey in my life. They have cost me dearly in many ways, relationships that were lost to my crackberry and hundreds of dollars have been spent on creams to avoid dark under eye circles. They have benefited me in far more though – cheering on my nephews at 2p.m. soccer games, heading to N.Y. at the last minute – after all, I can catch up on work on a Sunday!