How to Make the Most of Working for Yourself
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How to Make the Most of Working for Yourself

With the deepening economic crisis and reports of redundancies by even the biggest firms, people are looking for ways to survive. The news is littered with stories of struggling companies and ventures, enforced mergers and high unemployment. However despite all the doom and gloom, people are being encouraged to embrace their entrepreneurial side and with the government rolling out the financial red carpet for businesses, now may be the time to unveil hidden talents, to learn and earn!

Firstly, this is not a comprehensive guide and does not guarantee success but it does look to lay down a foundation for those who want to work for themselves. Running your own business is not easy and does not guarantee untold riches. It is hard work and requires a lot of patience, diligence, perseverance and motivation. So are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin...

Ø Know what exactly it is you want to do. If you are not good at it, you will not enjoy doing it. Ask people what they think your skills are and what you have to offer, be prepared for some unexpected answers. Be honest with yourself and with others.

Ø Research, research, research. You can never do too much. Is there a niche in the market for what you have to offer? Research does not only mean theory, getting out there and checking things out can be just as effective or even better than sitting at home reading reports.

Ø See what funding there is for you. There may be more (or less) than you think.

Ø DO A BUSINESS PLAN – the importance of this cannot be stressed enough. Doing one properly allows you to see the strengths and weaknesses of your proposed business and is what you will present to banks and potential investors. So it must be done well.

Ø Until your business is established, consider working part time so that you are protected against any cashflow issues.

Ø Be methodical and well prepared. There is a lot of paperwork as well as legal, financial and tax issues to deal with. So maybe have a lawyer and accountant you can consult.

Ø Consider working from home as much as possible as this will reduce costs (but make sure you inform your home insurance providers and/or tax office as they may have incentives and financial relief for those who work from home). But try and have a separate phone line etc so that the family phone can be left free. Also think about getting a computer and a fax machine at least but a copier and scanner will also come in useful.

Ø When working from home, make sure you have a routine. Ensure that there is a specific room in the house where you can do your work relatively undisturbed. Depending on what kind of work/service you provide, dress as if you were going out to work. My work operates a ‘smart-casual’ dress code so even those days when I work from home, I adopt this dress code as it puts me in the right frame of mind for the day.

Ø Make sure you network – attend business events, make contacts. People may be looking for what you have to offer and will not know until you introduce yourself. Don’t be shy but don’t be too pushy either.

Ø Learn to adapt and be flexible because those who are ready for when change happens will have the upper hand against their competitors.

Ø Just for fun try this quiz and see whether you have what it takes http://www.yesmontreal.ca/yes.php?section=entrepreneurship/tools/quiz

Remember you may not need masses of money to start a business. For me, it began with a few emails and I was away. Others may need more of an outlay but if you really believe that you can make a success of it and are willing to put the work in, go for it. You may make mistakes but that’s ok because they are excellent teaching tools. Keep at it and who knows might happen?

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Comments (1)

Even if you are busy in the business world, it is still very important to enjoy yourself. This is to avoid stress and anxiety while doing your daily job. Thank you for writing this informative article. Keep it up! Goodluck, voted and shared.

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